Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pantry Organization

Last week I showed you the closet under the front staircase.  It is a small closet that holds many of my kitchen appliances that are used regularly.  This closet is at the end of a long, narrow hall which I call my pantry.

When my home was built in 1902 it had a telephone.  Not like what we have today but something like this.

Because one had to talk quite loudly into the mouth piece it required it's own area for privacy.  My pantry was originally a phone booth!

My pantry is divided into areas.  The first area is where we store the dog food for my 3 adorable furbabies.

This is the before and the after.  Before we simply left the dog food in the bag but it was unsightly and dog food would fall out onto the floor.  I bought an inexpensive garbage pail with a press-button lid and everything looks so much cleaner and nicer.

At the other end of the hall are some shelves that were piled high.

Some of the things in the before photo went into the closet that I showed photos of last week.  I moved all the heavy items onto one shelf so that I am not reaching up high to access my espresso machine.  I contained all the attachments to the Kitchen Aid and the food processor in a 13 x 9 pan on the bottom shelf.  I also want to point out that we are not raging alcoholics!  Yes, there is a lot of booze on those shelves but it's because Mr. P. and I really don't drink much.  Really!  On a final note, the after photo was taken on a Friday because the blue boxes are missing.  They're outside waiting for the garbage man to pick them up but usually they stay on the floor in this area.

I have a set of 5 free-standing shelves in the centre of the hall.  Mr. P. installed them several years ago to give us some much needed storage.  I have to admit that these shelves kind of got away from me during the holidays.  I was buying so many things for Christmas baking and meals and the leftover bits were just shoved onto a shelf.  I had such a hard time finding anything!

I wasn't kidding when I said it got away from me!  But it really didn't take that long to whip it back into shape.

As with any organizing project it's best to group like items together.  I have all the salad dressings in one area next to all the vinegars and oils, soups in another.  My peanut butters are lined up and the pasta sauces are right next to the pasta making everything easier to find.

All of the jars are labeled with chalkboard labels that I bought at Staples.  They are from the Martha Stewart line.  I really like them because I can change what I put in the jars without making new labels.  They are also very forgiving.  When I stuck them on crooked I was able to peel them off and re-stick them.  I already had all the jars that hold the nuts and dried fruit (they were just hidden with all the other stuff!).  I used a jar that I had in the basement to pack all the various colours of sanding sugars, still in their bags, into in order to contain them.  The only containers I bought were the ones for the flours which I picked up at Home Sense for $12.00 each.  Although I wish they were square I still like them because they are tall taking up more vertical space.  A nice basket contains all the small packages that don't really need their own jars.  I also had these awesome scoops on hand.

They are collapsible measuring cups that Mr. P. and I got for free when we attended at Diabetes clinic.  Now each flour has it's own measuring cup right inside!

The bottom shelf holds my garbage bags and cleaning supplies.  I kept all the floor items such as swiffer cloths and floor polishes in one basket.  I stuck a chalkboard label onto some cardboard cut to shape, punched a couple of holes in it and tied it to the basket.  My furniture polishes are also contained in a nice basket.

Mr. P. added some hooks to either side of the shelving unit and I was able to hang my broom, mop, swiffer, etc. getting them up off the floor.

Overall I'm very happy with how things turned out.  The key to organizing the pantry is to make sure that everything is visible and that like items are grouped together.   Put pasta sauces together with the pasta making dinner preparation easier.   Do you like to bake?  Try putting your baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, etc. into a basket together.  Then you only have to grab that basket when you get urge to bake a fabulous cake or cupcakes.  Just don't forget to save me a piece!


  1. I am LOVING your new blog. The photos are wonderful, and your descriptions are inspiring. Keep up the great work!

  2. Such great ideas. You're a marvel.