Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pantry Preview

The pantry isn't quite finished yet. I still have a few more key things I'd like to do with it. However, I'll share what I've done so far. Here's the before:
It's not *that* bad, but certainly nothing amazing. You can sort of see the liquor shelf all the way at the top. What you can't see well is the floor: a case of beer, some large plastic food storage containers, napkins, a large wooden cutting board, and a shoe mat (because I come in through the kitchen door, and it doesn't make sense to take my shoes all the way to the front door). You can also see that we've put a "shoe organizer" on the back of the pantry door for small things that would easily get lost or fall through the cracks of the wire shelves.

I went into this project with several problems I wanted to solve:
  • The wire shelving sucks. Items in narrow boxes (like Rice-a-Roni and Stove Top Stuffing) fall over. Some things are small enough to fall through the wires. Yuck.
  • The shelves were too deep at 16 inches. Stuff would get pushed to the back and forgotten, and it wasn't easy to see, at a glance, what we had.
  • Too much wasted space! The pantry measures 27" deep X 36" wide, and none of it was being used wisely. Except maybe the liquor shelf. 
So, how do we solve these issues? Space planning! Several weeks ago, I went to the hardware store to seek out possible storage solutions. Here's what I knew for sure:
  • I need narrower shelves. And not just across the back of the pantry. The side is usable space too!
  • I want to store cans on their sides, but not in a gravity-feed can organizer. I can't imagine a world where I would have more than 2 or 3 cans of any one item (other than fruits and veggies), and most of those organizer are designed for more than that. 
  • I want to group like things together.
  • I need some hanging space for things like cutting boards, potatoes and onions.
  • I want to label everything! That way, even if I'm not home, the kids and hubby will know right where stuff can be found or put away.
Tomorrow (Lord willing and my evening goes as planned!), I will post detailed pics of how I filled each of these wishes. Until then, here's a quick pic of how it looked Sunday evening.
Giddy with delight is the only phrase I can think of to describe how I feel when I look in this pantry now! Once I got the old shelves out, it was obvious that the walls needed a fresh coat of paint. So, instead of the stark white that was in there before, I used a nice warm beige. See the blue things up toward the top? Those are the best! I promise full details tomorrow. See the door? We got rid of the awful shoe organizer, and now the door just holds our Ikea plastic bag dispenser, which is pink because they were out of white the day I was there. The step stool even fits in the pantry on the floor!

Like I said, I still have a few things to do. I need to address the desire for hanging storage (hint: Pegboard!), and I need to figure out where else to keep my shoes. But already, the improvement is so great that, I swear, I hear angels singing every time I open the door!!  I can't wait to get home this evening and work on it some more!

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