Kitchen Pantry Organization

Organizing isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it sure does help! Here are my top tips on keeping your pantry organized.

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Pantry too Small?

We are blessed with a big Kitchen Pantry storage space for our food supplies. This big pantry was one of the things that sold us on the house, since the kitchen is rather small. It is an illusion that a big space holds more stuff. I have found that it’s easy to fill it with junk and unnecessary items. More space isn’t necessarily better. After cleaning and organizing my shelves I know how much space I have been wasting.

Kitchen Pantry Decor, decorating your pantry on a budget. |Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Top 10 ways to add storage to your kitchen pantry

  1. First of all, remove dry cereals from their boxes and put into tall plastic storage containers. The storage boxes are taller and hold more than a regular cereal box does. This one change has saved me a ton of space and money. My kids seem to eat less cereal (Why I don’t know), and the leftovers aren’t stale so everything gets eaten. Who knew it would be such a game changer?
  2. Dry goods such as flour and sugar can be stored in large glass jars instead of being left in the original packaging. This keeps them fresh longer and saves shelf space by going vertical.
  3. Stack cans in a wire can organizer. This works great for small cans, not so good for large ones, but it does help free up shelf space.
  4. Keep large items on the floor. Big bulk cans of food, large pots, big potato and onion bins, large paper towel rolls, etc. can be kept down at the bottom of the shelves or on the floor underneath them. It is more visual appealing and makes things easier to find.
  5. Group small bags or boxes together either in a wooden crate or wire basket type container to save shelf space. Grouping them also makes things easier to find, plus you can grab the entire basket off the shelf when you need something. Baking supplies are all in the wine crate in the photo above, when it’s time to bake it can be grabbed off the shelf and taken into the kitchen.
  6. Eliminate duplicate items. There are always a few of these lurking on the back of the shelf, forgotten and unused.
  7. Check expiration dates. We seldom remember to do this, but items on your shelves could be expired and need to be thrown away. If food has been sitting on your shelf and is older than 6 months, it’s best to just to get rid of it.
  8. Get rid of pots or pans that you don’t use. If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months, it’s time to let it go.
  9. Keep seasonal items in the basement. If you have too many faux flowers, empty glass Mason jars and other decor items on the shelves they can waste valuable storage space. It’s not so hard to go and get things from the basement when needed.
  10. Finally, be careful what you buy.  Keep a note pad in the pantry to write down things that are needed for the shopping each week. Much easier than guessing what’s needed at the grocery store and ending up with supplies you didn’t really need.

Other storage solutions?

Do you have storage idea that works for you? I would love to hear it! Share it in the comments below!

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Looking for more storage ideas? Check out these other relative posts:

Own Less and be More Satisfied

Kitchen Pantry Decor

Stenciled Storage Jars

10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom

Five Dollar Bathroom Update

Craft Room Decor

I finally have a craft room. Well, it’s not really a craft room. It’s more like a craft space. I have had very few creative spaces other than the kitchen table in our home. Having a place to work seems like a tremendous luxury. Our new home is no different, there isn’t a lot of extra room for me to work in.

So, I have a little secret.

You may not like it.

You might think it’s crazy.

You may think it’s ridiculously impracticle.

My new craft space is in the JOHN.

Yup, it’s in an unused corner of a ginormous, impracticle bathroom.

Having a craft space in the bathroom has its advantages.

For example, the doors all lock (yes, there is more than one door).

My kids won’t bother me in there. Privacy is definitely a plus.

The space has good lighting, also a plus.

This is a temporary situation until we remodel the bathroom, but for now it will do.

I found these wall shelf brackets at the local Habitat store. The table has been around a while, it repurposed with a new coat of paint for the occasion. My trash can lamp offers more direct light for detailed projects. I use the mason jars on the shelf to store buttons, pens and even glue sticks.

I found extra space to store my spools of thread on the top of the window ledges. It’s not a problem for me to reach up there and grab what I need.

The quote on the wall was left there by the previous tenant. I find it very inspiring. The darling fabric flowers were designed by Laura Kelley and came home with me from the SNAP Conference.

I store miscellaneous craft supplies such as paper, glue and craft paint in the rolling storage bin under the table. It’s easy to move around where ever it’s needed.

The chair is repurposed from another part of the house. I wrapped it in fabric and tied it in a knot to add some interest and a bit of a feminine touch. The chair is rather unsightly without it.

All in all, this was a low cost project, but it feels good to finally be organized. I can’t wait to sit down and get crafty!

Even if it’s in the bathroom!

Stenciled Storage Jars

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Happy Friday!

I always seem to be rushing through the end of the week, eager for the weekend to start.

My Fridays are the busiest day of all, and it seems like it takes me days to wind down. Perhaps thats why I need the weekend so badly.

This week, I started a number of projects, one of them was labeling these storage jars in the kitchen pantry.

Shelf with jars

I have had these jars for years without labels. I tried a couple of times to label them, but I didn’t like the way the stick-on labels looked.

These jars were one of our first purchases after we got married. My husband and I both agreed that buying in bulk was better and these large capacity jars were an easy choice for storing all sorts of dry goods.

We have used them over and over.

Most of the time I store flours, sugar, 2X sugar, brown sugar, grains and other baking supplies this way.

I love that they are washable and you can easily see what’s inside the jar.

supplies

To label the jars, I used these supplies from Decoart: Gloss Enamels Stick-On Stencils, 3D Frost Gloss Enamel in black, and Media Brush and Stencil Cleaner.

Instructions:

Wash jars with soap and water. Dry thoroughly. Clean area to be stenciled with rubbing alcohol.

Apply stencils, pressing all edges down securely. Apply several coats of the Gloss Enamel paint, allowing each coat to dry between applications. Do not remove stencils until the final coat is dry.

Bake jars in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Allow jars to cool in oven.

Let the jars cure for at least 4 days before washing them.

finished jars

I like how the labels turned out, I probably should have done a better job of sticking the stencils on them before painting.

There were a couple of places where the paint seeped underneath the stencils. I was able to use a Q-tip to clean up the graphics here and there before the paint dried on completely.

I like the worn effect this paint has on the glass. It looks old and used to me, which makes it a good fit for my vintage kitchen.

There are those perfectionists in the crowd who may not like the uneven look of this paint. You know who you are.

I am anxious to label more jars with this method!

Do you use storage jars in your kitchen? How do you label them?

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Five Dollar Bathroom Update

before

 

It’s time to get organized! I have seen so many posts recently about organizing, apparently it’s on everyone’s mind this time of year. We recently installed this $5.00 bathroom update in our bathroom and I promised I would let you know all the details, so here it is!

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Our little Mid Century home is painfully short on cabinet space. There is practically ZERO storage in the 2nd floor bathroom. My temporary fix was to use a vintage tennis ball holder for towels in the corner. With company coming however, we knew this was not a practical solution.

sink

The only cabinet in the room is the one under the sink. It’s packed full of other things, and frankly is still not nearly enough storage for a large family.

We knew we weren’t going to be able to match the vintage style of this cabinet, pretty much any additional storage would do.

You might say we were rather desperate.

wall before

The only spot available to add storage was above the toilet. There were a few size restrictions with the space. We wanted something rather tall and slender, but not too large. It had to fit between the electrical switch (who in their right mind would put an electrical switch there???) and the shower stall.

Also, it couldn’t stick out further than the top of toilet tank or it would drive me plum crazy.

before

One trip to our local Habitat Restore shop produced this awesome value cabinet for a whopping $5.00 bucks. Have I mentioned that I LOVE that place????

It’s really a kitchen cabinet, designed for a microwave with the cut out for the electrical outlet at the back. This did not deter us at all.

Where else can you find a $5.00 cabinet? We love that this project was so inexpensive, and it’s great to re-purpose as much as possible. Why spend more?

I gave the cabinet a couple of coats of glossy white Rustoleum paint and removed the dated cabinet knobs.

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We hung the cabinet with 2″ wall screws, attaching it right to the joists by screwing through the back of the cabinet. I knew I was going to cover the screws up so I wasn’t worried about them being exposed.

The turquoise knobs are from Hobby Lobby. I loved them the moment I laid eyes on them and I thought they added some needed pizzazz to the cabinet.

The final step was to cover the back of the cabinet shelf with faux wood paper that I attached with the help of some Scotch 3M Command Strips. I can’t get enough of this paper. I have used it on so many projects.

The top shelf (behind the doors) gives us plenty of room for extra towels and supplies, and I love having a place to display things on the bottom shelf.

soap display

towels

I don’t think you would ever know that the rustic wood background was really paper. It is also from Hobby Lobby.

I had fun tying pretty ribbons in bows around the bath towels for display along with some of our homemade Candy Cane Soap.

Not a bad upgrade for $5.00!

Closet Home Office

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I have spent days on this project. It isn’t that complicated, but it has taken me far more time that I expected to put it together. The Closet Home Office is complete according to my given deadline.

Our son has been traveling the last couple of weeks, it was good time to work on this project while he was gone.

Remember the before picture?

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This room was a virtual dumping ground for stuff. Lots of stuff. It took me a while to come up with other storage solutions. I stored some things under the bed, eliminated others and moved the larger items to the basement or attic.

The closet was a good size, but more than was needed for a single person in this room. I have a before photo of it, but my computer seems to be holding it hostage and won’t let me work with it. I will update it later. We have never had extra closet space before, but it seemed like a good place to have a Closet Home Office.

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I found a few fabric bins for the shelves at Walmart. There are so many bins on the market, style and colors can be hard to choose. I also didn’t want to use all the shelf space for bins and that left room for some larger items.

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We choose to leave the existing closet rod in place and use half the closet for the desk area. The desk top spans the length of the closet, and could be used if needed but for now half the closet will work.

There were already boards in place for a lower shelf that worked out great to hold the desk top. We found a couple of wide boards at our local Habitat ReStore for the desk top, and added a piece of galvanized metal that was laying around the house for a smooth writing surface.

Some things just are meant to be. No cutting was involved. That never happens!

I repurposed some items we had to make the desk functional, such as an unused stool, a lamp and a wipe off board.

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I did purchase some color coordinated school supplies to fill things in and an orange clock for a bit of color.

After we got this all put together, we hung the clothes back up and realized the bar is a bit too low.  It never occurred to me to measure how far apart the rod and the desk had to be for clearance.

I assumed whoever had put the original boards in the closet had enough sense to allow for plenty of clearance. Apparently this is not true.

We will have to take the top shelf out and raise the rod a few inches so the clothes don’t drag on the desk. It’s a minor thing, but could have been avoided had I thought about it in the beginning.

Oh, well.

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The room was painted blue when we moved in, it makes for a rich color pallet with this beautiful handmade quilt.

Our dear friend who made it is a master quilter.

I love the pops of color, and I couldn’t resist  adding the orange patterned rug, also from Walmart.

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This dresser is across the room from the bed, I love this Mid-Century style.

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We also keep the family fish tank in this room. It fits in well with the fish quilt.

I show you this entire room now, because the minute my son gets home it will look like a tornado hit.

It probably won’t be this clean again for a long time.