Friday, September 4, 2015

A Happy Pantry

I'm pretty sure almost every home has a pantry. Ours is no different. But we have one that manages to double as a dumping ground not only for food (of course), but also for kitchen appliances, paper products, party supplies, leftover Halloween candy from who-knows-how-many-years-ago and... light bulbs, apparently.

I've been in the midst of a love-hate relationship with our pantry since the day we moved in. It's pretty spacious, which is AWESOME, but that only leads to extra space to clutter with random stuff. So plenty of space for the food (win), but lots of space filled with junk (boo), making it harder to know what we have or what we're out of (double-boo).

I stumbled across a pantry "Before" pic from one of my favorite blogs, Two Twenty One, on Facebook earlier this week and was immediately drawn to click and see the "After" photo. It. Was. Awesome. All of the things I wanted my pantry to be when it grows up!

You've got to see her pantry Before & After.


Wow. Am I right or what? Pretty amazing transformation! And those bins... So adorable and the perfect color to match my kitchen!
So the kids and I stopped by our local Office Depot yesterday while we were out running errands and picked up 10 of these beauties. It just so happened that I wanted 10 (to start with) and that the store had exactly 10 in stock. Win!

The kids were down for naps/quiet time and I got to work. I should mention here that one of the things my pantry DID have going for it was the white boards we had cut to size from Lowe's and used them to line our wire shelves. We did this a few years ago and it's been great because we haven't had to worry about stuff falling through the wire shelving. ;)

Let me give you a few photos of my pantry's condition before the transformation (please pardon the poor lighting):


See how stuff is lurking in the corners where the shelves meet? I could never find anything in that abyss back there.


Note: I bought that vat of cheeseballs from Walmart once. My kids hated them and oddly enough I was quite happy at this revelation. I'm ashamed to admit this container has been on the floor of my pantry for a few months just taking up space.

Not sure why, but I also feel inclined to mention the bottles of soda on the floor are on hand for a science experiment with my schoolers (soda + mentos, anyone?). SO looking forward to that, but haven't decided where to do it...



Old Halloween candy. Opened packages of old Easter Peeps. Because of course we need to keep such things handy...?


One word: Terrible. It was "kind of" organized with certain stuff in certain areas where we knew how to find most things, but it was so cluttered and messy that I would start twitching as soon as I entered. Not good.

Ready to see some Afters?



NOTE: There is no reason to my knowledge why any family should have THREE open boxes of Cheez-Its at any given time.




Seems like our pantry is rather bare now that it's all organized and cleaned out. Of course the real test of the success of my organized pantry will be after returning from my next grocery run... ;)


These bins make me SO happy! I love walking into the pantry and knowing exactly what we have and where everything is! And not having expired food or 20 half-full boxes of stale cereal cluttering the shelves is priceless! I even added a jar full of snacks on the bottom shelf for the kids to select from when it's snack time. WIN!

It's amazing how a simple project like this can inspire other organizational projects. I can't wait to get to work on several other areas in our home!