Monday, 25 March 2013

Pantry 101


That was, finally, my sigh of relief. Bee-Caause... I finished my pantry! Ta-da-ta-daa!

Can you feel the excitement I am exuding? I sure as heck hope so! *Pardon my language. The potty mouth comes out when I am in intense situations.

So, that is where I have been hiding for the past week or so, if you have been wondering. Tucked in between the shelves stencilling away any chance I got. And as life would have it, those chances were sparse, because Finley decided to take short sporadic naps and while awake wanted nothing but to hang with his Momma. *This is natural I suppose, I am rather fantastic to be around. Modest is my middle name by the way.

And who could deny such a sweet boy?
Im easily distracted...back to business.

In order to get the full effect, allow us to rewind a few weeks to the disaster zone that was our Pantry {which you can get the full scoop on here.}

Now that we are too well reminded, and slightly frightened that such a space existed in my home, allow me to introduce you to the final product after my labour of love and stubbornness...

'Hot Dawg'
 La la la la la la la....Oh sorry! I drifted off into a lala land of sorts, where I am in crazy love with the tidiness that is my pantry and the fact that I have found a special spot for my coffee filters that they will never be lost again!

I am not going to lie to you, the stencilling was DIFFICULT! It tested my patience on countless occasions which led to me calling Common-Law and admitting defeat. *As I reflect, those calls were wasted energy because really, what can the man do? He IS on the opposite end of the Country. And, I know him well enough that he will surly be a Positive Patsy {which he was} when all I wanted was a Debbie Downer friend... He was in a lose lose situation pore man.

The stencil itself was great and would have worked like a charm if I were a normal person doing a full wall with fewer corners and shelves. So unfortunately, in order to save myself from myself, I had to cut it to do between the shelves. But, I would argue it was worth all the effort because it really does bring the space alive and create a lovely backdrop.

Ill take you through a few of the steps of how we made it to this final product.

First, naturally, I took everything out. *What a sad little space.

At this point, when the rest of your house is oozing clutter you need to remind yourself that the mess will come before the calm. Just breath...

Then, I removed the blue lining I had put down to save my shelves from the wear of cans and such. Alas, that had been a flop because I still had many a ring left behind.

This left me contemplating a solution while I worked away for hours on that bloody stencil.

My lamenting aside, the concept is rather basic. Attach the stencil to the area you want stencilled, with low tack painters tape and then roll over it. The only catch is to pat your roller down with paper towel to prevent the paint from seeping through. Once that section dries, pick it up and move on. *You can watch an instructional video on the Cutting Edge Stencil site here.

 Slow and steady certainly is the perspective to have while running this race.

Speaking of running. I ran out of paint one night after all the hardware stores were closed so I opted to paint the front edge of the shelves with chalkboard paint to help with the labelling process.

*I love labelling everything. It helps make and keep things organized when you are living in a group setting. My issue is however, that I love to change things around more. So, if I go through the time and effort to create a custom label on something and then I decide to change its location or bin/basket or what-have-you, I'm then back at square one. Which brings me to chalkboard paint as an easy solution. No matter how many times I change somethings spot or flip its packaging, it can easily be relabelled and found by a searching Common-Law partner or guest.

I also decided on covering the shelves with cork as a solution to the 'ring' issue above. Not only will it protect the shelves but it also helps keep my glassware secure while still looking great in contrast with the black and blue paints.

Now for the really fun stuff!

I scavenged my house for different bins/baskets and such that could be repurposed in this space. I also scooted to the local DollarStore for inexpensive canisters and boxes to bring it all together. Mixing new and old is a great way to find that custom look without spending a small fortune.

A closer look shall we?

A lot of different types of items need to go into a pantry. When we moved in I group all like things together. One whole shelf for small appliances, one for food, one for dishes, etc. But as time passed and  we started adding things to the pantry the space couldn't handle it and just evolved into a hot mess.

When organizing this time, I opted for a slightly different approach. I still grouped like items together but made the groupings smaller. Instead of all the food together I went with seperate sections such as pasta, a breakfast bin, canned goods, extras, treats, baking supplies, kid snacks, etc. That way, every thing is accessible but not overwhelming.

Left Side View
Right Side View
While I had the chalkboard paint out I tapped off the bottoms of the white canisters below {which I had had in the pantry before but they were always empty}. A simple way to make solid canisters a little more user friendly. Like-a so:

Using differently shaped and sized containers really helped make this space a success. And then to tweak and personalize them helped take it to another level. 

The clear oval canister with silver top holding the nuts and the clear angled ones holding the rice and lentils on the second shelf down are all from the dollar store. {As are the tall ones holding the spaghetti noodles in the pasta section. I chalked their tops because they had an ugly white cover}. I tapped the prep directions for the rice to the inside of their lid in order to keep the change in bin practical. The wire bins were a bit of a splurge at 12-16$ each at Winners but worth every penny.

Old strawberry courts keep the smaller veggies from getting lost in the larger bin.

The breakfast bin holds the toaster, bread items, and appropriate condiments - it is light enough to carry in and out of the pantry for each use.

The labelled canisters that I made here are put to work holding many baking ingredients, the rest of which are found in the wire basket near by. The decorations are in smaller clear containers for easy access.

A picnic basket, that I saved from my neighbours throughout pile, is put to use housing the garbage/recycle bags. They can easily be transferred to another basket when we are off picnicking.

Two old boxes house the larger items. Pepsi on the left with the extra flour and birdseed. Mundet on the right with all of Moe's gear. *Make sure you put felt pads on the bottom to prevent scratching your floor.

The glassware is now on a lower shelf for easier access. *I found it difficult to get what I needed when they were up high before and would often settle for the closest vase. You know, for all the fresh flowers I receive!

Recipe cards and smaller packets of jello and spices are hidden away in boxes next to the cookbooks. I did give in and make labels for these not expecting to change them anytime soon. *Fingers crossed!

I hope you have enjoyed the tour or our newly tidy space and have picked up a few helpful tips and ideas along the way! Hopefully it motivates you for your week ahead.

Happy Monday!


  1. Love it! Great job! Always so creative! Are you for hire? Should I send a picture of my pantry??? :)

    1. Thanks Row!
      You know I am always up for hire! Just let me know when.
      Actually, I think Amy has her name on me first... You may have to check with her.
      Please do send a photo along of your pantry! I will do a post on it later this week! :)

  2. Dear land, this is magical!! I LOVE it! Well done my dear! :)

  3. So beautifully tidy!! Love organizing myself and am a bit of a label, my daughter, at only three, is already inheriting this form me :) It is such a lovely little space now, you should be proud of all your hard work...enjoy! Also, my fav "bin" is your "bad day bin" ;)

    1. Thank you Chrissie!
      Your daughter is a lucky little lady to learn organization skills early in life! Im hoping my son picks up his Mommas habits and not those of his Dad! :)
      Tickled that you noticed the 'Bad Day Bin'!

  4. Wow - what a difference! Looks great.

  5. Just love this Allison! Great use of odd baskets (did I mention I'm a basket/container fanatic)...hmmm...inspiring :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...