Thursday, February 19, 2015

77 UHeart Organizing: A "Pretty" Fantastic Pantry

As I mentioned yesterday, I can never get enough pantry organization.  Not to be confused with the often mis-typed panty organization.... that is a different topic all together.

What is it about seeing how others store their food?  Creative labeling?  Storage containers?  Accessibility?  Thoughtfulness?  I think all of those things intrigue me when it comes to organized kitchens and pantries.  And since I am a few weeks out from organizing my own pantry, Karen from A House Full of Sunshine, is swooping in to share her recent makeover.  You may remember Karen from her amazing home office nook feature here, I hope you love her work as much as I do because I invited her to come by more often as an iHeart contributing writer!



Hey there, friends! I've been all fan-girl crazy over Jen and her beautiful blog since the day I first stumbled across iHeart Organizing, so I couldn't be more excited to be one of the new gals on the block as part of Jen's contributor team! I'm trying my hardest to be on my best behavior today. Which means I TOTALLY can't believe I'm just about to show you this:


Ohhhhhh boy. Yep, I'm embarrassed. I started out with a sort-of-system in my pantry, and then life happened and I didn't have a place for everything and stuff got dumped in front of other stuff and before you know it, I'm the next hot prospect for a pantry intervention.


Time for a plan. I decided to start by prettying up the outside, because after all it's what's on the outside that counts. (Wait... no. Never mind.)

We had a plain white pantry door, which I decided to turn into a giant chalkboard menu. I started by giving it a quick hand-sand to take off a bit of the gloss. Then I taped up the edges and wrapped the handle in cling wrap.


Two coats of chalk paint later, and already we were seeing a vast improvement in our kitchen.


While I was on a roll with the chalkboard paint, I decided to paint the edges of each shelf inside the pantry. This way I could easily label the different zones within the pantry and store food by category.


I decided on eight major categories, or zones: 
  1. Servingware and containers 
  2. Snacks 
  3. Pantry staples (like flour, rice and pasta) 
  4. Canned goods 
  5. Bottled goods (sauces, oils, vinegars, spreads) 
  6. Whole foods (nuts, seeds, etc) 
  7. Stocks and seasonings 
  8. Breakfast cereals


    I used a liquid chalk marker to label my shelves, and I love that it doesn't smudge, but wipes off easily with water if ever I want to re-label.

    Because I like a touch of pretty, I added a contrasting strip of washi tape at the edge of each shelf.


    One of the biggest problems with my previous "system" was that I had nowhere to put boxes and packets that came home from the shops, so they ended up getting piled in front of the storage containers, like this:


    I solved this problem by installing a simple door-mounted rack with baskets that can adjust up and down. Plenty of room to corral all that visual clutter, which leaves my shelves looking streamlined and lovely!


    We made the kids' water bottles accessible to them by putting them in the lowest basket.


    We're also trying to teach the kids to get their own breakfast if they get up before us in the morning, so I moved the cereals down to the bottom shelf of the pantry, within easy reach.


    On the floor I added some storage crates for bulky goods like juice or long-life milk, and one for lunch boxes - easily accessible by the kids so they can put their own lunch box away when they get home.


    Each crate was given its own chalkboard label, placed inside a Martha Stewart labelholder.


    I've always used a step-shelf to stack cans so the labels are visible, but this time I purchased an extra shelf so I could also sort my stocks and seasonings. No more scrabbling around lifting and replacing twenty things to find what I'm after!


    I love Tupperware for storing my pantry staples - the containers stack so easily in a variety of useful configurations - but over the years I'd managed to accumulate a mixture of lids in all colours. I decided to streamline the look of my pantry by ordering all black lids. It didn't cost much to upgrade, and it looks so much smarter.


    I also replaced my tired old labels (I had the ones you print from a labelmaker on white vinyl) with some more sophisticated-looking chalkboard labels, which tie in really nicely with the chalkboard door and shelves.


    Next, I organised all the loose packets and bags of nuts, seeds and grains into pretty glass jars. I couldn't find a shelf of exactly the right dimensions to hold the jars, so I made my own using a plank of wood cut to size at the hardware store, and pieces of round dowel screwed in for legs.


    I love how pretty the grains and seeds look inside the clear glass jars.


    And lastly, I found some lovely industrial metal storage baskets to conceal the clutter that comes with storing bottles of oil and vinegar, sauces and spreads.


    All in all, a total transformation, and I couldn't be happier with it!


    Thanks so much for having me here today. I'm sorry if I scared anyone with my "before" pictures, but hopefully you're inspired by the "afters". If you'd like to see more of my kitchen and home, you can take my home tour here. Until next time, friends!

    __________________________


    Hi friends, I’m Karen from A House Full of Sunshine. Do you see that grin I can’t wipe off my face? That’s how thrilled I am to be here! I live in Australia where I’m blessed to be a stay-home mummy to my three little people. I’m also a part-time interior decorator and a former teacher of Creative Arts. Basically, I’m happiest when I’m squeezing every drop of creativity out of life – whether that means decorating a room, inventing a fun new activity to do with the kids, thinking up pretty organizing solutions or putting together a DIY project. I believe life is meant to be beautiful, and home is an expression of the heart. My blog, A house full of sunshine, is the place where I share my adventures in creative home-making with kids. The coffee’s on and the welcome mat is out – I’d love to see you there!

    77 comments:

    1. Oh how I yearn for a pantry! My cabinets are as organized as they could get, with the space I have right now, and it's still a jumbled mess!
      This is simply beautiful - and really does proof that washi is for everything!! xD

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    2. Wow! What great organization! I want to do something like this when I own a home!

      Her Heartland Soul
      http://herheartlandsoul.com

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      1. Thanks, Erin! I hope you get the chance sooner than you think! xo

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    3. WOW! This post is fabulous on so many levels!

      1) The brilliant organization of the pantry.
      2) The bright, crisp photos.
      3) The gorgeous hand-lettering.
      4) The helpful instructions!

      Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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    4. So so so wonderful. Quero minha cozinha assim!

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    5. I would LOVE to know where you purchased your baskets! I love the blueish gray crates and those white industrial baskets! Great job!

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      1. Hi Tamie, I'm in Australia so I found the crates at Kmart and the metal baskets at Pillow Talk. Hope you're able to source something similar where you are! xo

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      2. As a fellow Australian I can't believe you found crates anywhere! I LOVE YOU!

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    6. Painting the shelves and labeling them=genius!! Love how such a simple thing completely transformed the space!!

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      1. Anonymous, thank you, I quite like thinking of myself as a genius! ;) I was pretty happy when I hit on that idea as it made such a huge difference! xo

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    7. That looks awesome! I love the chalkboard door, that such a functional and stylish way. I will be reorganizing my pantry soon (its dreadful) so this gave me lots of inspiration!

      Thanks for sharing such a cool and pretty project!

      Lauren
      www.lbdesigns1.wordpress.com
      xx

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    8. I am in desperate need for a pantry makeover. I love all of the chalkboard labels. This is going to be my number one task for Spring.

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    9. This is a seriously swoon worthy pantry... I'm so jealous of all that space! The chalkboard paint on the shelves is such a sweet extra touch that makes the whole thing look even more polished.

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      1. We are pretty lucky to have such s big pantry, Jesica! We've been stuck with a tiny half-cupboard as a pantry before, and it really does make organising tricky! Thanks for your sweet comment. xo

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    10. Ohhh my goodness. I found your blog for the first time yesterday & have been glued to it every since! I'm also someone who just LOVES to organize. You give some really great tips & ideas I wouldn't have thought of! SO happy to have found this blog!

      -Jennifer
      www.jennifersblogbook.blogspot.com

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    11. This looks fantastic! I've just bought my own black-lidded Tupperware modulars and absolutely love them!

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    12. Oh my! It's been a while since I've seen such an inspiring organized pantry. I have a serious case of "pantry envy" now ;) Oh well, I'll have to have a go at sorting mine (baby permitting of course! ) xx

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      1. Thank you so much, Gaby! What a sweet comment - good luck with your own pantry project!! xo

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    13. I dont have my pantry anymore but definitely am gonna save this one for later. I am bad at organizing but love love love this pantry. I am a chalkboard and pasta lover so this screams me.

      -Nicole
      www.taylor-hill.net

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    14. Whoa momma I'm in love I'm definitely going to chalkboard paint my selves thanks for the great ideas!

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    15. Wonderful job! Very organized and appealing to the eye. You might want to consider adding wheels to your crates - you would love it. http://www.containerstore.com/shop/hooks/floorSurfaceProtection?utm_medium=Affiliate&productId=10006548&utm_source=Linkshare&utm_campaign=Linkshare_Affiliate&sku=556010

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    16. Just fabulous! I am lucky enough to have a brand new kitchen and very excited to use some of your great ideas to get it set up from the get go. I am very excited that you are in Australia! We live in New Zealand and often find inspiring ideas very difficult to execute due to the difficulty of getting some things here or to expensive because of massive shipping costs. It's wonderful to know your ideas are achievable. I had no idea Tupperware has black lids or that you can purchase just them. Totally going to do that to update mine as the containers are fine but the lids look a bit tatty in the new pantry. Would you please share where you got the Martha Stewart metal label holders?

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      1. Julie, they were from Officeworks. Do you have that store in NZ? I hope you can track them down!

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    17. I have found since emptying all my dry goods in glass jars rather than having the packets/boxes in the pantry not only do they look much nicer I can tell exactly how much I actually have on hand. Previously I would see a packet in the cupboard and think I had stuffing mix, breadcrumbs or whatever but when I went to use it the packet wasn't full. We live in the country so running to the store isn't practical! I can't believe I hadn't thought to use washi tape on my pantry shelves, going to rectify that immediately! As you can see by my flurry of comments I really love this pantry!!!

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      1. So true about the glass jars, I've found it to be really practical as well! And thank you for your enthusiasm Julie, you're so sweet. :) xo

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    18. OMG- the painted edges as labels!!! How BRILLIANT is that?

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    19. G'day Karen! So nice to see an amazing Aussie featured in this blog. Great job and looking forward to some more inspiration. Just had a pantry built (converted from walk-in-wardrobe!) and I can hear the chalkboard paint calling me ...

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      1. I'm loving the warm welcome from the Aussies. All the best with your pantry do-over, sounds like fun!!

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    20. Welcome to the blog! Your pantry looks awesome! Thanks for all the great ideas about how to organize mine.

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    21. My favourite pantry makeover to date! Where did you source the door rack? I'm in Australia too but I haven't seen that locally before.

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      1. I'd love to know where the door rack is from too Karen. It's a neat idea! The whole pantry looks incredible. Who knew pantry envy existed??

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      2. May be from Howards storage world. Worth a look.

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    22. I saw the cereal and canned goods and knew instantly that you are an Aussie - Can you tell that I work at a supermarket?
      I've also had one of those crates from Kmart for ages and have been using it for various things but nothing has worked quite well enough for my liking but now after seeing your post I'm going to use it for lunch boxes. It's amazing how one little thing has totally solved a clutter problem for me. Thanks for making my day!

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      1. I saw the Milo and immediately knew she was a fellow Aussie.

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      2. The Nutri Grain did it for me!! :D Thanks for posting about that crate being from Kmart - I was trawling the comments for that info!!

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      3. LOL, love it. Who knew there were so many Aussies hiding in the woodwork?! :) xo

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      4. The milo gave it away to me, followed by the cans! It's so exciting to see a pantry done so wonderfully using stuff we can actually buy for once!

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    23. What an awesome transformation. I am absolutely in love with your pantry!

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    24. Fantastic job! It's so inspirational to see how others' manage their storage issues. I'll bet you love just looking at that pantry now!

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      1. I do, Daisy! It even motivates me to cook... sometimes. ;)

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    25. I love you post!!! I wish you had added where you found your materials and resources. :)

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      1. Sorry, Genai! I thought it might create some confusion as I'm in Australia, so my sources are often different from what the majority of readers would perhaps be familiar with. I do apologise for any inconvenience with that. If there's anything in particular you're chasing, just let me know and I can give you those details, if that helps at all. There is some crossover with brands and products... you might be lucky. ;) xo

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    26. Lovely! So inspiring. Where did you get your gorgeous black wire fruit basket shown on your countertop? Love it! :)

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    27. That pantry makes me so happy! Way to go! Thanks for sharing - Natalie
      www.oohlalamaison.com

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    28. great post! My pantry is way too cluttered right now

      http://www.getchaglowon.com/

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    29. its funny how people label things like "canned goods" when it is OBVIOUS that there are canned goods sitting on that shelf!!

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      1. I know it doesn't make sense to everyone, but I can understand and relate with doing this because even with labels, there are times when the rest of my family just puts things wherever they please. It is just a friendly reminder when things come and go. And if anything, it is pretty and cohesive as well. :)

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      2. Thanks Jen! Totally agree. :) The concept of creating "zones" was quite pivotal in me making sense out of the mess that was my pantry. Labelling the zones helped me organise my head about where things would go, which always comes first. And yes, it greatly increases the likelihood of my system actually being used by the rest of the family too. If only that part could be guaranteed. ;)

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    30. I am obsessed with chalkboard everything these days and found the chalkboard paint on the edges of the shelves to be an absolutely brilliant idea. Thank you for the lovely organizational inspiration.

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      1. So pleased you liked the idea! Thanks for your sweet comment! xo

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    31. Love the makeover! Looks amazing! I think I may have to steal a few of those ideas. I knew Karen was a fellow Aussie when I saw the photos, I thought 'I recognise all those grocery brands' woohoo! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!
      Looks great, thanks for sharing with us Jen :-)

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    32. Thanks for sharing Karen. It's so great to see familiar Australian brands in a blogland pantry!! I'll definitely be popping over to your blog for a bit look!! :)

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    33. I am in the middle of my pantry optimization (it wasn't disorganized but I want to streamline it better). I have been going through TONS of ideas and options and applying it to my family. I am a believer in organizing based on one's family's personal style. And as much as I am drawn to battery of clear containers, I don't think they are always practical. What would I do if I have to buy a different brand of a product in the jar? Or what would I do with an overage (what didn't fit in the container?) Another big fear of mine is using glass containers, especially when they are stacked-- I have broken a couple, and it was a mess and a safety hazard. I really love the look of matching containers, but can't see them being very functional.

      I think the baskets and the crates is a wonderful way to group a bunch of bottles and such. And so easy for the kids to put away their lunchboxes-- very functional! In a word, I think "form after function" is a pretty sensible organizational principle. Even better when you can achieve both, of course.

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    34. I'm swooning so much over this and fully intend to replicate in my own kitchen :)

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    35. Just plain awesome! Boy, am I in love with every little detail of your makeover, love, love, love!
      And, that menu you wrote down on your fab new pantry door... can I come? Sounds delicious :)

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    36. Such a beautiful transformation.
      We are in a rental at the moment whilst our house is being rebuilt after a fire, and I have the smallest pantry! I need to get it organised as I cannot find anything and there is so little room to start with and no light.
      Where did you get the industrial metal storage baskets?
      I recognised the wooden crates as Kmart but would love a few of the metal ones.
      Thanks

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    37. I love what you did with that pantry! And I have a question for you. I have a lot of similar Tupperware to what you have, and I have noticed that after awhile, it gets a really funny smell that permeates right into the food and ruins the flavor of it. And every time it happens it is the exact same smell, no matter what kind of food is in the Tupperware. And then it is pretty much unusable. Have you ever had this problem? I have not been able to get rid of the smell either.

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    38. Is there a source list for the crates, etc? I am at the end of a kitchen reno, and would love to put in a system that works. Thank you!

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    39. Thank you so much for sharing, this is amazing! I'm from Aus too and just about to give my pantry a renovation haha
      Do you mind sharing what size your lables are please? Or where you got them? I have finally made an investment in Tupperware and am now looking for some beautiful labels to buy :)

      Thanks again, I'm looking forward to reading more from you soon!

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