How I organize it: Pantry (a before and after!)

There were multiple things that drew me to our house when we bought it. The old woodwork. The character. The urinal in the basement bathroom. (Hey, don’t raise your eyebrows, do you know how nice that is to have when your husband’s friends are over?)

The walk-in pantry was another one of those things that drew me in. The other places we had rented had all had terrible (TERRIBLE) kitchen storage options. Our kitchen doesn’t have a ton of cabinets (and absolutely NO upper cabinets) so it’s a good thing we have the pantry.

I had made a few half-hearted attempts to organize it over the years, but the mish-mash of random bins and canisters was starting to get to me. It just wasn’t working. I couldn’t tell if canisters were full or empty. What the heck was in that basket up there? Do we even have spices?

I finally had enough, especially after my recent kitchen utility closet reorganization. So this weekend I went to work. This was definitely a case of buying stuff in order to declutter and simplify; while I’ve been working on getting stuff OUT of my house, sometimes I find buying certain items makes things MENTALLY more minimal, more simple, and more functional.

I did a lot of purging. Got rid of a bunch of expired food and other crap that was in there. Purged canisters and bins. Replaced them with something more streamlined, and I like the the unified look of the canisters and baskets that I used.

Before:

pantrybefore

After:

pantryafter1

pantryafter2

(click to enlarge)

Aren’t those plaid boxes cute? They’re the only things that don’t really “match” but I still love them in there. They are photo boxes from Michaels (I plan on writing about them soon) and they are for the foods that are specifically purchased for the kids (a separate box for each, since our daughter is still so young). I think they are fun and I like that they stand out and look a bit more kid-friendly.

There are a couple of things that aren’t labeled yet, or that I put labels on but didn’t write on them because they aren’t yet used for something specific yet. It will take some tweaking to make it work for us. We need to go grocery shopping, so I’m sure I’ll see what is needed soon. It was so disorganized before that it’s going to take some getting acquainted with.

I had toyed around with the idea of repainting, or adding a pretty backsplash, or something. But then I decided against it, in an effort to simplify my life a bit. I love pretty household projects, but I’m pretty burnt out after painting the living room and the utility closet in the last month (plus we have plans to paint our entryway and upstairs hallway in the next month or so). So I left it. And that’s okay.

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