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Pantry Organization

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I will start by admitting that I lurk over here but haven't posted in this particular area of MDC. So Hi!  I am a mommy to a soon to be 10 month old baby girl, wife, part time social worker, with 4 cats and a dog.  Which is essentially my excuse for the disaster for the mess I am about to post on the internet blush.gif  I thrive on organization so the fact that I am living like this right now eats away at me. I live in about 1200sq ft of finished space. We also have a full unfinished basement that I am not utilizing for food items beyond the deep freezer.  My kitchen is smallish but I have some decent cupboard space, mostly used for dishes and a few small appliances, cutting boards, and linens. Our home is only 5 years old.

 

I am in dire need of reorganizing my pantry.  It is a wasted space and I need to do a major overhaul and figure out what to do without costing much money.  My current arrangement: 

Pantry Closet


I would think it is 3 feet wide.  My main issue is that the house came with these 3 wire shelves.  They are too far apart so things have to be stacked. The bottom third of the closet is open space (currently pet food and those drawers hold pet items). My 'organization' is top shelf baking, middle: cereals, snacks, sauces and oils.  Bottom shelf: canned and grains.  I participate in a local coop and have been buying more bulk which is causing some major overflow.  Also, my baby is now eating solids and table foods so I have more stuff on hand for her.  The paper bag on the floor holds potatoes and onions. 

 

So all you organizers out there...what should I do?  I need a major change.  I have a whole other closet in the mud room off from the kitchen that can be utilized for the pet stuff. I have through about finding a way to utlitize it for the overflow of bulk when I buy sale items and end up with multiple bags of tortilla chips for example.   Right now it is a disaster and I will shamefully post a pic so you see the other space I have to work with...Honestly there are things up there that I should purge...

 

mud room closet

 

It is probably 6 feet wide, again just the 3 wire shelves.  This pic is the top 2/3.  Right now holds a lot of various items, bottom part has the vacuum, broom/mop and our 2 drawer filing cabinet.

 

My first idea is that I need to either remove the wire shelves or put wooden shelves between them to create more surface area..but also leave a shelve (or this whole second closet as is) for tall items.  My dream would be to afford a custom closet look with nice clear containers to put my bulk items (flour, sugar, pasta, dry beans, nuts, etc) in.  Money is tight though as we just had to replace our front door and now have to replace the flooring due to mold from the leaky door and DH's car died this week. When it rains it pours. 

 

Help please! I would love to see pics for inspiration. 

TIA

post #2 of 9

A great source of pics for inspiration is here at Apartment Therapy, they just had a Fall Kitchen Cure.

post #3 of 9

Can you put a shelf in your unfinished basement for the foods you stock up on? I would put overflow foods down there, and maybe keep a list on the upstairs pantry door (on the inside) of your downstairs inventory so you remember it.  I would also try moving those shelves so they're not so tall, but I know what a huge pain that will be.  

 

Something like this could help with cans. 

post #4 of 9

this is a good source for inspiration and tips

http://www.theperfectpantry.com/other_peoples_pantries/index.html 

 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the links. I am looking through all the pics for some inspiration.  It seems so overwhelming I don't even know where to start!!  I really liked the kitchen cure project, clutterwarrior.  I am planning to take everything out of both of these closets as well as some of my kitchen cabinets/drawers and see how I can reuse each space.  My DH is going to add shelves in between the wire ones and make the shelving in my pantry extend to the floor. 

 

I saw a picture of a kitchen that someone used canning jars to store dry goods and I am going to use that idea.  I have a bunch of canning jars and washed out food jars with mouths the same size as a canning jar.  I bought some plastic lids that I can use to close them.  This will hold some of my pasta, beans, nuts, and such.  I think clear containers look nice on a shelf and make it easy to find what you need.  Now I need to find inexpensive options to organize each shelf. I think I will also get a rack to hang on the back of the closet door for small items.

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEcatlady17 View Post

I saw a picture of a kitchen that someone used canning jars to store dry goods and I am going to use that idea.  I have a bunch of canning jars and washed out food jars with mouths the same size as a canning jar. 

 

I use canning jars for storage - spices purchased in bulk, baking soda, etc.  For beans and rice the jars seemed too small and I needed to use too many jars.  I purchased big jars at a big box store but the lids were horrible.  Then, while cleaning my attic I discovered a box of large 2Qt canning jars that belonged to my parents.  They have wide-mouths so my canning lids fit fine.  If you can find these, they work great for beans, rice, chocolate chips, etc.  Because I buy in large quantities, I keep extra flour, rice, coffee, etc. in the fridge or freezer. 

 

I try to keep my pantry neat but find I need to re-organize once a month when I pick up my co-op order.  I try not to keep much overflow in the basement because for me 'out of sight, out of mind'.  I have really deep shelves in my pantry so I can line up cans and boxes deeply, like a store.  I also stack cans three high and often stack boxes.

post #7 of 9

A blog that has inspired me to get my pantry (and the rest of the house for that matter) in gear is http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

post #8 of 9

I think I've got a problem.. I look at the pictures and just want to dive in and organize it all.. LOL :)

 

I don't dig the big bins in your second photo. It just doesn't allow you to "SEE" what you've got and things probably get forgotten. I would go to homedepot and get a small shelf that will screw into your door, gives you extra space for all of the little things like the apple sauce cups. Also, do you have a garage? What about getting a closet with doors for the coop/stockpile of food?

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kibba View Post

I think I've got a problem.. I look at the pictures and just want to dive in and organize it all.. LOL :)

 

I don't dig the big bins in your second photo. It just doesn't allow you to "SEE" what you've got and things probably get forgotten. I would go to homedepot and get a small shelf that will screw into your door, gives you extra space for all of the little things like the apple sauce cups. Also, do you have a garage? What about getting a closet with doors for the coop/stockpile of food?


Come on over, it's all yours :P

 

We do not have a garage, just the basement.  I do plan to get the wire shelf rack that hangs over the back of the door or is screwed in to hold the small things and will probably move my spices into the pantry and free up cupboard space.  I have an old armoire in the basement that I am using for miscellaneous storage..but have considered using it for extra food items.  Ideally I will be able to use the big closet for bulk overflow and move some stuff to the basement and toss/donate a lot of the stuff on the top shelf of that big closet in the second photo.  We are putting down new floors right now, then DH will build my new shelves and I can get started with organizing my pantry mess.  I'd love to get more clear containers to put dry goods in, but it can be costly...guess I will just work with what I have for now.

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