Monday, April 6, 2015

84 IHeart Kitchen Reno: An Organized Pantry

Don't get me wrong, I have been loving this year's weekly Quick Tip series.  It has been fun focusing on bite size organizing to get us by while we work on a much bigger project.  But come on!  This girl has been so patiently waiting to move on to bigger and better organizing projects.  The kind that fuel my organizing fire.


I am not ready to fill all of the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen quite yet... I am trying to wait for the center island to arrive first.  Although we have already assigned a function to each cabinet and drawer on paper, I won't really know what we have available until everything is assembled and in place.  But one thing that won't be changing, island or no island, is the pantry. 

Our previous pantry was a bit of a struggle in that it was deep, and the interior was wider than the door opening by a couple of inches on both sides.  Also, anything above the door opening was a challenge to see or access.  We made the most of the space, and when paired with a kitchen cabinet across the way, we had plenty of dry food storage.  Little did I know the difference ONE cabinet would make in how we store all of those items now.  The new pantry cabinet is a a 30" wide, floor to ceiling unit with zero clearance hinges.  That means the doors don't get in the way of the opening and allow the most possible access to drawers and shelves.  Little things, big difference.


We made sure to have electrical added to allow us to conceal our microwave within the new cabinet.  I LOVE this!  First, the stainless finish is always covered in finger prints and it is so nice not to care.  And second, it frees up counter space which is always prime real estate in a kitchen.

The microwave alone is fantastic, but I couldn't wait to get my paws on those deep drawers below.  However, those shelves above left me scratching my scalp a bit.   24" deep shelves are not easy to maximize unless you can pull them out.  Only problem is that IKEA didn't offer pull out drawers/shelves for their 30" pantry when we ordered from their old Akurum line.  Their new Sektion line does offer pull out options for the 30" pantry, however, the kitchen associate informed us that the new system doesn't work with the old system.  #boo

We started looking at some pull out drawer options online, and another boo hoo slipped through my lips.  So expensive.  Then I remembered that the IKEA Pax wardrobe system offered drawers, in fact, we had just used them in our coat closet update and loved them!  The measurements were close enough to make us believe that we could make them work, coming in at 29 1/2" wide x 22 7/8" deep.  And with their IKEA Family sale, we paid just $25 per drawer set, soft close hardware included.

We are not the tallest family on the block, so we only needed two pull out drawer options.  The entire pantry was designed with height in mind.  A lower drawer for the kids, microwave at boy's level, one more drawer dedicated to the kids and then baking and boxed/canned goods above.


And yeah.... those are jogging pants... moving on.

As you can see, the drawers for the IKEA wardrobe did end up fitting inside of our pantry!  To make everything line up just right, we added a strip of 1/4" thick MDF behind each rail to get to the 30" width of the pantry.


Once we did a test run, we removed the strip and I painted them white to match the cabinet.  Back in place and you would never even know they are there.


We still may router out a groove in the taller drawers to better see the contents, we haven't quite decided on that yet as we figure we should live with them "as-is" for awhile.

So let's take a closer look at how I organized each zone.  I have quite a few favorite moments happening inside, so I will try to keep the obnoxious over-excitement to a minimum.  It will be hard though, I mean, check out the bottom drawer!


I couldn't wait to go to the grocery store and stock the pantry, and this drawer is one of the main reasons.  I have always loved the Multi-Purpose Bins from The Container Store; they are the shining stars in our fridge and freezer.  Now, they are also steeling the show in the pantry!


For the drawers, I used 4 large bins and 2 medium bins.  We had a lot of conversation about the type of baskets/bins to use in the drawers for our produce.  As much as I love the look of a woven or wire basket, they are not easy to keep clean, especially when flaky, dirty and juicy produce is involved.  These plastic options are light weight, easy to clean, yet offer a ton of storage space.  I truly couldn't be happier with how they worked out.  I used my Silhouette to cut some labels out of vinyl for each bin, which can also be washed without worry.


I could gush all day, but it is time to move on.  Next drawer up is the boy's lunch drawer.


This drawer fit the kid's lunch bags and reusable containers beautifully.  I started with our snack bin and then just filled the space around it.  Everything that use to live up high in our lunch cabinet, now couldn't be easier for the boys to use each day.


Just above the microwave is our snack and breakfast drawer.  Many of the snacks are also used in the boy's lunches as well.


We already had all of the containers, they were just reconfigured in the new drawers.  I decided to skip the labels this time as we had eventually stopped using them in our previous setup.  We wash the bins prior to refilling them with any new snacks and tend to change the types of snacks we eat from week to week.


The small baskets work great for holding our oatmeal packets and breakfast bar options.  I still believe in ditching the off-the-shelf packaging whenever possible.  You really save so much room.  One of those small baskets holds about four boxes of bars.

I don't bake more than boxed goods, but my hubby does (making me a lucky wife).  However, after organizing the next drawer, I can't wait to take a baking class or ten.


Since I adore our snack containers so much, I invested in a few more for our baking products.  After they stacked nicely inside of the drawers, there was only a small amount of room left to add a label to the faces.  I did decide to label these containers because baking powders and sugars are not as easy to differentiate as snacks.


Although only a small part of the label would be visible, the labels I had on hand at home were larger clear options.  So, I made the most of the area by adding a sweet little cupcake and a quote.  Super easy to design using the Avery online label template...


I mean, totally adorable right?


Big cupcake fans in this house.

To make the most of the drawer, I decided to put many of our baking tools in with the mixes and essential powders.


Again, the acrylic organizers are from our previous kitchen drawers, I just transplanted them here.  I love the idea of everything being in one single hot spot.


The next shelf is where things we eat less frequently live.  Canned goods, rice, noodles, sauces, etc...


Given the height, it didn't make sense to do another pull out drawer, or we would never be able to see/reach.  However, to be sure nothing is lost in the far back, I snagged one of these tiered organizers.  I appreciate that it can be adjusted as our inventory changes.


As I was organizing and putting all of our canned goods away, I started to feel like I was verging on Sleeping with the Enemy territory.  Although, I know it won't take more than a couple of minutes for our fam to mess it up a bit.

The top shelf is for any overflow, bulk items, etc... and it will also store a few of our favorite small appliances.


And that completes the tour!  My kids were circling like sharks as I was taking the photos of the freshly stocked pantry, but even after they ransacked it, it was able to maintain a nice level of order.  Yahoo!

I am so excited that we were able to condense an entire pantry, double wide cabinet and lunch cabinet from our previous setup, into a single floor to ceiling pantry in the new kitchen.  With a microwave too! 

Feels good to scratch the organizing itch.  Now... back to installing the flooring in the living area...


You can follow all of the kitchen progress here.

P.S.  WE WON!  Last week we were notified that you all voted us as the Better Homes & Garden's Top DIY blog.  I owe you all an iHeart gratitude hug and so much more.  I know I say it frequently, but I couldn't believe it more, we have THE BEST readers ever!  You guys are always so supportive, encouraging and HELPFUL!  I truly learn so much from y'all and just hanging out with you each day is a dream.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to vote and for cheering us on as we work on this place we call home.  The other nominees are all superstar blogs and I highly recommend checking each one out for even more DIY love.

84 comments:

  1. Hello Jennifer. Totally Love your Kitchen reno. Its way more than beautiful and so well organized, I can keep staring at it all day :) I totally loved the baking supplies label. They are super cute. and loved the idea of the pull-our drawers than regular dividers in the cabinet. Just love it :)

    Hugs..

    Salma Sheriff
    made-in-craftadise.blogspot.com

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  2. Congrats Jen!!!!! The pantry is lovely but even mores, SUUUUUUPER excited on the BHG WIN!!!!! <3

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  3. This is so good! I think I have to get myself some of those Multi-Purpose Bins

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  4. Looks great! Just wondering - has your family gone gluten-free?

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    1. Not everyone. I started eating gluten free about a year ago to help with some stomach problems and we are also transitioning one of the boys. Typically the entire family eats gluten free for our main meals because it is just easier that way, but we are not entirely gf in our home. xoxo!

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    2. I noticed that too! I have to be GF too, and it will be great to spy how you solve the GF/standard organizing challenges. I have two bread bins, for one.
      Keep up the great work! You are an inspiration.

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    3. You'll enjoy your additional storage space with all the additional gluten-free items you will need to store. How do you deal with the extra cost of gluten-free foods?

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    4. Hello, I have definitely noticed that gluten-free is much more expensive, but aside from some items for baking and breakfast, I don't eat too much differently. I have become better about supplementing previously gluten-filled foods with other items. We make zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti, I use lettuce as wraps for sandwiches and hamburgers, etc... I don't eat much bread in general, so our loaf of GF sits in the freezer for a few weeks at a time. Also, if you have an Aldi, they have gluten free options at fairly reasonable prices. xoxo!

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  5. The pantry looks great! FYI, one thing I learned a year or two ago is that you are not supposed to store onions and potatoes together. We keep potatoes in a space like yours and onions on the counter, and I do think our potatoes last longer than they did when the onions were right next to them. :)

    http://consumerist.com/2014/04/05/keep-your-onions-garlic-separated-and-other-tips-for-storing-fruits-vegetables/

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    1. See! Learn something new from you guys all the time, I had no idea. :) We have always stored ours together. Maybe I will keep the potatoes in a paper bag to see if that helps, we typically go through the potatoes pretty quickly. Otherwise, I am sure I can just swap things around. The labels are not permanent and the bins have a million and one uses. :) Thanks for the tip!

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  6. Such smart organization!!

    Laura
    www.24-7style.com

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  7. I love so much of what you've done here. Drawers and pull outs make life so much easier. We aren't the tallest family on the block either.. when I did my kitchen I put in very little upper cabinetry for that reason! I have the tiered shelving for cans too, and I love having bins to hold smaller items.

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  8. Congratulations on the win! I only discovered you a few months ago and quickly read through the archives and started organizing. I look at my home is SUCH a different way now! Thanks for being an inspiration to make my little/awkward/kind of ugly rented space work FOR me. (and be a little more beautiful with the help of contact paper!

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    1. That makes me so happy, thank you so much for checking in Amy! ♥

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  9. I love it Jen. Cannot wait to see what you do with the rest of the kitchen. The Living room to. Keep up the good work.

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  10. Love this so much! I've been DYING for a pantry in our kitchen but there's just really no way to do it with out some major renovations. Having all our food in one cabinet would be like a dream come true! And not having the microwave on the counter? Amazing. Loving the kitchen reno and can't wait to see the finished product!

    www.laraonamission.blogspot.com

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  11. LOVE this pantry! And so glad that you were voted tops in the BHG blog survey. Yours is one blog I never miss in my daily routine! :) Congrats!

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  12. I LOVE your kitchen! Especially the cereal containers and the baking drawer. Mine is an unorganized mess, and I need to spend time organizing it. How long did it take you to set yours up?

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    1. Hi Valerie!

      I actually worked on it over the course of two days. My husband assembled and installed the drawers in about an hour and a half, I spent one evening unpacking all of the groceries and configuring things (about another hour or so), and the next day I spent about an hour creating and applying labels. So a total of 3 1/2 hours from blank slate to finished. :)

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  13. How much do you love avery labels?! The weprint feature is perfection for our family! Paired with oxo pop canisters and my itty bitty kitchen works efficiently!!! My wife may claim to hate my decanting of things but the steep drop off in "hey babe, where's the..." is pretty awesome for us both!

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    1. Love Avery labels! And decanting... and containers, lol.

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  14. This is gorgeous! I have a love of organizing and I could probably dance in happiness if I had that pantry in my house.

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  15. Beautiful! I especially love how you were able to mix and match the IKEA products. Loved it.

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  16. I love the look of the containers for the snack items like crackers. Do you find that they go stale faster though? That is my biggest concern about moving foods like that to containers. I want some one to come organize my pantry! We have a huge walk in one, that is wonderful but currently looks a state. Since I am trying to get the rest of the house organized it gets forgotten about since I can just close the door and not have to see it.

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    1. Hi Andrea! With our family, food rarely has time to go stale (three growing boys who are active and love to snack). I just prefer that I can see when things are running low, and I do think it actually preserves the freshness since the containers create an airtight seal. Maybe only decant what you know will get eaten within a week or two, and keep overflow sealed boxes above or below. xoxo!

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  17. I'm itching to go home from work and organize my own pantry, now :) I don't know how you do it, but somehow every project you post makes me smile an dream of a more organized life. And congrats on such an amazing honor. I knew when I saw your blog listed that there was only one choice for me to vote for!!! Can't wait to see your finished kitchen!

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    1. Aw, thanks so much Jamie! I appreciate you! ♥

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  18. Ohmygoodness I dream of an organized pantry! I love this!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

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  19. Congrats on the WIN!!! Both in the kitchen and BHG! :)

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  20. Love the drawers in the pantry! That is definitely something I want to do when we get out own place. And those labels are adorable!

    Kristi
    www.beloverly.com

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  21. Looks awesome! You did a great job and I love that produce drawer, that's fantastic! Congraturlations on winning!! That's amazing :)

    Lauren | LB Designs
    www.lbdesigns1.wordpress.com
    xx

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  22. Hallo Jen-my English is very bad...Congratulations on the win from Europe (Prague-Czech Republic).I´m not fan of IKEA-my house "was born in 1785" :o)) but your kitchen and everything is super.You are very creativ.I envy you The Container Store

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  23. Love the drawers! Now I am going to measure my deep cabinets to see if they would fit in mine as well. I've always had a hard time with my deep cabinets. I was also wondering where your measuring spoons see from. They are super cute.

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    1. The spoons were found at a local kitchen store but the backs say they are by Talisman Designs. :)

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  24. Love the new organized pantry. I find an organized pantry makes it more fun to cook. Weird, I know. I can't wait to see the finished product of you renovation. By the way, for what do you use xanthan gum? I may need to add it to my baking shelf!

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    1. Hi Renee! Xanthan gum is most commonly used when baking gluten free items to add some elasticity to the flour mixture.

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  25. This looks incredible! I wish I was as organised and tidy as this! X

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  26. Congrats on the win!!! I am in LOVE with this pantry and drooling over the organizational things more than the food! Very inspiring!

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  27. I never thought I could be in love with a pantry until now! It looks AMAZING!!
    -Megan

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  28. Your pantry looks wonderful and makes me want to tackle mine again! I have bought many airtight containers in various sizes to use for cereals, chips, nuts, etc. I find that I never seem to have the right size for what I need--can't get all of the bag of chips or box of cereal in the containers. Do you have a solution? I mean do you just make sure that your are getting the size of product that fits your designated container or do you buy the container after you know what product you like to buy in a specific size. I know this doesn't make sense. I find it especially difficult to manage this while keeping all the containers from the same line so they look good together like yours do. I'm a matchy-matchy kind of person. Any tips so I don't end up still having partially filled bags of stuff with clips on them?

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    1. Really great question!

      For awhile, I wrote down the size of the container on my weekly grocery shopping list. Now I tend to have them memorized for the most part but that helped a lot while shopping.

      When it comes to crackers and snacks, it does happen that an entire box won't quite fit into the container. In those situations, I quickly make up a few grab-n-go snack containers with the remaining contents (which is always a win throughout the week). When it comes to items like the baking products, I purchased the smallest sized bags I could find, because I didn't want to worry about overflow and we don't bake often enough that I needed to purchase large quantities.

      If you purchase cereal specific containers, they should correlate to a standard box of cereal without too many issues.

      Thanks so much!

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  29. Congrats on your great news! So many good things coming your way-it's Karma! Love those storage bins from The Container Store. Everything looks just wonderful! It feels so good to have a place for everything that is frequently used. Well done!

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  30. Love this pantry. And the labels on everything is really the key to keeping it all organized. Now everything has a place and it can easily return back to it. Great job!

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  31. Looks amazing Jen!! You definitely have this organizing thing down pack :)

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  32. Congrats on the win! You deserve it. Over a year ago, I ditched 95% of blogs and now only follow a couple. But I still read yours! This week marks the one year anniversary of our kitchen reno, and I have to say, I'm glad you got the Akurum line. I peeked at their new Sektion last month, and was SUPER unimpressed. Everything seemed dinky, wobbly, and super cheap quality. I can honestly say we wouldn't have gone with IKEA if they had changed earlier. (We knew the change was coming, and made sure to do it before.) But you chose the same door style we did, so I'm a bit biased - great choice! ;)

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    1. So grateful you are sticking around to follow our home adventure. :) And I hope you are loving your new cabinets a year later, as much as we are already loving ours. xoxo!

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  33. I think I want to marry this pantry.... Absolutely wonderful! I will be copying this when I move next month!

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  34. Congratulations on your Better Homes and Garden's DIY blogger award! The pantry looks beautiful and can't wait to see your finished kitchen reno!

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  35. Congratulations on your win! Your blog has been the kick in the pants I've needed to start organizing my own home, so thank you! I love the Greek key shelf liner you used - would you please share where you snagged it? Thanks again for all the effort you put into creating such a wonderful blog!

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    1. Thanks Angie! The paper is from http://www.chicshelfpaper.com/, I plan to chat more about it in an upcoming post. :) xo!

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  36. Are you worried at all about the microwave being properly vented and/or heating up the food in the rest of the pantry?

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    1. No, the microwave doesn't get too hot and there is still plenty of space around it and between any food. Of course we always leave the doors open while using it to also prevent any over-heating problems. We looked at a lot of options for storing the microwave and after some research we found that microwaves have been housed in cabinets and pantries for years in kitchen design without issues. xoxo!

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  37. Thanks for sharing! I started reorganizing our pantry and now it's led to many other cabinets in our kitchen. I'm obsessed! Reading your blog always inspires me to go organize something in our house!

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  38. Looks great. We are adding some ikea cabinets to a bare wall in our kitchen as soon of a coffee/mail nook. Have you ever stored garlic and onions in an enclosed space before? My worry is that they'll stink up the entire cabinet. This happened with my moms pantry-which was a whole room/closet.

    As for the microwave comment, I think as long as there is space behind the microwave to vent, it should be ok.

    Jackie

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  39. in case anyone else is looking to do this, the inside width of the old and new ikea cabinets are exactly the same. The reason they "aren't compatible" is that the holes are drilled in different spots and likely the sizing of the fronts, which wouldn't matter since these are behind doors. I was able to install a single shallow 36" sektion drawer in my Akurum cabinet by just drilling a couple of extra holes that line up with the new drawer glides. I'm sure you know the ikea worker would have told you that the Pax drawers are not compatible with Akurum, so I'm surprised you would jump to the wardrobe drawer of a different width without trying the kitchen ones first. They do look very nice though!

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    1. Thank you so much for chiming in! We were about to try both options, but the associate also told us the new Sektion option would be too wide and also wouldn't work with our current hinges? Being that they were so much more expensive, we didn't want to try and cut them down if they were in fact, too wide, so we defaulted to the Pax option. Totally bums me out that we were misinformed (almost enough to want to swap them out at some point). Again, glad to hear that they DO work and thanks again for sharing. xoxo!

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    2. You're welcome. I actually went to get the drawer the first day they were available and I was praying the worker wouldn't ask me what it was for since no one would have the kitchen installed yet to just need a random drawer and try to argue with me that it wouldn't work. Haha a little paranoid looking back! I think they probably just don't want to tell people it will work with some modification and then get returns if they can't figure it out. My mom's kitchen has had a pax wardrobe with drawers for the pantry for six years so far and it still looks like new so I think these were a good option! It's actually two 30" wide units, and there never seems to be any room so I'm amazed you fit so much in here and a microwave too!!

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  40. Congratulations on the win - you guys really deserve it!

    Plus the pantry looks fantastic, I think I was analyzing the photographs for a "little" too long!

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  41. Congrats! Your blog is so useful as you are so detailed about your decisions and always approach things from a functional and budget-friendy standpoint. Makes you so relatable!

    You should do an open house of your main level when your kitchen is finished :) we live in Woodbury and would love to see it!

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    1. I second that. Would love to have a tour of your home. Jane

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  42. Ah I always use the 'Sleeping with the enemy' reference, but no-one ever understands what I'm on about! I'm like, y'know with the tins all straight, and she messes them up then they're straight again... haha! Love the pantry though, even if it is slightly 'Sleeping with the enemy'! :)

    Ceri
    October Eleven

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  43. Jen!!! CONGRATULATIONS on the BHG win - that is so awesome!! I'm completely thrilled for you! :D So well deserved. And your pantry is perfect!! I love it! xo

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  44. Hello! I was wondering, where did you get your measuring cups? They are so cute!

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    1. Hi Emily! I purchased them years ago from Pier 1. I just spotted a similar set on Joss & Main this week: https://www.jossandmain.com/The-Mother%E2%80%99s-Day-Shop-4-Piece-Flowers-Measuring-Cup-Set~VJE2306~E18466.html?keyword=measuring xoxo!

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  45. Love this! I would like to know what containers you used to store the crackers, etc. Also what sizes.

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  46. Hello where did you purchase the "cereal" letters from?
    Thanks Tina

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    1. Hi Tina,

      I cut the "cereal" letters from vinyl using my Silhouette craft machine.

      xo!

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  47. This is fabulous. Can organizing be gorgeous?! Love it!! Where did you get the striped green pitcher?? (not sure if anyone has asked that yet)

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  48. Can you tell me where you got those ADORABLE wooden measuring spoons with the colored handles? Thank you!!

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  49. Hey, Jen this is so beautiful! I love love those adorable labels that you have. Cutest thing ever and your containers are perfect for that space. What happened to your old pantry? I used to stare at those pictures, loved everything in that tiny space.

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    1. Thank you Anju! The old pantry was built-in and removed when we started renovating our kitchen. It will always live on the blog however. :) xo!

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  50. Wow! You have such great ideas! I love the snack bins and the expand-a-shelf for the canned goods. Very useful blog post! Thank you for sharing! I pinned to my pinterest! Love it!!!!!

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  51. So I'm ready to start a total move around of the inside of my kitchen presses. I won't be adding any drawers but just moving things to help them work better. I love all your ideas here but I'm just wondering where you put your cook books. We have about 20... None of which I use very much and not sure where would work better

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    1. Hi Martina,
      Right now I have a few cookbooks stacked on my kitchen counter next to the pantry, but I don't have too many so they are a nice decorative touch and not too in the way. In your case, maybe pick out your favorite recipes and make copies (or transfer them to recipe cards) and place them in a binder or two? Binders allow you to also add recipes found online and in magazines easily as well. Then you can either sell/donate the large cookbooks or store them with your other family books. xoxo!

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  52. Wow!!! This is absolutely amazing I am completely in love. We are gearing up to do over our kitchen with IKEA in the next couple of months so it's great to see some awesome ideas.
    Just a quick question. What is the font that you have used on your vinyl labels for the multi-purpose bins? I love how simple and clean it looks.

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    1. Thank you Kerry! The font I used on the bins is "American Typewriter". xoxo!

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    2. I love how organized you are! It looks great1 I was wondering what font you used for baking labels?

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    3. Thank you Gemma! The font was a stock font offered through the Avery design website titled Special Elite.

      http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/Templates-%26-Software/Software/Avery-Design--Print-Online.htm

      xoxo!

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  53. What size are the snack containers and the tiered baking containers? I'm off to the container store to shop! Thanks for inspiring me! :)

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