Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Organizing: The Pantry

Since I recently organized every drawer & cabinet in our kitchen, it was only fair that I made sure the pantry was equally as organized, right?  
Here's what I did in a nutshell:
  • tossed any expired items
  • removed all non-food related items
  • added a shelving organizer on the door (we did this awhile ago actually)
  • attached some wire baskets underneath with zip ties
  • added baskets to organize different food items
  • added glass jars for baking ingredients
  • labeled everything with chalkboard labels

First, I threw out any expired items & removed all those non-food related items like light bulbs, cleaning supplies, & plastic cups.  I organized the remaining items into groups:  cereals, pasta, rice, grains, snacks, coffee, tea, & bread.  

Then I transferred all these groups to their own baskets that I picked up from Garden Ridge:


We also had 2 of those under-the-shelf wire baskets laying around.  I figured we could use them to store onions & potatoes.  Since we don't have actual wood shelves, I added a zip tie to hold the baskets in place on the very bottom shelf:

Shortly after we moved in we added some shelving units to the inside of the door.  (I definitely use the inside of the door to store things all over our house...it's prime real estate, right?)  We store all of our canned goods & miscellaneous items here:

Next, I had to figure out another storage solution for all the baking ingredients.  Years ago I bought one of those 4-piece canister sets - but they didn't work out so well for me.  You can't fit all the flour/sugar into the jars & the opening is not wide enough to fit a measuring cup anyway.  

So for the last few years I have just been storing everything in Ziploc bags.  It was time to upgrade my system.  Glass jars that I picked up from Wal-Mart work so much better.  I keep the flour, sugar, powered sugar, & brown sugar in them:

I also bought some smaller glass jars to hold our baking soda, baking powder, & cornstarch:

I was a little concerned about the brown sugar drying & hardening in the jar.  Then I found out that you can buy these ceramic brown sugar bears that will keep the brown sugar moist (I bought mine @ Bed, Bath, & Beyond).  Just soak it in water for 20 minutes & you're good to go:


The small 'baking' baskets hold all those random items like food coloring, sprinkles, shortening, cupcake liners & extracts (you can also see that I stored cookie cutters in those old glass jars by holiday):

Next, I had to label everything (of course).  I went to Staples & picked up some Martha Stewart Chalkboard Labels.  Since I couldn't stick the labels directly on the baskets, I cut out some scrapbook paper & attached the labels to the paper first.  Then I used Velcro to attach the labels to the baskets:

I even found a sugar packet organizer @ Garden Ridge (eventually I'd like to create a coffee/espresso station in our kitchen):

Here's a Before & After: 
Much better, right?

Now that the pantry is finished, I have to create more storage space in our downstairs coat closet for all those items that I removed....on to the next organization project...

Mel
:)

7 comments:

  1. Your pantry looks great! I never knew about the brown sugar bear. I need to go find one of those.

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  2. Good job it's amazing ! :) Love it !
    Iris from THE MARRIED LIFE
    http://matthewandiris.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Iris! It's been working great for us so far!

      Mel
      :)

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  3. I found you through the iheartorganizing linky party. Just wanted to say that your "after" looks fantastic! So clean and sophisticated! Well done!

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    1. Thank you Tara! Iheartorganizing is one of my favorites!

      That was actually the first time we joined in on a linky party...to be honest, we didn't even know what one was a few months ago! lol!

      Mel
      :)

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  4. Love the look of your pantry!
    Just wondering...the glass jars from Walmart...do they have a rubber seal on the lid? If not, does the lid fit tight enough to keep the flour fresh and bugs out?

    Thanks.

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    1. Hi Jan!

      Thank you! The larger round glass jars do not have a seal on them - the lid literally just sits on top of the jar. We definitely haven't had any issues with bugs. Regarding the freshness...it's hard to say because I don't bake too often - usually just around the holidays. I will have to give an update later on!

      Mel

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