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Today I am back to share the messiest place in our house and how I got it all under control. Of course I couldn’t tackle this mess all by myself I had a little help from Good HouseKeeping’s Spring Cleaning Challenge.
Now you can imagine my excitement (and my horror) when our messy pantry was deemed so bad it was chosen to receive organizational tips from a professional organizer as part of the Spring Clean Challenge. Oh yeah, it was that bad! Are you ready to see what it looked like before?
Pretty bad right? Its over full, over cluttered, and just a plain old mess. This is where Jeni Aron, a professional organizer from Clutter Cowgirl, stepped in with some very helpful advice.
1. Install a door rack that has adjustable baskets (variety of sizes) to house your most used items. This is great for kid stuff because you can make it her area (or her 2 or 3 baskets) and she won’t disrupt the rest of the shelving: The door is valuable real estate that you’re currently overlooking.
2. Transfer the dog food to canisters for easy shelf access.
3. Mount the top 5 cookbooks on the wall to the right with shelves.
And put the rest of the cookbooks on the top shelf where there is room.
4. Install gliding storage to take advantage of the depth of each shelf. You’ll be creating drawer space that is easy to maneuver and you won’t be buying duplicates of the same food items any more.
5. Categorize! Make zones for your pantry. Baking in one area, cereal in another, and so on. Be faithful to these zones and school everyone in the house about what goes where. If necessary, label each shelf: Baking, Cooking, Holiday, Breads, etc. Be consistent with your containers, too. If you get all clear plastic bins for your foods then nothing will get buried in those pretty baskets. You can use the baskets in another room in the house.
To kick off my pantry spring cleaning I first went through a major “declutter” session. All the old food that passed its expiration date got thrown away and food we were never going to eat was donated to our local food pantry. Cook books, cutting boards, and glass ware were all sorted and evaluated and only the items we actually use were put back.
Next I covered all of our shelves using brown shipping paper and double sided tape I aquired at our local dollar store. This helped to give our shelves a fresh clean look with out all the time and expense of new paint.
Next I started organizing our pantry into sections using a few small wire baskets, can shelves, and baskets. I made a section for Health and Wellness, Side Dishes, Baking, Snacks, Cans, Bottles, Cookbooks, Beverages, and finally Breakfast.
To help keep my family faithful to these new zones instead of just shoving everything back in haphazardly, I spent some time making new labels using my Epson LW600P for all the bottles and jars. For the larger chalkboard signs I used my ever handy Silhouette Machine.
Another addition that really made a big difference is our new door organizer. We gained so much storage that we were able to relocate our paper towels, garbage bags, foil, plastic wrap, sandwich bags, and my husband’s go to items all in one place. Even better it isn’t even half full!
To reign in our dog food mess I found this really cute Dog Food Bin at Homegoods. Not only is it pretty but its functional! My kind of storage!
It feels amazing to have a clean neat and organized pantry! I can find everything now! I can’t even tell you how exciting that is!
I hope our huge mess and newly organized pantry has inspired you to Spring clean your messiest place!
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