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Home Organization – Part 1 - Pantry Obsession

Updated: Mar 31, 2021


An organized pantry is as much a necessity in our home as our morning coffee! Without it, we are in complete disarray! We fall into the trap of this space becoming a catch-all for all the items used for the day from other spaces in the home that never found their way back to their own designated space. Kind of like your junk drawers through-out your home, but only bigger and more unruly! If you have a fair amount of pantry space, this could get very overwhelming quickly!



I am a believer in revolving and easily altered spaces to fit your needs at various times. With our homes now functioning as home offices, virtual school learning spaces, and our beacon for entertainment, now and more than ever, organization is a key ingredient to reducing the stress of this already different time. As the needs of your household change, you may find yourself taking non-used appliances out to the garage and adding in a crafting/game station to your pantry, so you or hubs can have fewer Zoom call interruptions with children seeking to find their game or Playdoh choice of the hour. Zoom call interruptions may be the new norm, but perhaps one less interruption while you are making a sales pitch might be desirable!

Ok, let us handle some pantry business now. How do we tackle this space and get organized for the project first?

 

Project Preparation:

  1. Determine what are the functions of this space? Pantry only? Multi-tasking location?

  2. What are the measurements of the space and shelving?

  3. What type of storage solutions are needed? Do you want to re-design the space with new shelving/storage units? Do you just need to add baskets, bins, canisters (flour, sugar, etc.), can storage, spice storage, etc. to the existing shelving? Is there room under the shelving to use as additional storage space and what type of storage solutions do you want to use? Is there wasted space perhaps between shelving or above top shelving you can maximize?

  4. Do you want your storage solutions to be aesthetically pleasing, easy to wipe/care for, product visible for easy identification, can the solution hold the weight of the items, and can it be easily accessed from its proposed storage location, etc.? These are things to think about as you select your solutions for each category of product.

  5. How much of each item that needs to be stored do you have (appliances, baking goods, cans, cooking, paper products, snacks, water, etc.)? An inventory is key! You do not want too many stragglers throwing off your newly beautified and organized space!

  6. How many baskets, bins, canisters, or storage solutions do you need per item to be stored in #5 above? Do the measurements of these baskets, bins, etc. fit properly in their desired location?

  7. Do you want your storage solutions labeled? If so, order labels in step 10.

  8. Do you need to line your shelving? If so, order some liner in step 10. I prefer the self-grip, non-adhesive type, but the choice is yours. I like to be able to easily remove my liners and increase the probability of items staying put in the event of an earthquake or just my crazy kids messing around and knocking into things!

  9. Draw out, map out, or write out your plan. I suggest having some alternative ideas written down and starting by creating zones (baking, cooking, snacks, etc.).

  10. Order your product accordingly. I prefer to have options, so I always order extra or some alternative solutions, so I can complete the project during the planned day and get the most favorable result! I am 100% okay with making returns!


A few side notes:


I am not a canister crazy person due to the pace of our lifestyle. You may be though! For our pantry, I only use canisters for baking goods, flour, sugar, and maybe a few odds and ends. Re-cleaning and re-filling canisters every time the cereal or crackers run out is not how I choose to spend time. I do however discard packaging for granola bars and pre-packaged items like kids snacks (fruit snacks) and place them in their designated snack baskets/bins. You really need to determine how much time you have weekly for re-stocking and what your ultimate goals are.


Spices can be overwhelming. You should organize them with how your brain works. Do you prefer to organize them by use (baking, cooking, etc.), do you want them alphabetized, do you want them organized by use, by size, by brand? There are lots of options here. For me, I put the most used upfront and alphabetize from there. I also tend to have the same bottle sizes/heights together. We also have our spices stored in a kitchen cabinet right next to the stovetop for ease of access while cooking. Only overstock spices are stored in the pantry.

Let us talk about overstock. Overstocks are those items you have extra of. I always have an extra pack of toilet paper (especially these days…Ha Ha) and snacks for the kiddos. I keep most of my overstock on the top shelf and in hyacinth bins on the floor. I leave the main storage areas/shelving for the items that are used daily and require access.



It is finally time to get ‘er done! You have done the legwork, your product has arrived, and now it is time to get down and dirty! Roll-up your sleeves, take a deep breath, eat a quick snack, and get your beverage re-filled!



 

Project Completion:

  1. IT ALL HAS TO COME OUT! I know, I know, I am not your favorite person right now. Sorry! You will thank me in the end. Do not expect to see your kitchen counters or floors for a few hours. Ha Ha.

  2. If you have existing shelving, give it a nice scrub. This is the time. Do not forget about giving the baseboards, door, floor, walls, etc. a nice wipe too! If you are installing cabinetry/shelving remove all construction/packaging debris, etc. after install.

  3. Line your shelving if this is part of your plan.

  4. Do a mock storage solution install of your baskets, bins, canisters, spice racks, etc. to ensure your plan works and you have ample space. I do not remove product tags until I start filling the item and am positive, I made the best choice.

  5. Everything needs to get categorized. Take the time to sort all the products by how you will be storing them (by zones).

  6. Do an expiration date, donation, and toss check. This is your time to pare down, store what is truly needed, and maximize your space. If you have items that have found their way into the pantry and are best suited elsewhere (garage, kitchen cabinetry, laundry, etc.), relocate them now.

  7. Fill your storage solutions with your product. Just know, you may get things filled and need to adjust locations. You may not like the height of an item when filled with product next to another item, etc. or you may find something that would be more functional in a different zone (baking, cooking, snacks, etc.).

  8. Step back and look at your space and how you have zoned your items. Does the space work? Does anything need to be moved? Is the space easily manageable? Does anything else need to be added?

  9. Is the space aesthetically pleasing? This may not be one of your priorities and function may be the sole goal, but just by having an organized space, you have given yourself several bonus points already! I need function and some form of beauty…LOL. I use various colors, textures, and sizes in this space. Some of my favorites are hyacinth baskets/bins, acrylic bins/spice racks, and wire baskets/can storage (comes in various colors). I find the variations make for a more interesting space. I also like to add little decorative accents to add color and interest (small sayings, art, a small fake plant or two in a hyacinth basket, a non-slip rug, etc.). While this is not the main living space, who says it cannot be beautiful?

  10. Label your baskets, bins, zones, etc. if desired.

  11. Stand back, pat yourself on the back, or go ask your hubby/partner/bestie ten times how they like the space if need be! Hey…we all need a little affirmation of a job well done now and then!

  12. Time to re-fill your glass and perhaps this time with wine! You earned it!

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Blessings!


Tia

 

A few pictures:

Above: This is our pantry and we are blessed to have so much room! It is funny how the children are found sneaking in the pantry much more often these days with all their goodies so organized and visible.


Middle: We are not gourmet cooks in our house, but we certainly love to eat! Spices are stored outside of the pantry in an upper cabinet next to our stovetop.

Bottom: This is a nice-sized apartment pantry. Our client did not wish to add more shelving due to it being a rental but did decide to add a portable cube storage unit, shelving risers, and door storage that will most likely be left behind for the next lucky tenants. It is astonishing how much more we got into this space with just a few space maximization solutions. Of course, we beautified the space as well with some fun sayings, a rug, and some greenery for a small pop of color.



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