Monday, January 31, 2011

Greatest thing since sliced bread!

So this past week I got an amazing idea.  So amazing I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I became obsessed and realized I could no longer live in my house happily until my idea was accomplished.  OK, maybe that is an overstatement (but maybe not!) but it was huge!

So those of you that have been to my house before will totally understand what I am talking bout when I say the storage in my house is ridiculously small.  Our home was built in the early 1940's and obviously they didn't feel a need to be able to put anything away, out of sight.  Either that or we just have more (and bigger) things these days.  My bedroom closets are the size of me.  And I am a petite woman.  I can stand inside them, close the door and that is all that will fit.  This is what my kitchen pantry looks like.  This is where they expected me to store all of my boxed, canned, and dried items.  Ridiculous right?!

Yes it really is that small....
I think my 4 year old son could stand inside and just fit, shoulder to shoulder.  

For the past four years I have been struggling with the small spaces.  As organized as I tried to be I just ended up cramming things in tighter and tighter until you were almost afraid for your life when you had to open the door to get something out.  It was almost impossible to find anything unless you removed at least 20 items first.  It was a chore and left me frustrated every single time.  Oh my goodness and if I had someone over that was trying to help me cook- there was no way I was going to send them in there!  Talk about embarrassing!   And since this tiny place was jam-packed with food I had to resort to using a small shelf in one of my cupboards for my spices.  Well this was just as bad.  Spice jars are small so I could fit a ton in there- but again good luck finding anything!  For a girl that LOVES to cook, and there is nothing worse then being unorganized and trying to cook, this was no way to live.  

Well also in our kitchen is a large coat closet.  It was poorly utilized, very unorganized and also jammed packed. A person would scream in horror looking inside- it made no sense! Coats, vacuum, recycling, potatoes, board games... OMG!!!!!   So the other night around 4:30 a.m., after giving Owen his bottle, I laid in bed thinking and *poof* the idea came to me.  What if we transformed the coat closet into a pantry, our skinny panty into a spice cabinet and then I will have a whole shelf in a cupboard that can go to Jackson's cups, plates, etc.  The next day I was so excited to tell Scott about it.  He totally loved the idea and we right away went shopping for the goods.  We picked up a portable closet for in the basement that works great for the coats.  you only use one at a time, why fill up the only good closet we have with a ton of something that is hardly used?

Well here are our finished results....

Top shelf: chocolate morsels, and bulk spice overflow
Second shelf: dried herbs and spices 

Third shelf: home canned goods

Fourth shelf: teas, cocoa and mixers

And now on to my pride and joy... The Pantry! 
drum roll please

Top Shelf: appliences that are not used every day
Second Shelf: red bins filled with place-mats, lunch bags, and other odds and ends

Third Shelf: oils, vinegars, condiments, packet mixes, canned goods
Forth shelf: noodles, rices, nuts and dried fruits, snacks

 Fifth shelf: crackers, oatmeal, cookies and other boxed items
Sixth shelf: flours, sugars, different bread crumbs and other baking items

Floor: paper goods, bin full of onions, potatos and squash, recycling bin and my vacuum in the corner

And on the side wall Scott installed baskets that hold my baggies, foil, plastic wrap and stuff

Now that this is all complete I honestly don't know how I lived so long with such cramped corners!  And the biggest question- how on earth did all that fit in that tiny little pantry?!!  OK, not everything you now see was in there to begin with, but pretty darn close!  I love how i have so much more room to grow in both pantries now.  I know they look pretty full already but I actually have stuff spread out quite a bit.  Because I can.  What a luxury!!  I told Scott that I think I have never been more excited about something, aside from my marriage and the birth of my children.  But seriously, if you lived the way I did for four years you would be excited too!   Haha.

Now that you have seen "inside" my little life a bit, do any of you have pictures or story's to share on your food storage dilemmas?  Or any dreams of better organization somewhere in your home? I would love to hear about them!  Leave me a comment below!

I shared my pantry at this linky party- FUN!


  1. um... awesome! so extremely jealous. i'll send you a picture of mine, you may gasp, and then feel sorry for me!

  2. Thank you Paul. Oh goodness, after living in terrible storage conditions for so long, I completely feel your pain! lol. Mine were definite "gasp" worthy before this past weekend!

  3. Thanks for linking up today! It's nice to meet ya :)

    I love everything is so nice & neat.
    (my kinda girl, or if your like me, OCD! ha)

    I hope you play along again soon-

  4. I found you on "Other People's Pantry" You did an awesome job on your pantry. Show some blog love?


  5. Hi Kristen! Thanks for popping over! I look forward to checking out your blog- I love adding new ones to my reader :)

  6. What a wonderful improvement! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks Betsy! I feel like my life is so much more complete after the big move! hahaha! Have a great day!



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