Friday, April 19, 2013

Pantry Organization and One Happy Mama

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When my friend told me she needed help with her pantry organization, I was excited (I know, I know only a person with my personality would be excited about cleaning a pantry!)

Immediately, my wheels started turning.

Client background: Mother of four children who shops at Costco
Current pantry issues: small pantry with limited space for large items purchased at Costco, wire shelving, Dry goods are in plastic bags

Needs: Specific spaces for kids' snack items and breakfast/lunch items; specific space for the homeowner's baking items, specific space for the homeowner's bread baking supplies (She mills her own wheat and corn and makes the most heavenly homeade baked goods you have tasted!!), a spice rack for her many spices she uses in cooking and baking

Steps to an organized pantry: 
It is important to note here that you want a full pantry when you begin this process. The homeowner had just made her monthly trip to Costco so the amount of items in the pantry was realistic to what the pantry would hold on a normal basis. If you try to organize your pantry when it is empty, you won't have adequate storage for when it is full. 

  • Clean out the pantry completely and sweep/mop/wipe down shelves
  • Measure Width, Depth and Height of shelves (you will need these dimensions when shopping for containers- you want them to fit adequately) **This pantry's shelves were 16" deep and 13 3/4" tall; the width was one door space or 36"
  • Organize items on a large table or space in the kitchen (put into categories)

  • Make a chart of the different categories and come up with a solution for each **IMPORTANT: MAKE NOTES OF THE SIZES OF ITEMS YOU ARE BUYING CONTAINERS FOR- IF THE BOX OF OATMEAL IS FROM COSTCO, IT WILL NEED A LARGER CONTAINER THAN ONE FROM A REGULAR GROCERY STORE
  • Go shopping for the storage solutions



Item
Size
Solution
Spices
Various
Hanging spice rack (pantry door)
Cereal

Tall containers with a pour spout
Oatmeal

Tall containers with a pour spout
Kids snacks/crackers/granola bars

Flat containers with snap lids
Snack crackers
24 oz

Cooking oils/sprays

Lazy Susans



Canned goods

Stacked shelf for cans
Potatoes/onions

Stackable/breathable bins for the pantry floor
Grab bags of potato chips for kids’ lunches
Single serving size
Large open bucket for the pantry floor (owner already had this in place)
Pasta


Condiments like mustard, hot sauce, etc.

Lazy Susan
Breakfast condiments like syrup, honey and jam

Open basket with handles (owner already had this)
Lunch items

Peanut butter
Baked Bread items

Large Bowl for all of the labeled bags
Baking items (coconut/nuts/chocolate chips/Sprinkles
Chocolate chips 56 oz
Large clear container with lid
Baking Cups

Tall container with lid
Food Coloring

Tall container with lid
Brown rice

Large Tupperware bowl (homeowner already had)
Popcorn

Container with lid
Large bag of chips
28 oz
Tall container with pour spout


Some of the solutions we purchased: 
Copco Non-Skid Cabinet Organizer
Mainstays Large Cereal Dispenser
For Oatmeal, Cereal and Chips
Canned Goods
(bought one much like this with movable steps)
14-Piece Kitchen Shelving System
Stackable Bins
Hanging Door Storage
14 Piece Shelving System


BEFORE:




AFTER:

More AFTERS:

Stackable flat containers are great for
snacks and granola bars.
See through shoe box containers are also great.
 
Granola Bars

Large Containers with Spouts were used
for cereal and oatmeal to prevent torn boxes and bags.
The clear containers also help you see your supply.

Baskets were used for breakfast items such as syrup/honey and a
Lazy Susan was used for other condiments.
This helps prevent sticky shelves.

Always store potatoes and onions
separately in a dry place

Overall, this pantry redo was a success. A few more containers for loose items and labels will be added. The homeowner commented to me the day after saying it was much easier to prepare breakfast and lunches for her family now that she knows where everything is. That made me happy!!












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