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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ugly Scene: Organizing the Pantry

Up until a few days ago, this was our kitchen pantry. It was SO bad I was almost to humiliated to share this picture. Almost.

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In my defense I was going to school full time, working, volunteering, and still trying to fulfill my roles as wife, mother, maid, gardener and chauffer. A close up is even worse. Shield your eyes if you have a weak stomach.

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Now I know how to organize. I am actually a trained professional. I knew I needed to corral some of the clutter. I went through my garage and came up with a few things that would help the cause and proceeded to break out the spray paint. Because a single color can help to unify an area and create a tidy space. (Yep, trained professional. :)

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While the baskets were drying I proceeded to empty out the entire pantry. I bagged up every last piece of Easter candy and sent it to school, and wiped down all the surfaces. Next, I went over to my friend Cat’s blog and printed out a few labels.
blank bookplate 1 My kitchen was a complete disaster for a few hours and of course two different neighbors stopped by during this time. One visitor offered 4 small plastic bins to use since they were just “sitting around” in her garage if I swapped her for an extra curtain rod I had in my garage. YES!


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Do you hear the angelic singing? Nothing makes me happier than when I can actually find what I am looking for.

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Since I was on a roll I moseyed on over to the refrigerator. Now I am not a rocket scientist and this might not be anything new, but in case you’re tired of digging around trying to find a sauce, jam or other form of condiment might I suggest a rotating tray? I found mine at Target. No more digging. Yippee Yi Ki Yay~ I adore Tarjay. 

ugly 047 I shared my dirty little secret, what’s yours?
Laura

53 comments:

  1. turntable in the frig. what a good idea. my pantry is a mess too. i think that's todays project. thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. My pantry looks worse than your before... it's on my TO DO list for this summer!

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  3. Looks great!! Love the baskets with the labels on them.

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  4. I have organizing envy Laura! LOOKS great and those labeled baskets are toooo cute. I have TARGHAYOHOLISM!!! Can't go in there without wanting to refinance and buy everything AAAGGGH!!

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  5. You are brave! Your pantry looks wonderful. Mine seriously needs cleaning. Love your new header btw :). Thanks for the "heads up" on those cute labels.

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  6. oMGosh, your pantry looks sooo good, you have inspired me to tackle mine....AFTER I get home from THE cruise, that is..
    You did a fabulous job...and, yes, I, too use a turntable in my fridge. Love it, too.
    xo bj

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  7. That looks great! And great idea on the rotating fridge tray.

    I organized my pantry a while back and it felt so good. I need to get back in there and fix it, it's a bit out of control again.
    ~Michelle

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  8. My pantry looks probably as bad as your before pic. Oh how I need to organize. I keep the parts of the house that are visual clean and neat, but don't look behind closed doors. I will clean up and purge and organize and then a few weeks later it is a mess. Has to be a personality disorder. Thanks for the ideas of using baskets and the rotating tray in the fridge.

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  9. I love an organized pantry (which mine is not!)! Thanks for the inspiration to get me motivated. Your pantry looks great!

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  10. Laura,

    So funny that you posted about this today. I sorted through my kitchen cabinets a few weeks ago and decided last night its time to tackle my pantry! I adore the labels. If you don't hear from me in a few days send out a search team!
    I have never seen a lazy Susan for the fridge. Thanks for sharing.

    Your Friend,
    Deborah

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  11. Oh I envy your pantry!!! Great job and I am loving the labels!! Very cute!!

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  12. Very nice! And I like how you were creative with baskets and such to help hold your items! Thank you for sharing your secret!

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  13. I'm drooling. I love the organization! I think my corner cupboard has been the hardest to organize for me because I can't really see what's in it & then pull everything out all over the place making it worse. Even though I do have a basket system in it, it's not organized well enough. You have given me inspiration to dive back into that cupboard & own it ;)

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  14. You are my hero....can you come to my house....

    My pantry looks like your before picture, only worse. Opened bags of chips, bread, buns, rolls, just drive me crazy.

    I tell my husband if I ever catch the person that is messing up the pantry, they are going to be in big trouble...hehe...I'm the only one in the pantry......

    I have the southern living container you put the produce in...off to buy spray paint today!

    Thanks for the motivation!!!

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  15. I'm hearing angels singing.. lol
    Laura, you are the best.. Love this idea.. (thanks so much for the shout out, my friend)

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  16. My pantry looks like yours, the before picture. Actually the physical part as well. Love the bins and the labels. My pantry has a door. On that door are little shelves. I can put spices, small canned goods and even boxes of Mac and cheese. I think I will organize my shelves like yours. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. I'm jealous! I would love to have a pantry IN my kitchen! I'd even take your pantry in the "before" picture! :)

    Currently, my pantry is in the basement. And it needs some work. Maybe I'll tackle it this weekend.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  18. Oh my. Your worst disaster is better than mine on a good day! (Isn't that why they invented doors?) I too need to rearrange and reorganzie everything thanks to a space stealing dishwasher that was just installed! (Definitely not complaining - I cook for anywhere between 4 & 8 people daily) Hope my new arrangement comes out as tidy as yours! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Love the baskets and labels in the pantry, Laura! This is timely since a client I just started with asked me if I'd help her organize her kitchen cabinets and all once we get to that room. Great ideas and I need to check out those labels! They may help me in the freshening/neatening up of my craft closet.

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  20. No worries about my stomach, I've just taken some Pepto! :)
    That's a big ole project! Looks great now! I tackle mine about twice a year. Why don't things stay nice? :)
    I like that idea for the fridge. Just may have to take a little trip to Target!
    It's so nice to learn from a professional! You rock, you know!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  21. Laura, just wanted to let you know that you won my GIVEAWAY!!!!!
    Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address.
    Mary :o)

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  22. That was not bad. You don't even want to see mine.

    I'm so going to try this. It will be especially nice when the kitchen remodel is done. You never cease to amaze me.

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  23. Very impressive, though the initial "mess" was not so bad, especially since I noticed Skippy peanut butter instantly upon first glance. Skippy in the pantry makes it all better! Love your organizational solutions. ~ Angela

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  24. Well, I cannot narrow it to just ONE dirty little secret.... Our two other bedrooms are disasters since my daughter came home with ALL HER STUFF. THis summer will be spent redoing her childhood room and decluttering (as best I can MY office which used to be my son's room and is now a storage room) Oh my. I'd better get to work, but not before I head to Tarjay for that lazy susan for the fridge - best idea!

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  25. Just found your blog today and I LOVE it! ~Lili

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  26. Just did my closet. And nope, there are no pictures!!

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  27. I admit, mine looks like the before:-( But I do get in there and straighten it up when I get groceries. Yours looks great though!! I don't have your space either, so I'm jealous!!

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  28. Thanks for sharing. I'm a big fan of organization. I love the rotating shelf in the fridge, most of my shelves are wire therefore I use two trays (plain cafeteria style) for jams, jellies etc. This makes for quick clean-ups. I use several rotating shelves (some two-tiered) in cabinets for cups, spices, and one for the daily condiments, salt, pepper, cream and sugar bowl etc. You are amazing that you can juggle so much.

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  29. I love using baskets in linen closets and pantries. Here is how I used them this spring. http://www.containchaos.com/?p=388 Notice the labels...look familiar? :-)

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  30. Inspirational! I love the tags too. I think I'll go straighten something!

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  31. Hi Sweet Laura~

    I am trying to catch up on my Blog visits. I have been battling pneumonia in both lungs for over two weeks now but I am one the mend.

    I love how you organized your pantry. Now you have inspired me to do the same!

    LuLu♥

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  32. I love my lazy susan in my fridge. It's very handy.
    I have a basket in my pantry labeled school lunches. It has everything my kids need to make their lunch...including a small canning jar with quarters to buy milk at school. It makes it easier for them to do and they are so proud that they can do it all by themselves. Another basket holds their lunch boxes or paper sacks for field trips!

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  33. You're a step ahead of me because our 1920's house has no pantry, and the kitchen is definitely the smallest room in the house; Wow I never thought to put a LS in the frige....thanks for the tip and the daily dose of inspiration, Laura!!

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  34. ok, so my fridge will NEVER be that tidy. we are the condiment crazies around here, and the turntable just takes up too much space, but I LOVE the way it looks--sigh.
    your pantry reorganization is wonderful. mine needs it. i have been tempted to post pics of my DESK and BEDROOM craft storage--which is empty bc all the STUFF is on the floor. nothing like a restful, uncluttered space to start your day, right? i may go organize the pantry just to avoid working on the craft cabinet. ;-)
    you did a great job!

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  35. I am working on my pantry too...great minds think alike:)!

    I love having everything neat and tidy and PRETTY!

    Yours look beautiful...job well done!

    Enjoy!
    Cathy

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  36. I learn something every time I visit here! Now that the painting is done & the carpet is coming tomorrow, I think some organization is in my future!

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  37. U ROCK!!! And mine would be my desk at home...I seriously HATE paperwork (funny since I am a scrapper! LOL!) and sooooooooooooo it collects and collects on my desk...then I get overwhelmed and gut it out and its all pretty...then that little cycle of paperwork starts all over again!! LOL!! Your pantry looks GREAT! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

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  38. Oh that looks fantastic! Love the baskets!

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  39. OK now I have got to clean my pantry...How inspiring!!

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  40. This all looks fantastic Laura! I need a rotating tray. Thanks for sharing the info and idea! *Smiles*

    Have a blessed day. ~Melissa :)

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  41. My pantry currently (and almost always) looks like your before picture. But mine is half the width of yours and has ugly wire shelves. I don't think it's possible to make it prettily organised.

    I love all the containers and the lables you used. It's so pretty! You'll have to "accidently" leave the door open when you have company ;-)

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  42. God Bless you and may you have a wonderful week-end!

    You have a great Pantry!!!!
    d

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  43. My dirty little secret is my laundry room, but yikes, I am not brave enough to take pics! LOL IT is BAD! Thanks so much for stopping by, I agree, it is fun reading blogs and finding out about each other! Oh and the lazy susan in the fridge, genious! Sue

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  44. ok I need you to help me now!!! You are very clever...hugs and happy weekend. xoxoxo

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  45. Ahhhh, there is something just so satisfying about a tidy pantry.

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  46. dirty secret? I only mop my kitchen floor once a week and I hung my curtains up after washing them without ironing them.. a week ago, they're still wrinkled. oh well. You have a lovely blog!

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  47. It looks glorious! :) Hallelujah, hallelujah! Love a clean pantry! Please don't forget to come link up before our linky closes from FAB Friday with this or SATC, which is such a great post! :)
    Heather @ www.savingmoneylivinglife.com

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  48. I love how your re-organizing looks so pretty!

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  49. So nice and tidy -- what a great accomplishment. Nothing like a pantry where everything is visible! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope you got in on our glass vessel sink giveaway (last day tomorrow), too! Jane F.

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  50. I don't believe that is really your pantry in the before! :) I think the after is yours for sure! That looks more like you!

    ~Liz

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  51. Hi Laura!
    I have to laugh--not at your pantry, but at the fact that I am in the midst of re-doing my pantry and kitchen--painting, new fixtures/window treatments and organizing stuff--
    I laughed because I was relieved that someone else's pantry was not a pretty sight, either! :)
    I can show my post in blogland now with no shame...thank you!
    Hugs!
    P.S. The after picture is fantastic--I saw the jar of lemon curd -- we eat that, too!! We eat it on scones--you?

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