Once we arrived, I hit the thrift stores and yard sales trying to furnish our very small house.
One of the few finds that I actually kept through the years was a matching pair of bookshelves I snagged for $16.
Here at the new house, one bookshelf found a home upstairs in the little girls' room and the other...became the only real storage I had in my kitchen.
Remember, this is the only counters/cabinets/drawers:
It is really hard to keep things in check for a large family with such limited space. But, somehow we manage to make it work...Until I go back to work during the holidays. During those two months, all of my organization work for the year pretty much gets thrown out the door. As frustrated as I feel about the disorganization, it also makes me realize how much my family relies on me to keep things running smoothly!
And here's where I keep it real...
Nothing is actually put away where it belongs. It's complete chaos. Lids aren't shut. Heck, half the lids to my containers are MISSING!
And see that blue box in the corner? I think it might have been placed there when we moved in last year. I opened it up to find our camp stove! So it definitely has been there for awhile since the last time we used the camp stove was when we were waiting for the gas to get turned on and were cooking most of our meals in a crockpot and outside.
I've seen others with pantries like this (and I keep typing panties instead of pantries ha ha), but they have doors and can shut them and hide them away. I don't have that option. Every time I go in the kitchen the shame is staring me in the face.
Obviously, fixing this for real...And by that, I mean fixing it so that even in my absence the family can figure out what's going on...has been a long time in coming.
After making a much larger mess pulling everything off the shelves, I decided to paint. It's something I've talked about doing and like other projects, just never got around to doing it. I used my knock off version of chalk paint (DIY ASPC, baby!)...and did two coats. I didn't distress it because I figured with all the moving around of items on the shelves it will distress naturally on its own fairly quickly. I used Sherwin Williams Peppercorn...it's one of my FAVORITE neutrals.
While the paint dried, I went through *EVERYTHING* on the shelves.
- Get rid of everything that's out of date
- Toss everything that I couldn't remember the last time we ate it (so sorry, cream of wheat!)
- Rethink storage containers
- Repackage and vacuum seal beans, lentils, quinoa, etc
- Put stray items where they really belong
Next up, my trip to my favorite storage store: Dollar Tree. I spent a whopping $4 on items to stage this Pantry Intervention...adding to storage bins I already had at home and some shelf liner to give the shelf a little bit of personality. With a turquoise kitchen, I didn't want to give the shelf too much personality.
- Top Shelf: Breakfast, sugars, basket of beverages and the bread box
- 2nd Shelf: Toaster, basket of snacks, microwave, magazine rack holding foil & plastic bags
- 3rd Shelf: canned jellies, basket of sauces, boxes goods, basket of small boxed items, mixing bowls
- Bottom Shelf: blender (behind the Krusteaz), oils, pancake mix & syrup, canned & jarred items, crockpot
I also took the time to redo the shelves above the sink. It's not that dramatic of a transformation. I just changed out the baskets for a turquoise version of the red ones I used on the shelves for a more pulled together look.
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