Duo Ventures

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.  

Next, I transferred all these groups to their own baskets that I picked up from Garden Ridge (currently At Home Store):


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.  I couldn't fit all the flour/sugar into the jars & the opening were not wide enough to fit a measuring cup anyway.

So, for the last few years I have just been storing everything in Ziploc bags (which works just fine btw).  However, I wanted something prettier (a la Ina Garten's kitchen), so I picked up some glass jars to store our flour, sugar, powered sugar, & brown sugar:

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:


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:

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...

Here's a more updated shot of our pantry:

18 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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    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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  5. Our pantry's are identical! Looks great! Thanks for the Sugar Bear TIp! Happy New Year! - Kayla http://www.sheekndivine.blogspot.com

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  6. Love your pantry. I hope that eventually mine will look like this. GREAT JOB............

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    1. Thank you so much! Happy to say that it looks about the same 2 years later - we've made some tweaks to the pantry, but it has stayed organized :)

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  7. Does the Brown Sugar Bear work? Like for a few months? I saw on Pinterest that putting marshmallows in your brown sugar would keep it soft. It *helped* but did not solve the problem. It just stayed soft slightly longer, but not long enough.

    And for anyone who doesn't know, if you need brown sugar that has gotten too solid. You can microwave it (I would try for 10 second intervals) to make it soft again. Don't microwave the same brown sugar too many times without using it though because then it gets burned and crispy and doesn't taste good anymore.

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    1. Hey Lauren!

      To be honest, I couldn't tell you exactly how long it lasts, but it's definitely more of a short term fix. I think if you bake regularly, the bear would be a good solution. Since I only really use brown sugar a couple of times a year, I end up having to re-soak the bear. Since I wrote this post, I've gone back to storing brown sugar in a Ziploc bag & only keeping it in the jar during the holidays. The microwave option is a good tip though!

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    2. I store my brown sugar in a tupperware small canister and I have never had any problems with it drying out.

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  8. Good to know! Thank you so much!! :)

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  9. Silly question but, how deep are your shelves?

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    1. The shelves are just under 16" deep. :)

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  10. Hello! Can you tell me the sizes of the glass canisters?

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    1. Hi there! The sugar & flour are in 1 gallon jars, the brown & powdered sugar are in 1/2 gallon jars, & the baking soda is in a 20oz jar. :)

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