Monday, January 13, 2014

Home Organization: The Pantry


I didn't intend to tackle the pantry before a whole host of other projects that are more urgent, but I honestly couldn't take it anymore. We don't have a ton of kitchen space, and our cabinets are deep, so stuff just kind of gets stuffed toward the back. 

Matt and Henry were out for a run and Tate was still sleeping, so I seized the opportunity to pull everything out. I wasn't sure what the plan of action was going to be, so seeing everything on the counter helped me generate next steps. I started grouping like-items and realized that they primarily fell into two categories:
  1. Things to store in a bin together (snacks, vitamins, oils/vinegars, etc.)
  2. Things to store individually in separate containers (brown sugar, chia seeds, etc.)
I made a list of all the containers I needed to get and even took rough measurements of the items sitting together on the counter. I sprinted to The Container Store and stocked up on several different plastic bins, a couple glass jars, and awesome air-tight containers. 

At checkout, the cashier mentioned that she had recently reorganized her pantry using baskets, and it gave me doubts about my choice to go with plastic. However, given that Tate was going to need to eat soon, I didn't have much of an option except to stick with my plastic. 

Part of my pantry reorganization involved moving stuff out of the kitchen that really didn't need to be there. Things like infrequent medicine and even disposable dishware didn't need to take up valuable real estate in the pantry. We have plenty of storage space in the bathroom linen closets for stuff like that. 

I made labels for each of the containers using scrap paper, colored tape, and our label maker. I followed through with plans to use vertical tension rods to create separate compartments for various bakeware items. 

So far, we are in love with the new system! We can easily slide the plastic bins out to reach things that are farther in, and we can take out the bins entirely when we are doing something like making Henry's lunch. Also, I love the airtight containers for brown and white sugar, popcorn, and powered sugar. We use those items rather infrequently, so it makes sense to keep them stored as well as possible.

Slowly but surely this house will come together!

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Daniel Rauh said...

You might want to retro-fit the cabinet shelves with roll-outs in the future you can get them at IKEA.
Grampa Dan

Montessor Karla said...

I prefer the plastic over baskets since you can see through them. Not as attractive, but more user-friendly and easy to maintain.

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