Monday, July 27, 2009

{pantry overhaul}


The pantry in this house is totally different to the pantry in the old house. When we moved in, I just did the best I could with what I had ... just wanting to get unpacked ! Well, it had been driving me crazy for some time now and the other night I had just had ENOUGH ! I took everything out and got to work.

My organizing 'style', if you will, is to use what I have on hand, before going and buying new stuff. (For this job I only bought the container that now houses 10 kilos of rice and the containers that came inside that big container !) I have a shelf in my garage for organizing equipment and I don't often throw stuff away (in that department) because I find that systems are forever changing and needing re-doing and I often use something that I had used somewhere else. In fact, all of the plastic 'shoe boxes' that you see on the second shelf of my pantry were being used for craft storage until I re-did that system two weeks ago !

I've taken a few before and after shots for you and I'll give you explanations as we go. Feel free to ask any questions you like !


The top shelf didn't need too much work. I have sugar and salt up the top there. To the side of the wire baskets is tea bags (yeah, we drink a lot of tea and I like variety !!) Then there is the honey and agave nectar that both have to live in tupperware so the ants don't get them ! (been there, done that already !!)


The 'shoe boxes' are catagorized and labeled. One is 'japanese', one is 'indian'. There's the cake decorating stuff ... you know, sprinkles, candles etc. One box is nuts, seeds and dried fruit. There's a box of dried lentils and beans. Packet soups and dressing mixes in another.

The bottles of sauces, vinegars, oils etc were really irritating me so I moved them to this cupboard and beside the stove. Much better !!


These drawers are fantastic. The one on the right is snack stuff. Crackers, gum, marshmellows, you know ... that sort of stuff. The one of the left is salt, pepper, tahini, peanut butter, that sort of stuff ...

That big box is sushi rice. 10 kilo's of it ! We eat a lot of sushi 'round here !

The cereal needs to be on lower shelves so the kids can get their own breakfasts ... and the big pullout drawer beside it is all my spices. I have quite a collection. I loooooooove spices. They are all labeled on the top for easy access !!


The floor of the pantry ...
The potatoes live in an old crock pot dish. The electrical part stopped working but I couldn't bring myself to throw away the dish. It is perfect for potatoes ! Keeps them fresh for so long ! The onions are there on the floor too, as you can see. The two drawers are my grains. The top one is pasta and noodles. The bottom one is rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth etc ... Beside the drawers is drinks. There's a big juice and a couple of soft drinks for special occasions. In front of those are my brown sugars. I debated changing the canisters but the kids like to have brown sugar on their oats and they don't make a mess with them in these so I left them ! The big tupperware is flour ...


Where are my canned goods ?? NOT IN MY PANTRY. I didn't change this in the overhaul as it works quite well. But, I'll show you the system anyway. I have sort of second pantry in the garage. The garage is just around the corner from the kitchen so it's good on the convenince scale. This second pantry is home to all of our excess appliances. The only ones that live in the kitchen are the rice cooker, the kettle and the coffee makers. (yes, more than one !)

Everything else, lives here. I like it because I have easy access to all of them, and yes, I use these all quite regularly. (except the deep fryer ... it only gets occassional use) No digging to the back of an inconveniently placed corner cupboard ! I hate that and more often than not decide against using what I might have to dig for !!

Anyhoo ... the cans live out here too.


Well, there you go ! Anything I haven't covered ? If so ... ask me about it ! I'd love to have a discussion with you !! Anything you see that could be improved ? Again ... let's talk !! :)


Dana July 27, 2009 at 10:47 PM  

It all looks so. . . .organized. CAn you please get over to my house, quick? lol

skinner studio July 27, 2009 at 11:55 PM  

Wow, it looks fabulous! I think the before was pretty good too!

I love your use of tupperware and food saver containers - I really need to get some...

And the plastic drawers are a great idea - my pantry space is narrow and deep, so I think this would be a nice solution for some of the smaller items.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Mari July 28, 2009 at 12:41 AM  

It looks great! I can certainly tell before from after. I use some of those plastic drawers in my pantry too. They work well.

Ana Cristina Abreu July 28, 2009 at 1:02 AM  

hey bonnie
the way you organize your bottles is my favorite!!
i love to do this kind of stuff: organize pantry, closets...

i wish i could put potatoes out of the refrigerator, but is so hot in here that i can't do this!!

i think that the shot on the rigth is the after, am i right?

great week!!


Sarah July 28, 2009 at 3:40 AM  

Thanks for all the shots - I am an organization freak. I love to organize - but I don't do well at KEEPING it that way. Then, I get a wild hair and boom, everything is redone. That will happen this August as I prepare for school again...starts with the school room and spills out to other areas.

I suppose your fridge looks the same way? Right now, I've got vegetables shoved in every available nook and cranny when I can't get them processed right away. UGH!

jane July 28, 2009 at 3:59 AM  

ok that was fun! am not sure why i enjoyed that so much. should i worry?... oops before i forget... hi!

A Captured Reflection July 28, 2009 at 6:42 AM  

Looks fabulous. If you could organise mine when you come and visit me in New Zealand that would be awesome :-)

Palmer and Co July 28, 2009 at 7:51 AM  

Fantastic!! Great idea labeling the tops of the canisters!

Maria July 28, 2009 at 11:21 AM  

Ok so I have to ask. Is that all of your canned goods? See I am really bad about having a million boxed items (mac and cheese, rice, hamburger helper, etc.) and canned items. I just feel like if the pantry isn't filled with cans we might some day starve. I am going to have to clean out my pantry this weekend! You have given me insight and I am excited to put my own spin on your project! I will take before and after pictures for you too.

Oh, by the way- thank you, today was a good monday!

Kayren July 28, 2009 at 12:53 PM  

You did an excellent job explaining, so no questions to ask.

I wish I had a pantry with a door that opened up instead of the sliders. It would make mine so much easier to work with. I've been thinking about an overhaul already, and I've been here less than a year. But I guess that makes sense because I had to see what would work and what wouldn't first.

You have lots of things in your pantry that I don't. That was fun to see. I think my two extra kids and the fact that mine are older and eat more makes me have a lot more food than you too. I could never squeeze what I had into those spaces. Or maybe I do and don't realize it. Hard to tell because our stuff is so different.

I love the separate pantry in the garage. I think putting the cans there is an excellent idea.

Stacy July 30, 2009 at 12:19 AM  

You are so dang organized! I try and then it gets all disorganized again after using it for a few months. It's not bad, but you are very, very organized!

The Bowden's August 21, 2009 at 7:54 PM  

Love your ideas! What do you recommend for a long and narrow pantry? Right now, I absolutely hate it and cannot even begin to organize it just because it's such an odd shape.

Anonymous August 25, 2009 at 4:07 AM  

great job! I love it!

I too reach a fed-up point and then have to pull things out and organize them in a way that makes me smile - vs. grimacing at the state of the closet. It doesn't even have to be chaos to make me grimace....

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