Sweet mercy what the heck is going on inside that little closet?
This was my pantry last week and maybe my most embarrassing picture ever. Over the next couple of months you may see more pictures like this from me. I am starting to notice that as our lives get busier our house gets junkier and if you know me then you know that this is driving me crazy. I am not necessarily a neat freak but I am an everything in it’s place freak. That basically means that I don’t need to mop my baseboards on a weekly basis but I do need to be able to find what I am looking for when I am looking for it.
I have started pinning and reading lots of organization blogs and they all suggest the same thing, do little projects at a time. I decided that I would take their advice and I will be honest it is working. During Aubrey’s lunch time I usually get a good solid hour to clean or do whatever else it is I need to do, sit that kid down in front of Veggie Tales with a plate of pineapples and nuggets and she completely zones out. I am utilizing this time to get my house in order.
We were planning to make a grocery store trip so I decided that our pantry needed some serious attention before I brought anymore food into the house. I considered heading out to the container store to buy lots of storage products but those things ARE EXPENSIVE. I searched the house and gathered up empty baskets, plastic containers and anything else that looked like it could work. I was able to completely organize my pantry without spending 1 shiny little dime, that means it was FREE BABY!!!
This is how I did it:
1: I pulled every single thing out of my pantry.
2: Then I put like items together. Boxed food, canned foods, bottles, cereals, snacks, etc.
3: Now I have a good idea of how my family eats and I discovered we eat lots of fresh veggies and frozen foods. This is a good thing for pantry organization because I get a little more room than most.
4: I divided up the shelves and dedicated them to one of the groups above.
I decided that the top shelf would be for storage type items. In the basket I have trash bags, ziploc, paper plates, etc. Beside that is the sugar, yeah that’s a lot of sugar but my husband drinks about a gallon of sweet tea a day! Beside the sugar I placed the lunchboxes, cookie cutters, etc. In the far left corner you can see my fire extinguisher, we practice safety here!!
On Shelf 2 I have my cans, microwaveable meals, and bottles. The little shelf is something I had already. I think I purchased it at walmart about a year ago. The little basket in the corner is where I put all my breads, buns, muffins, etc.
Shelf 3 is where I have my boxed products. You will notice that I took the boxes and laid them flat on their back as opposed to side out. When I was putting them back I noticed that when I placed them side out they took up lots and lots of room. By placing them on there back I can see the top and I can stack them high. I took an old shoebox and created a little shelf so that I could double stack them. Right beside the boxes I took some tupperware that I had already and stored marshmallows, goldfish, pretzels, etc. Right beside the containers I have a little brown basket. I purchased these months ago for storage in Aubrey’s closet. These baskets were only $2 at Big Lots and I bought up a bunch knowing I could use them anywhere. Inside the basket I put our oatmeal and grits packets, yes I said grits . . . we are in the south remember. Beside the brown basket I have our cereal, pancake mix and other large boxes. The little basket hanging in front, that was in my laundry room before I redecorated it. I use that to store my seasoning packets, jello, etc.
On the fourth shelf I have 3 baskets. The first basket is where I put the chips or I should say the Doritos, that is pretty much what the husband and the kid love! In the middle basket I took all the fruit snacks, granola bars, individually wrapped snacks and threw them in the basket. This shelf is perfect height for Aubrey and now she can go in and grab a snack when she wants one. In the last basket I lined the bottom with a plastic bag and I put my potatoes in there. After grocery shopping I may divide it up and use it to store potatoes, fruits, etc. I think I can just put a little cardboard “wall” inside it to create dividers. This will make the basket easy to change and more functional.
On the bottom shelf I placed a plastic storage drawer and put all our plastic bags in there. We have a lot of plastic bags and we are now a reusable grocery bag family, yay for saving the environment. To the left we put our brown bags and to the right I put juices, wine (mama juice), and extra juice boxes.
That leaves the floor absolutely empty and this woman very happy!
Who knew you could find this much happiness in an hour!