Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pantry Clean Up

I have a list of nagging projects around the house, and I accomplished one over the weekend: Pantry Overhaul.

When we moved in almost 2 years ago, our first project was installing shelves in this closet/storage area under the stairs, off the kitchen. I wanted a pantry. So, narrow as it is, it's now a pantry.

But it was stuffed. And often we can't find things or don't rediscover something until it's long expired. Such is the life of a black-hole pantry.

I read an article recently about organizing (from Get Organized Now!). The article talked about excuses for not organizing, and one excuse was that it's too expensive. I totally related to that excuse when it came to my pantry. Each time I thought about redoing the space, I wandered from the basics and had a full list of lovely ideas for the space.....take down the shelves, paint, rehang shelves, fill with lovely wicker baskets with cute little label ties to identify the contents....and then I'd think "I don't want to spend that kind of money," and the project went back to the end of the pile.

But I decided the thing just needed to get cleaned and organized, and I needed to do it for no money. It's just the pantry, for crying out loud!

So, here's sort of the before shot. Forgot to take the pic before I started pulling out all the contents. Trust me, it was stuffed:

I bought a few plastic bins when I first added the shelves, so I did go back to the store to find more. Fortunately, they still had the same version. I spent $20 more on those bins, even though this was supposed to be a $0 project.

And here's the pantry after:

Room to spare! I don't know that it looks that much better to you, but I can already tell that it was a success. It's much easier to find things. I'm glad I waited to do this project, because I've definitely learned what I need to get to easily, what was hardest to find, etc.

I did label everything, even though Eyeball said, "can't we just see where things are supposed to go?" Right. But it will be helpful for spices, which I divided into 3 bins by alphabet.

OK, so one day I'd like to make the wire shelves more attractive (can't find the pics but I saw how someone covered the wire shelves in melamine and added a fabric border so it looked like more substantial shelving); have pretty baskets and tags; and paint the walls and bookcase to match. Someday. But until then, I have a functional space that makes me happy.

Do any of you have ideas on making wire shelving work hard for you? Feel free to leave comments with your ideas or links!

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