Organized kitchen and pantry

I have been working my way through my house following Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons organizing challenge.  The first room I tackled was the kitchen and pantry.  I got rid of 2 bins of stuff to my yard sale pile and probably 2 bags of trash.  And I did lots of organizing…  I am really, really liking some of the changes I made this time.  I honestly just feel like my kitchen functions better.  I have cleaned/organized my kitchen before, but this time it is just even better and functions better than it ever has.    I organized it over 2 weeks ago and took pictures yesterday and everything is still in it’s place… (small miracle Winking smile).  But that just proves that it is working better and is functional. 

So here’s my biggest section of cabinets before.  I wasn’t using much of the glassware in the top, so I got rid of some, moved some of the glasses to another cabinet, and plan to reuse a few of the covered jars in the bathroom. 

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Sooo much better!  I added a wire shelf there in the middle and it has helped be able to access casserole dishes (there is a large casserole dish that goes underneath it – it just has leftovers in it in the fridge currently!)  I was able to spread things out a bit too with the extra room on top.  And of course you already saw how I completely reorganized my spices.  I did a lot of cooking this week using several spices for the first time since I changed all of this over and I just love it even more!

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The pans in the bottom are always a challenge to me too, I get them all organized but they don’t stay that way because they are all stacked and hard to put back quickly.  But I moved in a wire shelf that I took out from underneath the sink and a lid rack that I found at Goodwill for $1.51 and it really seems to be helping. 

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Here’s the sink area cabinets.  I got rid of some stuff, added a $3 shelf from Big Lots and a set of 3 shelves from Walmart ($7) and it is sooo much better!!

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I have no idea why I never added the wire shelves to stack mugs, and dishes on (I had the corner ones for a long time but not the straight ones).  It has given me more room and helped in getting things out and putting things away. 

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Below the cabinet I added a thrifted basket to hold kids cups and bowls.  Perfect so they can get them out themselves and it also helps corral them. 

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This is my coffee corner… Smile  Added cute $3 sign from Walmart that I found this week. 

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So here’s some before/after pictures of the kitchen and counters…

Before.

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After –

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And here’s this side of the kitchen before…

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And after.  I removed some things off the counters.  Still would like to remove more.

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I corralled bread, my crock full of utensils, and salt and pepper in this basket. 

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Ok… so I really can’t believe I am sharing this picture on my blog, but here goes… Just keeping it absolutely real.

This is what my pantry looked like before I started… I reorganize my pantry probably 2-3 times a year but especially over the holidays and when life gets busy it just seems to get out of hand.    And yes, depending on your household, you may think we stock a lot of food.  I do coupon some (not as much as I used to),  but I also have a “shop the sales” method of grocery shopping.  I shop by only buying what we eat that is on sale that week and stocking up until it will be on sale again.  We base our menu off what is on sale plus what I have stocked in the pantry which allows us to keep a low grocery budget.  I work from home, plus my husband takes his lunch every day, we only eat out maybe once every other week and our grocery/household budget is $50 a week (only possibly because I shop sales.) 

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Ok… thankful that mess is no longer.  Here is how it looks RIGHT NOW and it has looked the same since I finished with it almost 3 weeks ago.  So here’s to hoping this time it will STAY this way. Smile

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I made some pretty big changes this time  – of course the biggest change was removing all those wire baskets off the door.  This door is a skinny door which means I was constantly banging into those wire baskets – some had even gotten broken or would pop off the screws.  I hated the way it looked when the door was open too – just cluttered and disorganized.    Getting my spices organized in my cabinet helped remove a lot of the stuff from those bins, I put all meds in a bin in the floor, and the rest I found other places to store. 

This picture from The Blooming Hydrangea has been my inspiration for my pantry for a long time – and I am getting there!

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I also added more baskets and bins, did more labeling to help me and others find what is in the pantry, and reorganized things.  Hoping to find some more baskets during yard sale season to replace those white bins – I could use all those white bins in the garage and would prefer baskets in here.  I would also love to paint my pantry but that is lower down on the to-do list so maybe later this year. 

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All the baskets are thrift store and yard sale finds. 

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Meds, cake sprinkles and cake decorating supplies are in bins on floor.

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And I just love my glass jars!  Everyone of them have come from thrift stores and yard sales, except that largest one that I bought at Hobby Lobby for $4 for spaghetti noodles.  I find I am using more of these supplies because I see them, and they are also easy to keep neat because they aren’t falling everywhere.  My brown sugar never gets hard anymore either.  I am wanting to switch to even more glass this year – removing tupperware containers for leftovers too.  

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I actually wouldn’t mind leaving the door open even if we had company now… Smile 

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But it is pretty closed too! Smile 

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I hope this gives you some tips and help on organizing your kitchen and pantry… Seeing pictures of what others do helps me so much!

I won’t share every organizing/purging project I am doing but I do have one more that I do want to share because it is going to be a pretty big change.  I am slowly working through the house and have done laundry room, bathroom cabinets in 3 bathrooms, master closet, spent 2 days working in garage (but it still needs more work) and am now working on linen closet.    Goodwill and Value Village have been weekly donation stops for me along with building up a pretty big yard sale pile for a soon as it gets warm. 

What have you been organizing?  Cleaned out your pantry lately?   What’s your hardest area in the kitchen to keep tidy?

Comments

  1. What a lot of work that paid off so well! Great ideas and loved the before and afters. Keep sharing all your great ideas!

  2. Sherri S. says:

    Looks amazing! Thank you for keeping it real.

    Have a happy weekend…
    Sherri

  3. Wow! What a transformation in your kitchen cabinets and pantry! The cabinets look great and more organized – I love what you did with the spices – but the pantry is definitely my favorite! It looks amazing! I love the baskets, bins, jars and chalkboard labels…. Would love to see more organizing ideas…. It’s one thing to see the “magazine worthy” organization ideas/pictures, but it seems more doable when it’s more “real life”, with frugal ideas. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Blessings to you!
    Lanita

  4. Love this and you gave me so many ideas for my pantry. It is shaped just like yours and is currently one hot mess. Now I know I can do it and spend very little money. Thank you for keeping it real.

  5. organization always makes me smile. You have done a great job. Love that the baskets and jars were thrifty finds. I invite you to share at my Thursday blog hop ( you can link up tonight until midnight) or join in the fun next week Hugs!
    Katherines Corner recently posted..Fab Feb Frigidaire GiveawayMy Profile

  6. I love how your pantry turned out. With an organized kitchen like this, I’m sure cooking is so much more enjoyable. 🙂 I love to cook, but if my kitchen’s out of order, it kind of takes the fun out of it.

  7. Michelle Moore says:

    Thank you for the before pics! It looks VERY much like my pantry! I am currently working on my pantry as well, so the timing of this post is perfect! I also appreciate your inspiration pic; I never thought about painting/wallpapering the pantry, but it looks SO pretty! Great post!

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