I’ve always admired an organized pantry. You know, the ones you see on Pinterest or HGTV with the matching food storage containers and pretty labeled baskets. In the back of my mind, I know it isn’t necessary to have matching storage for a pantry to be organized, but I couldn’t control my inner freak when I was on maternity leave. Because I was spending much more time at home, all the shortcomings of our kitchen/pantry started screaming organize me!
During those late nights with Little Control Freak the 2nd, I would browse Pinterest when I couldn’t fall back to sleep. That’s when I discovered this awesome Pinspiration.
Reading Abby Lawson’s post, I discovered that she purchased her containers at IKEA, super cheap! $3.99 and $2.99 a piece! That’s a steal in the container world. So I set out on a new project to maximize my pantry storage also in hopes of making more counter space in the kitchen. Thanks Just a Girl and Her Blog!
To begin, as with any organization project, it’s best to start with a clean slate. Chaos clearing commenced.
One of my pantry pet peeves, really with any closet, is the wasted space above the top shelf. I wasn’t able to address that in this reorg, but will likely add a shelf for items that are not frequently used in the future. In the mean time to maximize that tall space I solved one of my other peeves, the cookie sheet chaos. My under oven storage drawer only holds about 3 sheets with a broiler pan so everything else needs a home. I was tired of them sliding all over the shelf so I pulled out an unused vintage wooden box and placed my bakeware inside and upright on the shelf. Frequent flyers remained under the oven.
Next I filled my new IKEA containers (after washing them) with my baking supplies. I got out my favorite tool, the label maker, and added the item name with expiration date to each container. Notice my helper found the straws during the process.
I discovered that the containers didn’t sit great on wired shelving. The easy solution was plexi to create a fully flat surface. I purchased this online at Home Depot along with a plexi cutter so I could customize the sheet size.
Dog food was occupying two spaces in the pantry. The smaller canister (nicely warped from a dishwasher mishap) for daily servings and the larger Tupperware to store the bulk food. One container now to take up less space. The lid comes off super easy (almost too easy), but it allows Little Control Freak to help feed the dog. Great lesson in responsibility and something she loves, parenting and organizing win!
Potatoes and onions were removed from a counter basket to these stacking baskets in the pantry (already owned), note someone is still into the straws.
I’ve been tired of my block of knives serving more as a dust collector. Not to mention all the miscellaneous knives crowding our servingware drawer. This isn’t a perfect fix and there are better knife holders out there, but it was cheap and effective. Off the counter and all knives into a designated knife drawer. Still debatable if we even need all these knives.
For remaining items on the kitchen counter, I purchased a galvanized metal 3-tiered stand from Pottery Barn, on sale of course. It’s decorative and functional, exactly what I was looking for on our island. The real bonus, if I need to move it I can easily pick it up and all the stuff in one fell swoop.
I also purchased a ratchet paper towel holder to hang under the cabinets. Not only for ease of access but to clear some more space. On the counter, I felt like it was always in the way or falling over.
Potty prize pom pom jars are also away now that we are potty trained! Wooooo!
You’ll see it all below in the after photos (excuse my crappy photography)
Crowded Kitchen and Pantry Before
It’s certainly not perfect, but much better on a small budget, plus hubs thinks the kitchen looks more spacious! We also max out the use of baskets to wrangle small items. Items that don’t get used to often are hung on 3M hooks on the side pantry walls (bibs, extra pot holders, aprons).