Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pantries and Fridges and Freezers, Oh My

This week's Project Simplify challenge was the pantry and the fridge.  Now, I am not gonna purport to be moving any mountains here, but I did organize quite a bit and I am committed to doing these challenges, so here we go!  I promise that by the end of this post you'll get some eye bear with me!

First, the fridge.  It was easy.  I do it every few months and each time I really enjoy a fresh, clean fridge for two days before it becomes a funk factory again.  Here's what I did in there:

Better, right?
Now, the pantry was a little harder.  I have tried to organize it many times before but this time I took more extreme measures.  As you know, I have exactly $0 for stuff like this.  I did scrape together a few bucks and get a couple of trays and bins, and they make a big difference.  Just don't go thinkin' that this is the pantry of my dreams, okay?  Okay.  Here we go...


Turned into...


I used these white bins to collect mostly little stuff (e.g. candy) and ugly stuff (e.g. half-empty bags of chips).

I labeled them with vinyl words ("starch," "salt," and "sweet").  Then I faked it with my box of paper plates, cups and straws:

Looks okay from the front...
And just a tad less than okay from the side!!!
But it works for now, ya know?

If you're looking very carefully you'll notice that I removed my bottom shelf on that right-hand wall.  For over three years I have been frustrated because our cat-food bin and step-stool don't slide under the shelf and are therefore 100% in my way, all the time.  Why didn't I think of this sooner?  And that's why I love these challenges--they inspire me to look at my problems with a fresh eye and really find a workable solution.

I also took away the over-the-door rack.  I loved this rack in our old house, but with a 24" pantry door it was more of a hazard.  Nary a week went by without me or my husband really banging into it.  This means I lost a *lot* of storage, between removing the rack and taking away that one bottom shelf.  Yet, the pantry is a thousand times better because stuff is consolidated and the space works for what I have.  Spices went into two white trays, and medicines to a kitchen cabinet.  I have even made a big grocery run since I snapped these pictures, and the pantry accommodated a bunch more stuff just fine.

This process reminded me how much I hate throwing things away.  I never do, to my own detriment.  For example, when I made my kids rolls with whole-wheat flour, I used a quarter cup of it and kept the rest on the shelf of despair of baking stuff.  It was So. Much. Stuff.

Now it fits here:

I threw away everything I don't need in the foreseeable future.  The boys didn't like their whole-wheat rolls anyway.

So, that's been my Simple Mom challenge this week!  And, as promised, here's a reward for sticking with me...what I *wish* my pantry looked like!

Photo: Country Living

Kitchen cupboard with wine storage space
Photo: BHG
Photo: Traditional Home
Be still, my beating heart.  A girl can dream!

Finally, because last week's closet challenge ended with a picture of Biggest hamming it up, now it's Little Boo's turn:


P.S.  You know I am lovin' the Linky's at Simple Mom!


  1. People don't live in those houses in the last couple pictures. But your pantry is a dreamy one, in the after shots of course. Great re-use of the boxes. Don't you just want to slap yourself that you didn't think of removing that shelf long ago. PS eggs stay fresh longer in their box in the dark. Unless you use them really fast.

  2. You did a fantastic job organizing! I love the box ideas! You've inspired me to do some cleaning out.

  3. Great job! I actually did this in February following with Tsh's book on my own.
    If you are curious: (It would be hard to find from Feb.)

  4. Good Job! I love the bins you put in. I need to do something like that for our cupboards/pantry for all the little flotsam & jetsam that seems to float around. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. What a delightful post--you make me laugh!
    With your descriptions and the (ingenious, I might add) paper box with the paper label with the paper inside it!
    And Little Boo is adorumble!
    Wanna squeeze his cheeks ;)
    I agree with you: progress, not perfection!
    (Found your blog at Simple Mom's!)

  6. Michelle, I organized my pantry earlier this year and I found small, cheap lazy susans are WONDERFUL for pantry organization - especially for tall bottles like olive oil, cooking oil, spaghetti sauce, vinegar, etc. I also spent a couple of bucks on three tiered mini plastic shelves that you get at Target or Walmart. These do wonders with cans, soups, etc. I also used a couple of old baskets that I couldn't find a use for to keep my chips together. I'll show you next time you come over... :)

  7. This is to see such good work aftr long time...
    i hope u love works.



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