In the first three months of any given year, everyone gets “The Fever” and has organization on the brain. It makes sense, after the excess of the Holidays and all. I’m no different. I’ve been trying to get things back into shape lately. Finding homes for items and making our space more functional makes me feel good.
This weekend I tackled the pantry.
Before you get excited, stop yourself.
I’m sure you’ve see the magazine spread-worthy pantry makeovers floating around Pinterest and Blogland lately. This is NOT going to be one of those makeovers.
I sure do think they’re pretty, but they’re not realistic -- for me, anyway.
Oh, and here’s one thing that may put my “home blogger” card in jeopardy:
I don’t mind wire shelving.
Seriously, it’s true.
Is it my first choice? Nope.
Do I think it’s beautiful? Not really.
But, it works and it’s what we’ve got and I can think of literally 250 things I would rather spend money on than ripping out perfectly functional wire shelving IN A CLOSET and replacing it with wood shelving.
Now, onto the wincing "before":
Well... that's a bit embarrassing. And messy.
Our pantry is basically a closet. It has deep shelves which are simultaneously helpful and irritating.
You can see in the before picture, my biggest problem is that I let the “mess” get out of hand. More than anything, it just needed some organization, and thought about function.
The most irritating thing to me, though, was all the stuff that just kept “collecting” at the bottom. Things that rarely got used (breadmaker, I’m looking at you) or that didn’t have a designated place just kind of got shoved down there. I also kept heavy items like juice and liquor bottles and 2-liters there, because I didn’t want them maiming the [lovely ;)] wire shelving.
To help with the space at the bottom, I grabbed this wooden crate half off at Hobby Lobby.
THANK YOU HOBBY LOBBY FOR LABELING THIS.
Because man, how else would I have figured out that this was, indeed, a “Wood Box?” Jeepers.
So, my first order of business was sanding off that lettering.
Then I just stained the box a weathered grey, added casters to the bottom and all of a sudden the junk-filled spot at the bottom of the pantry had a cute, accessible and functional solution to corral all that extra stuff. And, it gets things off the floor, which I like.
Now that all that extra stuff is out of there, I guess I’d better paint that trim, huh? : )
The rest of the pantry just got an assist from common sense and a few containers to corral things by function.
The large wire baskets are from IKEA and are great for containing things that don't like to stay put on their own (bags of chips, goldfish crackers, bread, etc.) Inside the bottom large basket are two smaller ones where we have fruit bars and granola bars that are on the kids' level for easy access.
The large wire basket up top helps keep together elements for lunches, and "portable" stuff, like plastic flatware and paper plates, straws, napkins and disposable dishes for taking over a meal to a friend or neighbor.
The second shelf down contains elements for dinners and sides - beans, pasta, sauces... and the shelf below that is more baking/cooking ingredients. Flour and Sugar are in my stainless canisters, and other bags of ingredients that I don't use as often (powdered sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips) go in the "baking basket" on the far left.
This pantry isn't glamorous, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.
But, it's giving everything a place and after getting a lot of use lately, it's *still* looking nice and tidy.
And THAT'S mind-blowing. : )