Monday, 9 June 2014

Kitchen Organization: Pantry Re-do!

Hello again honeys,
We're still working our way through the house, one little cupboard or space at a time and we've finally made it to the kitchen yaaaay :) As you know I already tackled the under sink cabinet which you can see here and yesterday managed to complete the tall larder cupboard which serves as our pantry. 

Organized kitchen pantry before & after collage

It was a task, it really was, but it's done now and I've put in place some systems which I hope will make things a little easier when I come home with my grocery shop in future. 

Our kitchen isn't tiny but it doesn't have many cabinets, in an ideal world I'd have our kitchen totally re-fitted but that isn't an option, so I'm grateful we have the tall larder cabinet which is home to our cans, packets and jars of food. Obviously the frozen supplies live in the freezers.  We have a little stand alone (under counter) freezer as well as the freezer part of our fridge freezer.  Chilled goods live in the fridge (obviously lol) fruit lives in a gorgeous rose patterned crystal bowl. This was a gift many years ago from my best friend, thank you Meme honey xx <hugs tightly>   Veggies, ie: potatoes & onions live in designated "stay fresh" canvas bags which hang on their own hooks.

So honeys, back to the larder cabinet. First the before photos. Be warned, not much order to be found here I'm afraid. This is the two top shelves before organizing ....

Organized pantry top shelves before

Awful, isn't it?  How do you find anything in this jumble of cans, jars & bottles? Unfortunately the bottom two shelves weren't any better as you can see ....

Organized pantry bottom shelves before

Not great, huh?  Something had to be done! So, first things first, empty everything out, put like items with like, sort cans by type etc and then on to my favourite part! Cleaned all of the shelves and the inner walls of the cabinet with anti bacterial cleaner, and then made sure it was well dried using kitchen roll.  I then collected some baskets & containers from upstairs and set about planning where everything should go.

I've found that often, whenever I complete an organizing project recently I'm left with baskets or boxes left over which I can then re-purpose somewhere else. This is because when re-organizing I naturally de-clutter & am trying to be very stern with myself over what is being kept. Less stuff naturally frees up baskets or bins which would have been storing the things now disposed of. 

I store any spare baskets & bins upstairs and like to call this my own "mini ikea" :) Shop your home before buying new storage right? It makes so much sense to re-purpose than to buy new.  I've re-used a blue plastic basket on the top shelf of the newly organized pantry cabinet that was left over from the recent re-organization of the kitchen under sink cabinet. 

The top two shelves now look like this.......

Organized pantry top shelves after

The blue plastic basket, once home to mugs & beakers in our under sink cabinet,  now lives on the top shelf of the larder and is being used to coral pasta, jars of sauce and cartons of chopped tomato.  It also holds rice.  This is a new organizing system I've set up which I'm hoping will not only save space but also make putting groceries away a breeze from now on. 

If we look a little closer at the blue basket.....

Organized pantry pasta basket

I used Istad re-useable clip seal bags to store pasta and rice, ie: a bag for macaroni, for spirals and for long grain rice etc.  This allows me to easily put away new supplies & also to immediately throw out/re-cycle packaging!  I really do love these bags. They are made from a very heavy duty plastic with a double clip seal at the top so nothing is escaping these bags. Also, the box contains 50 bags in two different sizes. There are 25 1.2 litre (1 qt) bags & 25 larger 2.5 litre (3qt) bags.

I use one of the larger bags to store my electric hand mixer, with its attachments, it keeps them safe and clean between uses.  I always make sure to buy another box whenever I visit Ikea, I keep finding new uses for them :)  The bags look like this....

Ikea Istad clip seal bags
      Images found here
When filling them with our pasta supplies, the larger bags comfortably held a little over 1kg of pasta.  You can read full details here honeys.

On to the rest of the top shelf :) As you can see from the photo....

Organized pantry top shelves after

next to the basket (which acts as a drawer, so easy to pull out & reach whichever pasta bag I need or one of the pasta sauce jars at the back) there is a row of jars of lasagne (bechamel) sauce, then there are two tubs of granulated sugar. We don't use a lot of sugar generally, but I keep it for baking. 
Behind the sugar is another large tub containing salt.

I always keep a couple of kilos of salt in the house. Oddly enough not for kitchen use. We were once caught out a few winters ago, during a particularly harsh winter.  The shops around us quickly sold out of salt and we didn't have any to salt our garden path, which as anyone with mobility problems knows can be terribly dangerous.  Ever since we've kept a large container of salt just in case.

This takes us on to the second shelf which is now home to the bulk of our canned goods, mostly beans, pasta dishes & soups.  Next to the canned goods is one of the little Keter lattice look baskets I bought a while ago. You can see the blog post here  I've used this little basket to store our assorted tea bags, as you can see.

Organized pantry teabags basket

The tea bags we use are already packaged into little individually bagged packages of 40 bags, allowing us to dispose of the box etc and pop the packets into this basket. Behind these individual bags are two of the smaller size Istad Ikea bags, each containing flavoured teas. 

So, that's the top two shelves in our small larder cabinet. I don't know yet how happy I am with it, the proof is in how useable it is over time, but it certainly looks tidier, don't you think?

Organized pantry top shelves before & after.
Which takes us on to the final two shelves in the bottom of the cabinet, which were just as untidy as the first two shelves, and looked like this.......

Organized pantry bottom shelves before
Oh my! Looks dreadful doesn't it?  Thankfully it now looks like this.....

Organized pantry bottom shelves after

More canned goods on the right hand side of the upper of the two bottom shelves. These are desserts, such as canned custard, semolina & rice pudding, as well as canned fruit. There are also cans of condensed milk, caramel etc.  Next to these are assorted jars of, among other things, ginger, tartare sauce & beetroot.  These are extra supplies, since once a jar is opened it then lives in the fridge.

Next is a small canvas bin which has jars of jam, marmalade, lemon curd, peanut butter & chocolate spread. In addition to bottles of lemon juice & lime juice. Again this bin acts as a sort of drawer, I can just reach in and pull it out & fetch anything I want, even if it's at the back of the bin! yaaaay!!

Under this shelf is a little basket that hangs from the shelf itself. This has the other little Keter lattice look basket. I so wish I'd bought more of these! they're wonderful and hold a lot for their tiny size.  This one has our furbaby Jade's foil trays of food. She doesn't eat these very often, she mostly eats dry food (Iams & Vets Kitchen) but she does like these so has them occasionally as a treat.

Underneath, on the bottom shelf are our collection of plastic place mats.  At our dinner table we have cork backed placemats but I use these plastic placemats for lots of other things including in our fridge, but I'll tell you about that in another post :)

Next to the placemats there is a plastic tub containing condiments. Next is another basket containing packaged cooking sauces, soups etc and last on this shelf are extra bottles of olive oil etc. Again the currently being used, opened bottles are kept in a basket by our cooker with salt, pepper, herbs & spices.

Organized pantry bottom shelves before & after
Again, as I said, we'll see how this system works over time, but I'm optimistic :) There is a place for everything to go when we come home with groceries.  This should not only make it easier to put everything away after shopping but make finding things easier too, since everything now has a home.
So, this is it, this is how our cabinet now looks.....

Organized pantry completed
Any thoughts honeys? I'd love to hear suggestions & ideas. Have you been re-organizing kitchens/cabinets too? If so, why not share your blog posts in the comments section below?  or even just say hello :) Thank you so much for visiting, I hope you had a great weekend and will have a fabulous week ahead, sending lots of hugs xx

No comments:

Post a Comment