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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reorganizing pantries for a more streamline look

I have been wanting to reorganize my 2 kitchen pantries for some time, and finally had an opportunity to go to IKEA and purchase some additional storage containers.   I bought several new Ikea containers, used canning jars I already had, and bought some empty spice jars from Penzy's Spices. I loved the look of the chalkboard labels, but hated the prices I was seeing.  I needed over 100 labels, since I was relabeling everything, including spices and wanted to be able to use the same labels going forward, without worry of labels being out print when I needed more.  I did some research and found that if I used black contact paper and made my own labels, I could make a ton at a very low cost.  I purchased the black contact paper at amazon for around $5, a liquid chalk pen at amazon for around $4, and a 2 1/4 inch scalloped label maker at Hobby Lobby for about $10(used a 40% coupon available online all of the time):

The first thing I did was to clear everything out of both pantries and painted the inside of my pantries a bright green.  Using a color inside the pantries make seeing what you have so much easier to see, since they "pop" against the brighter color:
My goal when putting things back in was to get rid of as many bags and boxes that made sense to get rid of and be able to really see everything I was putting back in, so we could use more of what we have.  As you will see I have a ton of stuff, because I do cook from scratch quite a bit, but have had some prepackaged items for other family members, so they could cook. Two of our kids have moved out in the last couple of years and we only have a 17 year old left, so I will be purposely whittling down all of the different types of items that our family of 5 used, such as different pastas, to just 2 or 3 types. 

I measured the inside pantry shelves and decided to have tiers on a shelf, so that we could see everything on the shelf.  On the couple of shelves I wanted to tier, I went to lowes and got the to cut 2X4s into the lengths I needed so i could stack 3 boards in the very back and 2 boards in front of that.  I went to the dollar store and got some beige contact paper and wrapped the boards in the paper.   You could also leave the boards unpainted or paint if you want. Here is peek of the tiers on one of my shelves:
I took all of my spices and went through them all.  I threw out and replaced any that were old and put all spices in either canning jars or jars from penzy's spices, so they looked more streamlined and easier to read. 

 This project took quite a few days and anytime I got tired and wanted to start stuffing things back in, I stopped, because I wanted to do it right the first time and make a system for us that we could use for a long time(like until I  We have been using this for about 2 weeks now and wanted to see how it was working for us before I shared this and I am now happy with the results.  I love how this is working out so much, that I plan to do the same thing to our Rivah place.

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