Friday, January 17, 2014

Organized Pantry – Zero Dollars

We recently had 4 snow days in a row due to mostly cold weather, brrr!  So I took advantage of my days at home by doing some organizing.  My pantry was in complete disarray, and we could barely squeeze anything else into it, so that is one thing I tackled.  I see so many perfectly organized and beautifully put together pantries around blog land, and my pantry is not one of those, but it is greatly improved, so I am happy!  This is the finished product.

And this is the before picture.  Look out!  I want to point out the back of the door now.  I chose to hang our ironing board here, because there was  no other door from which to hang it, and I am really attached to my over the door ironing board.  I also have a small dust pan and broom that I hung from a little hook under the ironing board. 


Our pantry is right outside of the kitchen, in the hallway, right at the top of the stairs.  It was actually a coat closet when we moved in.  There was no pantry in this house at all.  The previous owners put their food in the cabinets, but I knew that was not going to work for our family.  We needed a pantry much more than a coat closet, so I bought a pantry shelf kit from Home Depot,and my dad came over and installed it for us.  There is a huge storage room in the back of our garage, and we purchased a portable closet to keep our coats in, and it has worked out just fine, since we enter and leave through the garage. 

So let’s talk about my organized pantry!  The first thing I did was to empty it out and throw away everything that I needed to get rid of.  It ended up being an entire black trash bag full!  After that, I put everything back together, shelf by shelf.  I used some place mats that I had lying in a drawer and placed them on some of the shelves to contain the cans and bottles.  I also used two different sets of old canisters that I was no longer using in my kitchen.  I used them to house things like flour, baking soda, cocoa, etc.  And I labeled them all with chalkboard labels.  They weren’t labeled before and I had no idea what was in each one of them.  The things on the top shelf are bottled things, and things I use for baking. 



The next shelf down contains cereals and breakfast foods, protein powder and hot drink products.  I have been using these Tupperware containers for cereal for years. 


The next shelf down is where I keep the canned food, Nutella and peanut butter.  The two black storage bins are not ideal.  I am planning to replace them with some type of clear bins, but they work for now.  One contains pasta and rice, and the other one contains boxed foods.  The bottom shelf contains vitamins and snack foods and supplies I use when I iron.  I purchased the white bins from Amazon back when we first moved into the house.  I would love to have two more of them.  The black basket right next to the white bins was a container from a gift basket we received.  It is actually cute flannel and leather.  It works to hold smaller snack food like protein bars and small bags of chips.  To the far left is a plastic box that holds the vitamins and ironing supplies. 


I made the small box to the far left on the shelf in the picture below by cutting a cereal box and wrapping it with some wrapping paper.  It contains small packets of things.   


On the floor, I have a large basket that contains plastic lids and extra paper towels.  On the wall right above that is a dispenser for plastic shopping bags.  I also made a dispenser for larger plastic shopping bags.  I use them in my son’s tall trash can.  To make it, I used an old Oatmeal canister, wrapped it in wrapping paper, cut a little slit in the plastic lid, and traced the word bag on it using stencils and a red sharpie.  Not fancy at all, but it did the trick.  Other things on the floor are Borax, white vinegar and baking soda that I use to make home made cleaning supplies, the blender, extra napkins, the iron and reusable shopping bags. 


Like I said before, this pantry is not fancy at all.  It does not have any matching, color coordinated containers.  I did not want to go out and spend money on these things.  In my opinion, if it is nice and neatly organized, you don’t NEED all of those frills.  Would I love to have a fancy pantry?  Sure, if I had the extra money I would love that!  But at this time, I chose to organize my pantry using what I already had, and it cost me zero dollars.  That is the perfect price for me!  Especially since we are having a major plumbing issue right now that is going to cost $1000 to fix.  But that is for another post.  Trust me I will share about that in an upcoming post. 

I think my pantry looks just fine, and so much better than it did before the big purge.  And most importantly, I know where everything is, and everyone else can now easily find the things they are looking for as well.  I am just glad that we managed a way to even have a pantry where there once was none! Have a great weekend!

Link Parties:

Sunday Showcase
DIY Showoff
Between Naps on the Porch
Monday Funday
The Dedicated House
Give me the Goods
The DIYers
Home Stories A to Z
Project Inspired
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Coastal Charm
Cozy Little House
The View From 510
A Stroll Through Life
Savvy Southern Style
I Heart Organizing