Friday, January 31, 2014

Organize It: The pantry

On to the next spot in the house needing some organization.

I don't remember how we lived without the huge open kitchen and ample pantry area in our first house.  In all honestly we didn't really have less stuff but when we moved and had more room, every nook and cranny was still full.  I'm not sure how it happens, but I bet you all know the feeling.

I blame it on organization.  In the townhouse I tried to keep things very organized since there was so little space.  Things were grouped together, stacked, placed in boxes, etc.  I might have had to move something to get another item but that was the way it would all fit.  When we moved and started deciding how to organize the new place, we spread out a bit more.  The small plates weren't stacked on the large plates which were on top of the serving plates.  There was no longer stacks of 4 glasses but each sitting by themselves in the cabinet.

The pantry for the longest time was the catch all for kitchen items that had no place.  The land of the misfit kitchen items.  It was becoming a problem though.  A problem that needed fixed before it got too out of hand.

Hey you lovely mess!  Don't be fooled by the few organized areas.  Or the fact that I removed some items before I remembered to take a picture.

I pulled everything out and spread it out on the kitchen table and counters.  I started grouping everything together that once put back in would sit in one spot.  We have serving platters, storage containers, pastas, baking supplies, all the extra paper towels we buy in bulk (why do we do this?!), knives, the griddle and foreman.

I could barely fit half of these items in there without warning people to not open the doors.

Don't forget the random s'mores supplies next to the soup and tea bags.

Next step was to think about what we use most often.  What items are just stored in here.  How to I fit the most item into the space.  How can I configure all the boxes to not take up valuable shelf space.

Top shelves

Drink at the top.  We don't drink very often so this doesn't have to be handy.  This is also all the extra that doesn't fit with the liquor and things.  We're hoping to find a wall mount wine rack we can use in the dining room.  We also have a large serving bowl and some gallon drink containers if we're mixing something up.  Hidden to the right is the griddle and foreman.

Next shelf down has a lot of my baking supplies, the cupcake stand which holds various items as well.  We have a large seashell shaped serving bowl (from my wedding shower) that holds all the ready to make pastas (yes, these are a staple in our meals).  Then on the far right is the pasta in Oxo containers and cereal.

I love the organization this bowl of pasta gave us.

Bottom levels

I forgot a picture of the one level that is cut off in the above picture.  It has pancakes mixes, our knife block, soup (which we buy in bulk as well), breakfast bars, oatmeal.

Next is a lot of the storage items we buy in bulk (paper towels, napkins, ziplock bags).  Then cans dressing, other supplies that last longer.  To the right (which you can see below) is all our snack stuff like chips and cookies.

The bottom shelf and the floor house all the party supplies, boxes of serve ware and coolers.

Lookin' good.

The organization of the pantry has definitely made daily life a lot easier.  I know I said most items aren't used frequently, but something in here is used at least daily.  So opening the doors up and knowing exactly where to look is nice.  It's kept up petty well so far (a few days) so we'll see how this set-up works for the long haul.  I'm sure there will be some adjusting.

Do you buy any items in bulk?  Any handy tips on organizing a pantry you'd like to share?

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