February 23, 2011

An Organized Pantry

My kitchen has been in chaos for a couple days while I repainted and organized my pantry.  It always amazes me how the contents of one small pantry can fill an entire kitchen!  I told my husband that the pantry is the clown car of the kitchen....he didn't laugh.

I painted the pantry the same color as my kitchen walls and then painted a design on it using this free template from Jones Design Company.  I love it, and am seriously considering doing my coat closet the same way.

I added a shelf for more storage.  I think many shelves close together is far more efficient than precariously stacked cans piled high on fewer shelves.

I created zones.  Sort of.  There is a shelf for baking supplies, a shelf for staples like pasta and beans and a shelf for processed foods.  I put tall things on the bottom of the pantry and less frequently used items on the top shelf.

I left room for flexibility.  I didn't go crazy labeling everything because I don't want my whole system to get thrown off every time my husbands favorite soup goes on sale.

It's not picture perfect.  I would love to have pretty new matching canisters and baskets, but that isn't in the budget right now and quite frankly, never will be. No matter how pretty it would be, there will always be something better for our family to spend money on.  Every time I'm in a thrift store or at a yard sale I keep my eye out for glass canisters with silver or glass lids.  Eventually there might be a pretty canister for everything, without spending a fortune, but in the mean time there are still items stored in their ugly yellow store-brand boxes and bags.

One of my favourite little storage tricks is my garlic jar.

I wanted to store my garlic in this IKEA jar, but i knew it would need some ventilation.  So I asked my husband to put some simple holes in the lid for me.  He disappeared into the basement and returned with this:

He gets me.  He really gets me.

My new pantry makes me smile.  In fact, I haven't closed it's door all day because I just like seeing it!

I'm linking up with:


  1. Love love love! I have to do this to my pantry!
    Love your blooooog!
    All Things Heart and Home

  2. What an awesome husband you have to put the holes in your garlic jar lid, in the shape of a heart. I really like your chalkboard type label on the jar of split peas.

  3. I love the stenciling, and I like that not all the jars match. As pretty as matchy-matchy is, I'm a huge thrifter and like the personality of one-of-a-kinds. We're working on transforming a small hallway off of our kitchen into a pantry, and I CAN'T WAIT! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. This is wonderful! Love the color and design on the wall. I'm a big fan of the clear jars with lids too - silver metal lids, glass lids with seals, or the latch-down type with a seal....love 'em all! And like you, I don't buy new...you can't beat the personality of "similar but not the same" that you get when you find them one by one at yard sales and thrift stores!

  5. What a cute pantry. I'm your newest follower. It would be great if you could stop by my blog Monday and add your project to The More The Merrier Link Party.


  6. Great job... Thanks for linking up.


  7. Seriously love the stenciling! I think the organizing looks great! It can get way too expensive if you are buying everything new.

  8. Very pretty!~ I love the stenciled walls. I think it looks lovely without matching everything. Who needs it. It is perfect just the way it is, and you didn't have to break the bank!

  9. This looks so great. I love the walls. Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday. I'll be featuring this.

  10. The design is really pretty. I use canning jars for storage in my pantry. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes.


  11. It is smart - it goes up, not deep; it lets you see exactly what is in there, and it is zoned - for purpose of stored products and usability. I'm sure, it inspires using all these pantry items for great cooking! And the lid with heart is absolutely adorable!

  12. It looks awesome! I love to see a pretty pantry that is actually being used:)

  13. I recognize that stencil, my old cloffice has that same one. :) It looks great and I love the heart lid for the garlic. Which is perfect because who doesn't love garlic, really? Your pantry looks pretty and organized! Thanks for linking up with Roomspirations!

  14. I know this is an older post, but one thrifty way I've acquired some "matching" cannisters is by collecting big gallon sized jars from a friend who owns a restaurant. I believe that hot peppers come in the ones I've gotten. Anyway, it is something that many restaurants and delis use that would otherwise be thrown away, and oftentimes, they will save them for you. I spray painted the lids red to all match (though, I'm sure you could use "nickel" metallic paint), and its perfect for storing things I buy in bulk (like black beans) and coordinates well with simple Mason jars for a unified look.

  15. Hi there,

    I love your ideas and also love that you are smart about spending. It's inspiring. :)

    And you have yourself a very sweet husband :) Loved that little touch :D

  16. The punched lid was VERY sweet! One other tip that I like is turning all the labels so they are neatly lined up. It makes the shelves appear so much more organized, not like you just came home, emptied the bags and called it good. Because of an ongoing rodent problem which I am determined to win, everything that goes in my cupboard is in a mason jar. Dare those critters to chew through glass!! I do like the uniformity when I open the door too.

  17. I didn't read all the comments, but I'm sure they're all the same as mine: What a sweetie! Heart shaped ventilation! I swoon! :)

  18. Serious pantry envy here! Sadly, I don't have a pantry. Old Old house, and where the pantry should be, a water heater is instead. *Someday* it will be moved, but meanwhile, we store pantry stuff in a cabinet in the little space between our room and bathroom. lamesauce.

  19. Wow, what a great post! I would love it if you linked your tips up to my organization link party this week. I know my readers would love to see them: http://thriftmeblog.com/lets-organize-2012-pantry-recap-link-party/


  20. I love the stenciling, and I like that not all the jars match.

  21. hahaha, i SOOOOO get this! i am an organizing junkie on a shoestring. i am also a homeschool mom to 5 :)

    my solution to the cute storage jars that i so craved was to buy pickles from sams club in the giant jars. once the jars are empty, i wash with hot soapy water once (and let it soak a while) then run it through the dishwasher once or twice to get rid of the pickle smell and voila! i have accumulated many over the last 4 years and they hold a 5 lb bag of flour, sugar, rice, oatmeal, grits, tea, brown sugar.... :D and my fav- the fixings for the world's best hot chocolate! i also re-purpose plastic peanut butter jars for math manipulative storage! in fact, any item that is a staple on our grocery list that comes in a size i like, i collect and use! eventually i'll cover them in contact paper so that they are cute but hey, baby steps! my current project is saving giant soup cans to make pencil storage for each of my children's desks! (covering the rim with color coded duct tape of course!)

  22. Thanks for all of your great tips and tricks. I'm basically an organizing idiot so this is so great for me! haha I would love to have a beautiful pantry, but my shelves are just so deep that things get easily lost and forgotten. Do you have any ideas for a deep shelf problem?

  23. LOVE your attitude about having better things to spend your money on than matchy matchy : ) (food banks come immediately to mind) Also love your pantry... thanks for some good - thrifty - ideas : )

  24. You look adorable in a poncho! You're right, it is the perfect transition piece!
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