Every couple months, I end up spending a couple hours trying to make this mess somewhat presentable. This little space in our house gets used A LOT. It is incredibly difficult to keep clean, much less, to look nice. It is next to horrifying when I entertain and have to get something out of here. It is our closet of shame.
One day I was looking around blog land and found THIS. My heart skipped a beat. I am not kidding. I think if my pantry looked like that you might find me standing there, staring at it, all the live long day. Maybe even petting those pretty little crates on her bottom shelf. Geez, this chica did a great job. Bravo!
Within two hours, operation obliterate closet of shame had begun. There wasn’t any room in this month’s budget to drop cash on buying baskets and pretty canisters and such. So, I set out to do this project for free. I ended up spending only $4.39. Shame, I know. You’ll see what this well spent money went for, in a minute.
I am clearly not a photographer and let me tell you photographing a pantry with no light is super hard. She is MUCH prettier in person, but here is my finished project…aaahhhh, much better.
The warm fuzzy feelings I get when I look in this pantry now, definitely do not translate through my photography skills. However, I was able to make a HUGE change by thinking lets DECORATE the pantry. The true test will be what it looks like in 2 months!
First I emptied out the entire pantry, painted Shale Blue (Ralph Lauren) on the back walls (which was already in my garage). I ripped off and threw out all of the shelf liner and then followed up with a coat of white semi gloss (again already in the garage). That alone would have been a big difference.
Next, I switched around all the contents of my kitchen which provided me with two benefits. First, I hid all of the ugliest things I have behind cupboard doors and second I now get to watch my family go nuts while they search for things in the original location only to remember that they have been moved. I scoured my home for extra containers that were browns and silvers to hold all of the goodies in the pantry and keep things as pretty as possible. Let’s go on a little tour…
The top shelf holds all of my cake decorating supplies, a plant that was in my garage sale pile, and a decorative bowl and wrought iron stand that I didn’t want to part with, but were currently homeless. I also dumped all of our cookie cutters from the box they were in, and put them in the silver pail. The box will never be thrown away and it is now a decoration on the shelf because my dad first gave it to my mom full of Sees Easter Candy, years and years ago when they were first married. She saved it all these years as a home to our cookie cutters and I will continue to save it as well. It’s huge by the way. So interesting how much candy must have been in that box!
Next I have all my sugars and oatmeal together. Not in the budget to upgrade to fancy schmancy canisters, but I gave all of their containers a good scrubbing and they will do just fine! Below is our everyday dishes and our kid friendly every day dishes. This includes the glasses which now live on this fabulous silver tray (purchased Target, after Christmas clearance for 90% off at 2.49.) The tray now has a place to be stored, as it doesn’t get used very often and it keeps the glasses all together. Below that is our bread box and another basket with napkins and our peanut butter and honey.
Over to the other side of the pantry and you will now see the well spent $4. One piece of 2×4 was cut into 6, 16 inch pieces and given a white coat of paint. Now it has become a set of bleachers for my cans, so that I can see them all at a glance. Much better than the shelf risers at the store that cost WAY too much money for this cheapie to buy.
O.K. so by now you are asking why so many cranberries? After Christmas Clearance at CVS. They were like .29 cents a can or something and we eat Cranberry Chicken regularly, so we have had quite a few. This is the remainder of the stash.
The three baskets at the top hold mixes, baking supplies, and toppings. I have all my oils and sprays below that. Next there are my spices and another favorite tray that now holds all my baby food and cereal. The next shelf down has my three cereal containers. We buy primarily from Costco, so I typically never have more than three types of cereal.
We have 2 more shelves to go. Hang in. First a basket for the Magic Bullet. Next a basket for baby bottles and bottle pieces. Then a basket for prepackaged type snacks. Finally, a basket for crackers, goldfish etc. The bottom row has a basket for extras (again we buy Costco), a sliver bucket for potatoes :), and our griddle hidden behind our stool.
Finally, is my favorite part. I did this chalkboard last week in our classroom and I had the scrap piece of the wood that I had bought, patiently waiting in the garage to be used for something. Just my luck, it was the perfect size for the inside of the pantry door. I had the leftover chalkboard paint and I used command strips to hold it up and now I have a place for my shopping list! I take a picture with my iphone when I go to the store, so there is no need to recopy the items I need to buy. The kids love to make the list for me now!
If you are still with me you need a medal! That was long! The moral of the story is group like items together by basket. You may be thinkin’ that I have lost my mind and it will never stay this way, but my thought is this won’t take any longer to get things out now because the amount of hours I spent searching for things before was mind boggling. Now at least I will know where the items all are!
You may also be thinking label, lady, label. I agree. I have 9 2×3 inch chalkboards laying around my house somewhere that I plan on using to label these baskets! Once I find them that is. Isn’t it ironic that they are currently missing.
Finally, I tried to minimize our kitchen of useless decorations. Decorations all need to have purpose, so that I could maximize space. For example, our spoons and spatulas found a new home on the counter in an old vintage tin. Another tray found a home to hold them, paper towels, and this totally useless but completely adorable cow. A little imagination and everything found a new home.
All’s well that ends well.
Thanks to the House of Smiths for the gentle nudge to rid our house of our closet of shame.
I don’t know you, but I love you!