1.21.2014

Pantry Organization {Take Two}

Last week I mentioned how I had failed needed to revisit some of the areas I organized in our home last year. One of those lovely areas was our pantry - or should I say, half a cabinet in our kitchen. It was tough to keep everything we needed in such a small area, and if we ever acquired anything larger than a box of Triscuits from the grocery store, we were in trouble.

Here's what it looked like for a few months after I organized it the first time:


Clearly there wasn't a lot of wiggle room in there, and it was soon apparent that the "system" I put in place wasn't working.

The cabinet (and surrounding countertop area) looked like this before I got to working on it over the weekend:



Not terrible, but as you can see, we were storing bags of chips and other snacks on the counter since we had no other room - not ideal. It was time for a change. I somehow needed to increase the size of our pantry without really changing much else in the kitchen.

So I did what I always do when I first start an organization project...EMPTIED EVERYTHING. Then I did some brainstorming and space planning.


{By the way, I cannot tell you how much it bothers me that the cabinets in our rental are yellowy-white while the trim is pure white and the white in the granite is also pure white...could they not have painted the cabinets the same color as the trim? The photo above shows how nicely it clashes, so I thought I'd take a moment to point that out :). }

The wine glasses I kept in the top right of the double cabinet got relocated since we hardly ever use them (we typically use our stemless glasses that live in the secretary-turned-bar). They were taking up prime real estate that I knew would be better utilized as food or other storage for oft-used items. That little change made a huge difference in my organization strategy.

In order to make more room I did some other creative rearranging as well including cleaning out the little double cabinet above the fridge (no photos of that, sorry! It was boring anyway...) and this cabinet to the right...


Out came the mixing bowls, strainers, and other random bowls and containers. Once I was done emptying out, I was left with these gloriously empty cabinets ready to be filled up again.


Meanwhile, all the stuff from those cabinets ended up here:


...and here. Ack.


{Oh hello $6 rug. I heart you.}

After a little strategy session with myself, a little purging and a little consolidating, everything went back onto the shelves. I adjusted the heights of said shelves to better utilize the available space and commandeered one additional shelf for food items in the double cabinet. Also, the mixing bowls, measuring cups and strainers moved from the cabinet to the right to this double cabinet. And look! There's nothing on the counter anymore! Victory.


The pantry shelves have some room to spare now. I can bring groceries home and have somewhere for them to go!



Drinking glasses (along with a couple of other items) did a switcheroo to the cabinet to the right. They're still just as easy to access and are less crowded on these shelves than they were before. 


There's way more breathing room now, and there's even room to grow a little bit. It may not look like Martha Stewart, but hey, function is the key here, right? Here's to hoping this new system works out better than the previous one!

So that's the story of my failure-turned-turned victory in the pantry department.

I hope this is encouraging to y'all and shows you that just because you organize something in your home once, that doesn't mean that it will work perfectly. In fact, sometimes it just doesn't and you have to start over again. I'm ok with that. Organization, just like most things in life, has its ups and downs. You just have to be willing to admit that something isn't working and try again!

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