Operation {Re}Organization: Pantry Makeover "After"

Hooray! The pantry is done!

After showing you the inspiration, and the before and "progress" photos, I finally had a chance to put everything back in its place this weekend and have some results to show you.

To jog your memory, here's what the cabinet portion of our pantry looked like before I got my organization-happy hands on it:

{cramming stuff into tight spaces became an art form here}

Here's what it looks like now:

And here's the other part of our pantry before, stuffed to the gills:

Now, all categorized and ordered:

Better Homes and Gardens may not be busting down my door to do a photo spread, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. The point of this project was not to create a dramatic reveal, but to make sure there was a place for everything, and everything in its place. To create a system that works for us. I think I achieved that. 

And, bonus(!), I spent a total of $0 on this project. 

Ready for some details? 

First, as you saw last week, I took everything out of the two spaces I wanted to organize. I threw out old or expired food, and took inventory of what we had. For example, it turns out I have four different kinds of rice and at least five varieties of pasta. Because they were stored in different areas of the kitchen, I had no idea, and over-bought at the grocery store. Not only does this mean I spent more money than I needed to, but this extra inventory takes up precious storage space unnecessarily!

Then I gathered the containers I wanted to use for items I wanted to take out of the original packaging. For me, it made the most sense to decant pasta, rice, crackers and extra Splenda packets into refillable containers. This makes it easy to see when I am running out of these staples, and I can make a mental note to either refill them from our extra inventory or buy more from the store. These containers now live on the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet:

I know we can all read the labels (more details in this post!), but I wanted to mention a few details about the containers. Since I tried to avoid spending moolah on this project, I used what I already had (thus, the mismatched containers). The rice on the left resides in three OXO Pop Up containers. Pasta is in the middle and lives in two glass containers. (They're so old I can't remember where they came from, but I've seen similar ones at The Container Store.) Crackers, extra Splenda packets, and oatmeal live on the right in three IKEA Pruta containers. Those Pruta containers cost $5 for a set of 17 - just in case you're looking for a low-cost set of containers. They're not the most durable, or the prettiest to look at, but man, they're super functional.

The contents of the other shelves are self-explanatory, but I did want to mention one thing about corralling smaller items. 

Allow me to demonstrate using the bottom shelf of the cabinet. See the two asterisks at the bottom?

In order to keep track of smaller snacky items, I used a small clear container (left asterisk) and a shoebox (right asterisk) to corral things like fruit snacks, popcorn, dried cranberries and trail mix. The clear container works well for fruit snacks because I never knew how many we had left when they lived in their original packaging. This shoebox was perfect because it didn't take up a lot of room, but keeps small snack items all in one place. It's easy to pull out the box and grab the dried cranberries now, for instance, whereas before, I always had to dig around and pull out other things to get to them.

Ok, time to change locations to the other food storage area. Here it is again so you don't have to scroll back up to see:

This space houses all of our extra inventory, paper products, and my baking basket. Now if we're out of something, I can simply and quickly look here to see if we have what I need, or if I need to replenish at the store. When I'm ready to bake, I just take the whole basket out of here to put on the counter for easy access. The basket is an ancient letter tray that was my grandparents', by the way. 

I'm so glad to be finished with this project. It may not look quite like the inspiration photos I showed you last week ;), but it's totally practical. Sometimes I think we, as bloggers (yes, I'm making a gross generalization - please don't get mad at me), feel like we have to have this jaw-dropping, dramatic, and perfectly-styled before and after - or it's not worth showing our readers. This reorganization project goes to show that although that's nice (and heck, I thoroughly enjoy those kind of reveals!), it's really about doing something that works for you and your family. If it's pretty but not functional, what's the point? If it's functional and pretty - yay! That's the best combination. For this project, the labels I added are my little bit of "pretty" for this project. I'll be sure to give more details on those tomorrow.  (*Update: follow this link for label details!)

So, with "keeping it real" in mind, here's a final set of before and after shots, because I know we all love those. :)

Kitchen cabinet...

 ...And "extra inventory" cabinet...

Have a great Monday, y'all!

This post is a part of the series "Operation {Re}Organization." To see other posts in the series, click the tab at the top of the page.

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  1. looks great! glad to know you eat teddy grahams too...

    1. Ha! Yep, those chocolate ones are gooood. And I love fruit snacks...how old am I? 5? Glad to hear from you today :)!

  2. Looks great! I am so impressed you did this for $0.00! Maybe I will try my pantry next weekend...scary...

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! The hardest part about these projects is just getting started. After that, it's actually kind of fun. (And then you can give yourself a big pat on the back for making it happen!)

  3. Found you through the iheartorganizing linky party. Your organization looks fantastic! Good for you for keeping it to $0 dollars! I'm a big fan of free! :)

    1. Thanks for coming over! I love Jen's link up parties :). I'm a big fan of free too!

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