By no means am I a DIY-er. I love the idea of it, but I think it’s that I feel like I don’t have the time, and I definitely don’t have the patience! I’m also such a perfectionist when it comes to my projects, that I get all pissed off if I can’t seem to get it right on the first try. Truth.
But something had to be done about our pantry. We live in a pretty builder-basic California tract home with a simple reach-in pantry casing a handful of flimsy shelves. With the kids now, and our front and back doors always open (literally) for family and friends stopping by, we accumulate so much food from get togethers, holiday treats year-round, and just wanting to be prepared for anything. Not in the Zombie bug-out kind of way– just an impromptu BBQ –without having to go to the store errday. Know what I’m sayin’? First world problems 🙁
Here’s a couple photos of the “before”. Oh, the horror. Oh, the shame!
First order of business was to get organized! I started by making a list of categories that this plethora of pantry stock could be divided into:
- Coffee. Number ONE.
- Breakfast bars
- Canned Goods
- Salad Toppings
- Sticky Stuff: PB & J, Honey, and Syrup
- Kids’ snacks
- Tea, Hot Cocoa, Drink Mixes
- Dog Food & Treats
- Shopping & Wine Bags
- Candy. Don’t Judge.
I set out for some baskets to corral some of these items. I was drawn toward some natural woven baskets- beautiful, simple, and had that modern organic look that I’m in the process of transitioning into. (Only in my head. And I guess a set of napkins.) But HOLD-up. I can’t use fiberous baskets! All of the leaky sticky stuff would never come out of that material! Back to the drawing board. My practical side told me to find some plastic bins that can be washed and thrown in the dishwasher if things got ugly. To Target I hoofed and found these inexpensive solutions:
Next were some canisters, can risers and a help-a-shelf (riser). I love the way canisters store and display pastas, but I haven’t found any I like yet for cereal. The grip + style are the most important, and I’ve yet to find this unicorn. I grabbed a few gallon sized canisters to store the boys’ gummy snacks, granola bars, occasionally Goldfish, etc. and they love to open the little lock contraption on the front! I did get my fill of woven baskets that I added at the bottom of our pantry to keep the dog food and bags in. Also, at the top of the pantry, I went with 3 black metal crates to keep 1) paper goods/party items, 2) candles/votives/seasonal decor, and 3) more gift/to-go bags
Once the organizational needs were met, the pantry still needed a little pop of personality. I found some temporary, easy-to-apply wall covering from Walls Need Love and ordered it up. They have tons of options, but I went with a black and white geometric dot design that caught my eye.
The installation was pretty easy. For anyone else, it’d probably be stupid simple. All I used was the paper, which has a sticky adhesive back- just like a sticker, an Exacto knife and a ruler.
You just line up the edges with the top of your wall or shelf, peel back the waxed backing and smooth down with your hands. Don’t use the ruler or a wallpaper smoother, because it ends up leaving little marks from your wall texture. Luckily for me, since I don’t have the patience to measure, all my pantry needed were two rows side by side to cover the width. With the geometric design, I had to take care to line up the pattern at the top and middle correctly. I used the ruler at the bottom to make sure I got a clean, straight cut with the knife. Those things can really get away from you. I’d give myself a B. But it was good enough, as I knew the boys would be waking up from their naps soon!
So here’s the final product. Not perfection, but a huge difference in the way we use it, and the way I feel every time I reach in that pantry- which would likely average about once every hour. I’m a much more pleasant person these days, and I think this has a lot to do with it 😉
While this installation will have to suffice in my home for now, let’s take a look at some pantries that pack some serious wow-factor. Ahhh, when the ship comes in:
When we have an actual room for a walk-in pantry, I think it’d have to be something like this last gem with LOTS of wine storage, room for small appliances, book shelves and more interesting floor baskets. Let’s throw that window in there, too. Better keep it clean.
Would love to hear your thoughts on keeping pantry clutter & chaos contained!