Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pantry Organization

UPDATE: Click here to see how we freshened this pantry up a little more!

Isn't that pretty?  My mom described my pantry as "very mercantile."  I like that.

Mike and I have been debating what, if anything, we'll do to our kitchen in the coming months.  We're probably going to end up renting out our house and buying something a tad bigger in the next year or so, and how much of a return (financial or otherwise) we'll get from a kitchen update is very much on our minds.  I was putting off some badly needed reorganization until we solve that puzzle.  Then I stumbled onto some inspiration.

My before is below.  Don't judge.

Like pretty much every home project I take on these days, this one had to be done in small chunks over the course of a couple of months.  

I was this close to going to Walmart for the first time in probably a decade to buy the $6 glass jars in the inspiration pantry (that is an insanely good price for jars of that size), but I saw online that they're not airtight.  Deal-breaker.  I bought all six jars at my beloved Target.  Having been awarded a field trip grant to an art museum from them this year, I'm beyond happy to remain loyal.

For the canister's chalkboard labels, I first considered spray-painting mailing labels with chalkboard paint, a tip I stumbled onto on another blog, but chalkboard Contact paper is what really got my attention.  One of the few stores known to carry that product is Kmart, so I stopped there on the way home from picking up the kids one afternoon.  They didn't have the Contact paper, but on the home improvement section's clearance rack I found these, originally $19.99 each, marked down to $5:

They're vinyl chalkboard wall decals. While I freely admit to having shown Michael and Sophie The Little Mermaid  and Cinderella, I'm far from fully embracing Disney decor or princess culture just yet.  These decals are removable, washable, and entirely cut-able (the package didn't say that last part), so at $5 each, I had at 'em with my curvy-edged scissors.  No need to worry; the princesses and cars themselves are safe and ready to adorn something or other down the road.


In addition to the glass jars with labels, I also loved the lazy susans in the corner of the inspiration pantry.  Hers were custom made, but I bought mine at Ikea--one for baking supplies, one for cooking.  I also wanted two bins for that center space--one for produce, one for bread.  I found the baskets at Michael's during a 40% off sale this past weekend, the final detail of the project.

Below are a couple more "after" photos.

 Between the planning/shopping and implementation phases of the pantry organization was the pull-everything-out-of-the-all-the-kitchen-cupboards phase.  It was then that I determined our need for toddler snack storage.


Again, don't judge.  Part of me would rather reveal the state of my post-twins abdomen than these sadly abused cupboards.

Our snack canisters are also from Target.  

Don't ask me why I bought three tall ones and one short one.  I'm certain there was a plan behind that decision, but now two tall ones and two short ones seems like a better solution.  Oh, well.

The canisters are hard (BPA free, of course) plastic, and the easy to grasp sides make them perfect for the high cabinet.  The tops flip up and closed for pouring or reaching in.  We've been happy with those and the much more functional and aesthetically pleasing organization.

Next on the to-do list (well, sort of) is work on mastering auto-focus!  Some of these photos are awful.  Sorry, folks.

UPDATE:  Since this post I have learned that Blogger is sort of notorious for making your pictures blurry.  Using a photo hosting website like Flickr and linking with those URLs rather than uploading right to the blog is a good fix, and I've been doing that since the fall of 2012.  I wish I could wiggle my nose and fix the photos in all these old posts!

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