By Caroline Bujold
It could make your life better, seriously.
As I was trying to figure out what to do with this organizing thing, my friend Danielle told me, “You’re going to come and help me reorganize my pantry and put it on your blog”. I didn’t have a blog at that point. I didn’t even have a name for a blog. But that didn’t stop her from requesting my help.
So Danielle’s Pantry is the first project I did. A test drive to see if I could be of assistance and get people organized. I want to start by saying that Danielle is an organized person and I wasn’t sure how much help I could provide. So I was nervous but excited to see what we could accomplish in one afternoon.
I started by asking Danielle what were her main issues with her pantry and her kitchen in general. Living in a condo, space is definitely limited and things can get cluttered easily if you haven’t decided where every item goes. Although this is true for every space, Danielle was clear on what she needed from her kitchen, more counter-top space.
Here is what her pantry looked like before we started. Somewhat organized, but it felt stuffed and there were things in there that didn’t belong.
We started by taking things out, throwing away what was out of date, or things that she knew her and her husband didn’t like or wasn’t good for them and they wouldn’t eat. We recycled, we trashed and put things aside for the Donation Centre and Eco Station (empty paint container and wires that didn’t belong to any electronics anymore). Once we had a clean slate, it was easier to organize.
Danielle uses an over the door shoe storage unit for small tools and other things you usually find in a junk drawer. It’s great because you can see through the pockets and find exactly what you’re looking for. We organized that first. All the batteries together, all the scissors in the same pocket, etc.
We put back all the remaining items in the pantry by groups: breakfast, nuts, cans and bottles. We also set the items that get used often at eye level. This is also a good tip if you’re trying to eat better. The healthy stuff goes at eye level. The ingredients that only get used once in a while were placed on top or bottom shelves. We used boxes that she already had to group things together so there wouldn’t be any expenses. Someone wanting to do an overall could buy baskets or see through boxes to contain similar items like packets, granola bars, etc.
Here is what it looked like after.
Since the pantry is in a corner, Danielle also added later some Lazy Susans, which made access to her ingredients even easier (not seen here).
We also had time to organize a few cupboards and make space on her very limited counter-top. We reorganized a few items and stored rarely used small appliances in the pantry that had now more space. Et voilà! They now had space to prepare great healthy meals.
I loved that the work we did actually helped. She tells me, they’ve kept the counters clutter free and it’s been a year since that project. I’m so proud of them.