As you know, I am currently unemployed. As such, I feel that I need to make major contributions to our household organization and cleanliness. The first project I tackled was my scrapbooking stuff. It really is still a work in progress, but it has come a long way. In the process, I cleaned-out/reorganized Chris’ and my walk-in closet. You can actually walk in it!
A couple of months ago, I started working on re-organizing our pantry. One of the difficulties of living in an apartment with 2 growing, almost teen boys, is that there is never enough storage space for food. Our kitchen is small and most of our cabinets are full (and we have more stuff in storage). I have a pantry that has 4 shelves. But it has been difficult to organize and keep that way.
Ikea opened here, in Colorado,at the end of July. David and I went and bought some stuff just before he started school, but the store was really crowded. I went again on Wednesday. My plan was to buy containers to organize my pantry. And I did. Most of Wednesday afternoon was spent washing containers, drying them and emptying boxes.
Michael helped by using the label machine. It was good for a few laughs and I left his “errors,” I also made a few myself. By the time I went to bed, I had made a huge dent in the mess of the pantry. Thursday morning I finished the remainder. I should have bought a few more containers. Isn’t that always the case! Thursday night I moved on to my baking cabinets and right now the kitchen is a disaster. I’m spending today working on cleaning the kitchen and the rest of the apartment. Hopefully, I can get a good amount done (I don’t have to go anywhere until 3:50 when I pick up Michael from school).
In October, 2010 Jamie Lee Curtis was on the cover of Good Housekeeping. She was interviewed about her home organization system. She had this gorgeous kitchen with tons of storage and she used containers to store everything. At the time I read it, I thought that she must have spent a small fortune on containers. I also wished my kitchen could be as organized.
Ikea products allowed me to organize my pantry for about $100. I will pick up a few more containers when I go there next, but I was able to get a 4 qt container and a 3 qt container for $5.99. So buying what I thought I would need was not outrageous. I bought a total of 7 different sized containers and was able to really do my pantry justice. I had other storage containers (with screw top lids) and put those to use for cooking and baking (most of the Ikea containers were for snacks) and those are the containers you see on the second (from the top) shelf.
Here is the part that blew me away though – I had a total of 6 kitchen sized bags of GARBAGE. What a waste. It should never be such a big issue again, but it was amazing for me to see.
Chris wonders how long we will be able to keep the pantry looking so neat. But I don’t think that it is going to be all that difficult. We do still have some labeling to finish, but things are already easier to find. In fact, nothing will be “forgotten” in the back of the pantry anymore, since you can easily see what is back there.
Last night Michael was hungry. He went to the pantry. He found the container of Frosted Flakes and had some cereal as a snack. As you can see, the in this BEFORE picture, the Frosted Flakes were in the box on the floor of the pantry. They had been sitting there since May and no one touched them. In the AFTER picture, they are the third container from the right and labeled. Something he easily found and put back in the right place when he was finished.
I think this is going to work out just fine. Now, if I could only make the rest of the kitchen look this good!