Happy New Year, everyone! First of all, let me apologize for my lengthy absence from blogging (especially to Amy and Terry, who covered for me while I was on hiatus). And, while you read the title and know that this post is going to be about how I reorganized my pantry, let me show you one of the reasons I haven’t been online much:
Yes, we have a new puppy, delivered on Christmas Eve! Our golden retriever, Madison, died last Christmas (the night of the 25th, to be exact), and our house just hasn’t been the same without a dog. I thought of a million reasons NOT to get a dog right now–at the top of the list is the fact that we’ll be moving this summer, and, oh yeah, our hundred-year-old hardwood floors. But despite all of that, it just seemed that the timing was right.
So, forgive my digression, but I just had to explain what I’ve been doing instead of blogging (i.e., following Bodie around to make sure he’s not peeing or chewing where he’s not supposed to when he’s out of his crate).
Now, on to the pantry. Don’t we all feel the urge to organize come January? I think it’s because we spend time in almost every room of our houses, taking Christmas ornaments and decorations down and putting things back in order. Although, usually after a month of Christmas preparations and celebrations, things aren’t really back in order, are they? Plus, as I try to integrate all our lovely presents into our home, I realize how much junk stuff that we have.
Since we’re moving this summer, I’ll be going through virtually everything we own over the next few months, deciding whether it’s worth taking along or not. That’s one benefit of being married to someone in the military–the frequent moves give you ample opportunity to pare down and streamline.
One area that’s been crying out for attention is my pantry. I love our kitchen, and it’s the biggest one I’ve ever had, but the pantry is a bit lacking. The reason is that the owners knocked out walls and combined three rooms to make the kitchen, and so there’s tons of cabinet space, but no walk-in closet-style pantry that newly constructed homes have. I find that it’s hard to find places for my infrequently-used appliances, like my food processor and bread machine, and I don’t want it all out on my counter. I’ve solved the problem in part by keeping most of my grocery stockpile downstairs in the cellar and minimizing what stays in the kitchen. My kids may complain when they have to walk outside in the winter to go into the cellar to retrieve an ingredient for dinner, but it could be worse–they could be walking to school in the snow, uphill, both ways, like we did!
This is the home we have been lucky enough to enjoy these last few years. (Click HERE for the whole tour).
And here is one that shows some of the kitchen:
So, here’s the before picture of the pantry. I feel a little bit embarrassed about showing this to you, but don’t we all have trouble spots in our homes? My bread machine was in use on the counter, so that’s why there’s open space on the left side–usually things are falling out when I open the doors!
First, I pulled everything out. I know that some people can take several days to do a project like this, but I am not one of those people. Having all that junk stuff out on my counters and floor is incentive to get things done!
I decided to jazz the pantry up a bit by adding 1/2″ wide ribbon to the front of the shelves. It was on sale at Hobby Lobby, and I just glue-gunned it on so that I can pull it off easily if and when I’m tired of it.
I also ordered chalkboard Contact paper online (click HERE to order it from Amazon through our affiliate program–this is where I got mine). It nearly killed me to have to wait for it to be delivered, and it took forever. I’m an immediate-gratification kind of girl! I put chalkboard contact paper inside the cupboard doors so that I could write menus, grocery lists, or just let the kids doodle. I didn’t want to use chalkboard paint because I wanted to be able to remove everything when the times comes without a lot of fuss. This worked out perfectly, and I had enough left over to put chalkboard labels on my big jars of flour and sugar on the counter and on the smaller jars I bought for the pantry.
I did take a page from some of the awesome pantry reorganizations I’ve seen online (like Shelley’s from House of Smiths–you must look at it–here), and decanted whatever I could into mason jars, baskets, glass bottles, and canisters. The baskets are from TJ Maxx–I already had them–and most of the glass decanters are from Wal-Mart and Marshall’s (any excuse to go to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s–plus they’re usually less than the big-box stores).
Note the obligatory row of San Pellegrino bottles that everyone has to have in their re-organized pantry, I guess because they’re so darned pretty. I actually drink mine–love S. Pellegrino!
I had to take a close-up of my chip rack. Like my wall chalkboard calendar, it is an object of humor (derision? envy?) from my friends, but I love it. Fortunately, this pantry has adjustable shelves, so I was able to remove a shelf to make room for my chip rack. I will confess that I have a second (larger) one down in the cellar, and I use whichever one fits best in whichever house we’re living in. I think I bought them both on Ebay for $20 (with shipping). I’ve seen them at garage sales and flea markets before, but remember, I’m all about immediate gratification, so I had to just buy the sizes that I needed when I saw them!
Here’s the finished product–hope you like it! Oh, I forgot to mention the black and white polka dot paper. That’s just scrapbook paper that I adhered using repositionable Photo Mount, so we can pull it down when we move. The cabinets are all white with black granite countertops, so it might work for the next residents.
I hope you like it!
This pantry was featured on HouseLogic.com and the writer, Lisa Kaplan Gordon, did a tremendous job with the write-up and includes some details that I didn’t think to mention in the above post. So feel free to click through and read about it HERE if you’re interested in more on my pantry!
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