Back today with part two of project “Organize the Kitchen”, where we’ll cover the pantry! I know I also promised the lower cabinets today, but we’re just running short on time and I’d rather give you a little eye candy, than none at all.
Just to be clear, it’s still a bit of a work in progress. Just like most things in our home, there will definitely be some tweaking along the way, as our lives and needs change. Here’s what’s working for us now:
Instead of doing the full coverage of the ‘before’ like earlier this week, in the pantry we’ll just skip right to the good stuff. That’s what I’m assuming you guys are here to see anyway, right? You’ll still see a small version of the ‘before’ within each photo though.
This area was a complete disaster – the ultimate dumping ground for anything that didn’t have a home. We’d originally installed the shelves at heights that made sense to us, and quickly learned that they clearly didn’t work. Thankfully, the Ikea cabinetry allows for the ultimate customization, so it was an easy fix. We made each shelf distance a little closer and were actually able to squeeze in an additional shelf!
At the very top of the pantry, we did some serious purging and relocated things to their more appropriate homes. We moved all of our paper towels into a stacking shelf (can’t find these online, here’s something similar), and moved the disposable cups, paper plates, extra napkins, and future wine storage up there, since they’re things that we’ll rarely need to access. We also had some baking materials (brown sugar, powdered sugar, etc.) that were just hanging out in plastic bags, so we bought a few glass containers for those. As you can see, the back of the pantry is still pretty bare, which I love. Plenty of space to grow into down the road.
Moving down. We continued by purchasing two expandable, tiered shelves for things like canned good, Lizzy’s baby food, and individually packaged foods like applesauce, yogurt, and fruit cups for Zoey. I love that they expand to fit whatever your cabinet size might be. We bought something like, 10 of these white bins from Ikea. They’re perfect for smaller snacks, boxed food, side dishes, etc.
The biggest change we made during the organization process was building a few interior drawers for the lower portion of the cabinet. Dude. These are killer. We looked into buying drawers from Ikea, but the prices were simply more than we wanted to spend. Plus, they didn’t offer them in larger sizes for some of the other cabinets (more on that next week) so we were looking at hacking them anyway. We figured, if we’re going to get our hands dirty, might as well dive into it and save some real money. These are totally doable for any kitchen cabinet, not just Ikea’s. I’ll have an post sometime next week with a more in-depth tutorial! (See that tutorial here!)
Fill ’em up! The bottom drawer is still a work in progress, since we don’t necessarily have much to fill it (wahoo!), but the top drawer is fully functioning. We’re using it for bread, crackers (why do we have five boxes?), and peanut butter. We also relocated all of our rarely used ziploc bags, aluminum foil, and parchment paper here, from a centrally located drawer.
The overall makeover has changed my life. Seriously. Staying home with two little ones, you wouldn’t believe how much time I spend in the kitchen. Sometimes I feel like a personal chef for these munchkins. Wake up, EAT breakfast, play, SNACK, play, EAT lunch, nap, EAT dinner – It’s a miracle if I make it to the living room. So, an organized kitchen makes all the difference in the world for our family. And as they say, if you give everything it’s own place, people are more likely to actually put things where they found them. That’s for you hubby 😉