Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pantry Intervention

Eight years ago when we moved from Oregon to Alabama, we moved with what would fit in to the back of a small U-haul. We sold pretty much everything we owned to make the move, arriving with beds, clothes, books, Christmas decorations and a few boxes of sentimental items.

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
I got rid of more than I expected. I was most surprised by how much space I saved using my food saver to repackage. I even sealed up my herbal teas and created an entire basket of beverage items. . .

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
 And in case you forgot what a disaster it was before...

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.

linked up at: Whimsy Wednesday ** Winter Blues ** The Creative Spark ** Wow Us Wednesday **Wildly Original ** Creative Juice **House of Hepworths ** Seven Alive ** Your Creative Time Out ** Transformation Thursday **Made U Look **crafty blog stalker **Weekend Wonders ** Keep Calm & Link Up ** Redoux ** Frugal Friday ** pinterest power **six sisters ** power of pinterest party **Sunday SCoop ** It's overflowing **The Thrifty Home ** ** Mop it Up Mondays **Debbie Doos **Tuesdays Treasures **One project at a time **twirl and take a bow **

Organizing Homelife


  1. You did awesome! What a transformation. I need to find some of your motivation because my pantry is a wreck!


  2. Your after picture seems so calming to me! Great job! My pantry (I can shut the door), my plastics cabinet (again, a door there) and my master closet (door) all are in need of serious intervention. I just haven't had the heart to tackle any of them yet.

  3. great job! You've inspired me the do the same....well maybe just one more cup of coffee first.

  4. Amazing transformation! I love organization, and you did a great job!

  5. It looks awesome. I have a space very much like the before picture and it is also in plain sight in my kitchen.

  6. Great idea to use a magazine holder to corral your tinfoil, etc. I'll be copying that!! Thanks for the inspiration. Your makeover looks great!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Panties ... lol ... that made me giggle ;)
    Your shelf is looking great. I'm cleaning out kitchen drawers today myself.

  9. Those bright bins make a huge difference. Very nice! (Visiting via Delightful Order.)

  10. ack, oh my goodness, girl. whew, thank goodness for your after shot...you must like being in the kitchen even more now.

  11. What a huge transformation!! I am hosting a new Pinterest Power party and would love for you to link up this and any other projects that you have!!



  12. Love, love, love. Great work organizing - so fresh and the colour combination is outstanding!

  13. I love how it looks! I need to get some shelving like that... Visiting from Power of Pinterest :)

  14. Oops, tech difficulties here. I stopped here via Delightful Order. Your new pantry arrangement looks so peaceful

  15. Oh well done - looks brilliant! V inspired.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Looks great!!

      Stopping by from One Project at a Time

  17.  Hi, great post. I found you through the blog hop. Please stop  by and say hi when you get a chance.  .Be sure and check out my new Blog Hop that started. It's Weekly Goals Link Up. It's a great way to stay on track. Have a great day. :) Now following you.  Here's the link for it if you would like to check it out.


Thanks and have a great day!