I have to admit that I did not complete this pantry revamp as part of last night's organization party. I did it a couple of days before. My pantry, which is the old coat closet with added shelves (thank you daddy), had become a nightmare to navigate. Not that I had tons of food in there but I had lost track of what I did have. I have been checking out some of the pantry organization ideas on Pinterest lately and decided to tackle it. Being organized here helps me when it comes to cooking at home instead of running out to eat because of lack of planning. If it is a mess, I won't plan. When it is a mess, even looking in it exhausts me...weird, huh? I really want to do more meal planning and I want to have a surplus food storage for peace of mind. It all starts with getting organized here. Freezer is next....focus Belinda.
So here is how it looked after I had mostly emptied it. I took the door curtain down during the project for easier access. I was about half way in when I remembered that I wanted to blog about it.
I went to a dollar shop and bought the plastic bins to use for the small stuff. I had quite a few already but started scouring thrift stores for more clear food containers, plastic and glass. I started to buy cheap vinyl table clothes to cover the shelves but at the last minute decided to use some of my fabric hoard. Why the heck not, right?
I had a pair of tab top curtains, a nice almost denim type material, to use on covering the shelves. I wanted them to look nice and crisp so the stripes and thicker cloth are perfect. So after measuring to make sure it would work, I folded the curtains into thirds and cut on each fold for three even pieces from each curtain. I also removed the tabs and saved for another project.
I planned to staple the fabric underneath each shelf so it is pulled nice and tight and won't shift as items are moved. But I can't find the staple gun anywhere, so it will just have to hang for now. (Check back next year and let's see if it ever got stapled.)
I got these wire baskets at a dollar shop and they are the perfect size for canned food. I saw on various Pinterest pins that you can re-purpose 12 pack soda boxes for this if you don't mind not being able to see the cans behind the first one (fine if each box is one type). We don't drink soda at home, and I don't feel like scouring the recycle bins for soda boxes, so I opted this route. We don't have tons of cans anyway, most of my veggies that aren't fresh, I buy frozen.
I had been going this route for a while now but once I finally converted most of my packaged good to containers, I had two garbage bags full of recycling (boxes and packaging). Most of the plastic containers were from thrift stores....except that ice cream bucket with the fruity pebbles in it. :)
And ALL the glass containers are from thrift stores. I have all sizes and am constantly adding to the collection. I actually saw a Craigslist ad getting rid of around 100 of those huge pickle jars...you know the ones I mean....I emailed but got no response. Those are perfect food storage containers....no clue what I would do with 100 of them but I really want them. I would definitely have three months worth of food stored away no problem with those.
And those plastic bins make it so much easier to pull out of the way as I grab things from behind them. It is moving things to get to others that make the pantry disorganized to begin with. I used my label machine at first but ran out of ink, so I'll have to go back and finish that.
Now that red container and the grocery bag won't stay there. That is extra food that I need to store elsewhere.....just haven't figured out where elsewhere is yet. Both elsewheres that I can think of (laundry room or attic) would need to be reorganized to accommodate surplus food storage. At least in a way that I can actually get to it.
So I am pretty happy with it. I can see what I have and get to it more easily. I'll tweak it as I use it.
Now here is something funny to end with. Of course, you are only seeing some of the work that went into this end result. The mess I made moving the food into containers, I saw no point in showing. So what did we end up doing during this whole pantry revamp process? Going out to eat!