Monday, July 18, 2011

Pantry Overhaul

Today we're going to play a game.  It's called, "I Spy In April's Pantry."  Here's the picture you start with...

To amuse yourself, try to find the following:
  • 3 different bottles of vanilla extract
  • 2 bottles of balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cans of tuna fish
  • 7 types of pasta
  • innumerable bottles of "adult juice"
  • 3 different coffeemakers (used daily! We need them all, I swear!)
  • 2 full jars of salt
  • 3 saran wraps
  • 4 boxes of onion soup mix
  • 7 types of nuts
  • no less than 24 different spices (in addition to my space cabinet - I have an addiction)
Tired yet?  So, needless to say, my pantry was EXPLODING! 

The Backstory (if you read this blog for the pictures, skip this bit =))
My husband bought this home a year or so before I came along and rented rooms out to 5 of his college buddies... So, they payed the mortgage but filthified (<- new word!) the house.  Eric and I were married on June 13 of 2009, and the last renter moved his final things out on June 8.  OUTRAGEOUS!  But, I won't start down that rabbit trail.  This left me the last few days before our wedding to move in and clean.  This is NOT what you want to be doing the precious few days before your wedding when your family is in town.  So I didn't.  I paid a professional to come an and deep clean and I left the pantry as it was.  After we returned from our honeymoon, I only had about 4 days before heading back to school for the year, so I just added my new things to the pantry, threw out the obviously rotting grossness (how can boys LIVE like this?!), and decided I'd take care of it later.  And while I NEVER let it get "hoarders-esqe," I certainly needed to re-think its' organization and give the shelves a good soap down.

In case you can't quite see the crazy level of stashing and stuffing going on, here's a close up at a few of the shelves.  **Disclaimer** I am NOT the only person stuffing and stashing here! But, I will admit to being most of the problem ;)

Cue the embarrassment and the I-cant-believe-I'm-actually-sharing-this-with-the-internet feelings of regret...

Something had to be done, so I gathered a good friend and we rolled up our sleeves.  We cleared evrything out and organized it into piles.... 

This was when I started to panic that I would never finish.  I can't STAND clutter, so I just wanted it done!  We wiped down the shelves, and decided how to best organize things so that similar items were grouped.  For example: grains, spices, sauces and marinades, adult beverages, containers, etc.  And after all of the washing, sorting, pitching, organizing and re-setting... we had this:

 So organized!!

Can you see how everything is all contained and matched with it's pantry friends?  I'm in heaven now when I look at it!  Even the nasty bottom shelf got a little less crazy.  And it only look 2 hours!  It seems like a long time, but not as long as it could have been, I guess.  Ted helped too:

 Who would watch over his bone and squeaky bear if he didn't, huh? 

Here's a look at the before and after...

Can you tell a difference?  I know I definitely can!  It may not look like much to the casual observer, but my mind is a lot clearer now - weird how organization can do that!  I wish I had had enough time to paint the backs of the shelves or even stencil them, but that will have to wait until another day, I guess.  For now, I feel like I have a grocery store in my home, it's so organized. =) And in case you're wondering what the orange paper thing is, it's a post-it left there by my husband, and it reads: "I love you, April!!" What an amazing man I have!  Have you undertaken any hefty organization projects this summer?  Please share!  Have a happy and productive Monday, friends!

P.S. Remember this project I told you about last week?  He's almost done!  Look for his reveal and a full tutorial tomorrow!


  1. Gotta love an organized pantry. I've started picking up wire baskets at thrift stores and storing things like chocolate chips, noodles, etc all together in the basket. Works great!!

    I love Ted. He kills me. I am vacationing with a Wheaten now. He's about 2 years younger than Ike and drives Ike crazy with it!

  2. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 1/2 years I've pretty much got it pared down to non-craziness at this point. However, I had to do this to Luke's pantry when we got married and it was so much fun! If I still lived in AZ I would have been pretty ticked if you'd done this without me!

    It looks wonderful! I can imagine you sleeping better at night now. And don't be embarrassed about sharing. Even Monica Geller had a junk drawer.

  3. Thanks for stopping by! Wow! that looked like a huge project. You must be so glad it's done!