Do you cringe every time you have to find something in your pantry? Or heaven forbid someone else has to find something in there! YIKES! I certainly have in the past!
I’m embarrassed to say that I put off overhauling mine for a long time (too long actually). Trying to find something in there was nearly impossible. So last November when I couldn’t stand it any longer I decided to try to organize the chaos. At the time I was so anxious to get started, I regretfully I didn’t take a before photo. But I think you can tell by the 3 photos below that it was a HUGE mess!
Is a pantry overhaul something you have been putting off? Honestly, I can’t blame you. I’m a procrastinator from way back! Even though I had originally done most of this last fall I got lazy and let things get messy again. The original concept was good, but it needed some fine tuning.
Read on to see how it took me two tries to overhaul mine! I hope that writing a blog post about it will help me to keep it organized once and for all. 🙂
The First Try…
Follow along, way back to the beginning…to the pre-fine tuning time. Hopefully this will inspire you to tackle your pantry if you need to.
I started by pulling everything out of the pantry. What came out found a temporary home on to my 4′ x 7′ island, pretty much covering it, as well as part of perimeter counter!
No wonder I couldn’t find anything in there! I did however, find several large dust bunnies lurking in the corners…let’s just pretend I didn’t though. Okay? Thanks!
Once everything was out where I could see it, I began sorting and checking expiration dates on all the packaging. Then I checked for freshness with things like crackers, chips, and cookies. These items don’t last long in my house so I kind of already knew they would be fine. LOL
Thankfully I didn’t have a whole lot that had to be tossed out as I hate wasting food. Does that bother you as well? Or is it just me?
All the small appliances I had in the pantry got a good cleaning and the ones that weren’t being used any longer got set aside to donate.
When everything was FINALLY out of the way, Mr. Man installed a new light fixture I’d picked up from Home Depot. Wooo whooo! Let there be light!
Finally, the pitiful and ever so dim little light the builder had installed was coming down! The old light still had blobs of paint on it from when the house was built nearly two decades ago. No wonder it wasn’t very bright!
Once the new light was in, it was so much brighter and it made the pantry seem larger. One downside though, I guess if you can call it that, it made me realize how desperately the pantry needed to be painted!
To make more room on the pantry floor, I removed two wire shelves on the lower right to make room for the trashcan and the large dog food container. Then the two containers could fit nicely underneath the other shelves. I was so pleased how this helped to increase the floor space! Also allowing easier access to the shelves.
Once the shelves were gone I pulled the wall anchors out and filled the holes with spackle. Before I put the spackle away I filled in any other dings and imperfections that I found. After it had dried, I lightly sanded the repaired areas blending them in. Always remember to follow all safety precautions when sanding any surfaces.
Next I gave everything a good cleaning with a mild soap and water. Then it was on to painting!
Luckily I didn’t have to buy any paint. I had most of a gallon of some Sherwin Williams white paint left over from another project. I really like this brand of paint as it always goes on smoothly and covers areas where I’ve patched the walls.
Since this is such a small area, I opted to paint everything with the same paint. I started at the ceiling, being careful not to get any paint on my lovely new light! 😉 Followed by 2 coats of paint on the walls. It was a little tricky painting around the wire shelves, but it went on quickly. Once the trim was painted I was done!
Not including the drying time, this only took an afternoon to complete. It’s amazing what a little elbow grease and paint can do!
To keep stuff from falling through the wire shelves, I placed some left over drawer liner and some rigid placemats on top of the shelves in different areas. To help organize everything, I found these plastic locker bins at Dollar Tree in a color that matched my kitchen! SCORE!
I sorted like items and began filling the locker bins and placing them in the pantry. I stacked the canned goods in an easy to reach area making sure the labels were viewable. Then I found new places for all of the small appliances, etc.
I was so pleased with my newly organized pantry, except…this newly organized pantry only stayed organized until January. Why are old habits so hard to break? I got lazy and just started stuffing things in there willy nilly AGAIN.
The Second Try…Fast forward to this past week.
Granted, the pantry was not nearly as disorganized as it had been before the first overhaul so tidying it up was relatively easy. As you can see from the photos, I shifted some of the tubs to new locations as well as arranging the non food items a little differently. This seemed to help the flow in the pantry. I’ve had most of this week to use it and can already tell a difference!
I’m still so glad that I removed the two lower shelves on the right as that extra space on the floor has helped a lot. I pinky swear that this time I will keep it neat!
So what’s next on the blog?
I’m on a roll in organizing the kitchen my friends. So up next are the spice cabinet and the food container cabinet. I hope you will join me for more organizational tips. Thanks for following along. See you next time!