Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pantry Re-organization

About a month ago, I sent Girl 2 into the pantry to retrieve something for me.  A few minutes later I hear, "Mom!  I found it, but I can't get out!"  Sure enough, she was able to climb over all the canned goods stacked in the floor in order to get in, but once her hands were full, she couldn't get out.  I rescued her and then moved some of the stuff from the floor into the guest room -- definitely a temporary fix.

We're actually blessed to have a very large pantry (like it? It can be yours!  The house is for sale, you know!).  However, with all the canned goods and homesteading cookware, it's managed to spill over into the kitchen, guest room, and guest room closet.  It was time for a reorganization.

Before pics:

As with any re-organization project, it's best to start by determining what you want out of the space.

 For me, I wanted . . .
1.  to be able to find things easily
2. to showcase all the beautiful jars of food I'd slaved over all summer
3. for my children not to get stuck when they venture in

Guest room floor

Step 2 is to empty out the space.  Resist the temptation to clear only one shelf at a time, clean it, and place back the items you plan to keep.  You won't be able to completely re-invent the way the space works, unless you can see it empty and get a good look at what all needs to go back in.

It's during this emptying out phase that you need to ask yourself the hard questions.  For example, why did I think it was a good idea to keep the paper shredder in the pantry?  Or, is it necessary that this be the location where I collect the newspapers for recycling?

As I mapped out my new layout plan, I kept a few things in mind:
1.  What items do I want the kids to be able to access easily?  Goldfish.  Nutella.  Cereal.  Popcorn.
2.  What items do I not need/want the kids to access easily?  Baking items.  Chocolate.  Glass jars.
3.  What items ought to be stored together?  

After pics:

Drawer units store less frequently-used/not-easily-stackable items.  

Canned goods are visible and adult-accessible.

Baskets corral similar items and keep them organized.

Bottom right: snacks are easily accessible.  
Potatoes no longer have to reside in the dining room.

Top left:  canisters made from recycled grapefruit containers store staples like rice and sugars
Top right:  herbs in large quantities are stored in a tray on a high shelf for when the small jars (stored in the kitchen) need to be refilled
Bottom left:  beautiful, beautiful jars!
Bottom right:  frequently used baking goods are stored in a basket together that can be easily carried to the kitchen 

I can't wait for Girl 2 to get home and see that surviving the obstacle course is not a pre-req for after-school snack time today.  

Not a bad way to spend a rainy day!

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