Today is the day! I finally get to show you that I, Sarah, can be organized.
Let’s all take another look at the before:
Now, before I show you all my pretty “after” pictures I’m going to first show you all the steps I took to get this pantry organized. I was
happy relieved to hear that some of you are also struggling with disorganization, so maybe some of my tips will help you out.
The first thing I did was empty out the entire pantry and wipe down the shelves:
I don’t have a lot of counter space in my kitchen so I put all my food and things on the dining room table.
Wowza, that’s a lot of stuff.
Now, when one empties the contents of a once-disorganized-pantry one tends to find many interesting things.
Um, yeah. 2010? Really, Sarah? Really? Shameful, just shameful.
Hopefully it’s clear to see that the next step was to sort through the contents of the pantry and throw away all the expired/unwanted items and also set aside the food I was never going to use (remember the gravy?) to bring to our church’s food pantry.
Once I was left with the food I wanted and needed, I separated it into groups. The way you choose to organize your food really depends on your needs and what makes sense to you. I could have copied the organization of some other dream pantry, but the chance of keeping it organized would be slim. I knew that if I was going to conquer my disorganization I would have to really custom organize my pantry to my needs and wants.
Here’s how I grouped my food:
After I had grouped my items I needed to make sure that they would all fit on the teeny-tiny shelves. So, I took a shelf out of the pantry and arranged the items on the actual shelf to make sure they would fit.
After I knew all my items would fit, I started to spruce of the shelves themselves—with a little Con-Tact paper.
I’ve never used Con-Tact before, and honestly thought it was a dated idea. However, when I saw this cheery color and fun pattern at Target I thought “I’m going to make Con-Tact paper hip again.”
If you’re like me, and have never used this before, it’s super simple! You just peel off the back and stick. I peeled a small bit of backing off at a time, which made it easier to make smooth.
To get the little air bubbles out, I simply used an old gift card to smooth them:
And because I was too lazy to cut the Con-Tact paper to the exact size of the shelf, I just used an X-acto knife to trim the excess.
Much cuter, right?
*I apologize for these poorly lit indoor photos, but I was organizing at 11 o’clock at night*
To organize the pantry I used white baskets from Target and this Snapware container set (also from Target). You get all this for $20.00, which I thought was a good deal.
To add labels to the containers I actually had to think outside-the-box. I wanted something that I could change easily, if the contents of the container changed. Initially my plan was to buy some black vinyl and write on it with chalk pens. But, the vinyl cost $10 and the markers were $6 and Dave helped me realized that $16 for labels was a bit ridiculous.
So, here was my plan B:
I bought these small wooden craft ovals for 29 cents each…
…got out my trusty can of chalkboard paint…
…and painted those suckers.
Et Voila! 10 labels for $2.90 which is a steal compared to the $16.00 I was about to shell out (thanks again, Dave, for being the voice of reason!)
Add a little hot glue, and you’re in business!
And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for (wow, I hope this isn’t one of those situations where you build something up too much and then everyone thinks “oh, is that all?”)
I know it doesn’t look like some of those amazing inspiration pics I posted earlier, but I did the best I could with 15×15 shelves!
Let’s get a closer, shall we?
I used this two-tier lazy Susan to make the most of my space. But from the looks of it I might need to invest in a stronger one eventually.
Before this organization I never had space to put my cereal in the pantry, it used to sit on top of the fridge. I’m happy to have all my food in one place now!
Everything has a place!
Because I had to adjust the height of some shelves to fit my new containers I actually had to take out one of the shelves. That means that the paper plates/cups/utensils had to find another home in the closet. That works just fine for me since we hardly ever use those things.
One of my favorite parts is this awesome white board organizer I found at Target on clearance for $10.00. It hangs on the side of the pantry over the microwave.
It will help me with my meal planning, and will help me keep track of those little things that can easily slip my mind (like staying organized!).
I mounted it using push pins so I could easily take it down and write on it.
Oh, and did you notice in the “before” picture how there was also a big mess on the microwave cart next to the pantry? Well, I cleaned that up too!
I moved my cookbooks and recipes to the window sill that had plenty of space.
Well, that’s it! I’m happy with the way it turned out because I know that it works for me. The real challenge, of course, will be keeping it organized!
Next up on my smack down list is the linen closet and it’s a doozey!
PS: Did you notice those cute little flags on the top of the site? Did you notice one of them is for facebook? That’s right, we’re facebook official now! I’d love for you to “like” my page!
I’m linking up my new pantry at: