Sunday, December 9, 2012

When In Doubt, Organize

Oh, my pantry, how I love thee. Even in your most disorganized state, you are still huge and wonderful.

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In times of high stress, I tend to seek out small organizational projects that I can tackle during naptime on a weekend day.  Sense of accomplishment and control gained over a short period of time = I feel less like I'm losing my grip on reality.  It makes for a good life mantra, actually.  When in doubt, organize something.

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The pantry was working okay like this, but it was really uninspiring.  I'd open up the doors and feel exhausted just looking at the stuff scattered everywhere.  It needed a plan.

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I got my inspiration from an organizing blog called A Bowl Full of Lemons.  I even liked her pantry idea so much that I searched and searched until I found nearly the same wire baskets as she used.  (They were at Crate & Barrel for $8 each.)

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I used some Martha Stewart labels from Staples because they are pretty.

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And I found some fun red and green bins from the Dollar Store, which is an incredibly awesome place to look for storage bins.  Cheapo!  My first incarnation of the organizational project had two red bins holding Tupperware, and the other two holding cleaning supplies.  I soon realized I had too many cleaning supplies for just two bins, so you will see below that I repurposed all four of them for cleaning/household supplies.

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And I bought myself some pretty storage bins from Macy's -- again, the Martha Stewart Collection. I think these were like $7 or $8 each?

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So here is the finished product.  Note, this took me since maybe early September to finish.  I only finished it up because all of our pantry goods were stuffed into the wire bins without signage, and it drove Steven crazy not being able to find anything.

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I am hoping these categories will work for us in the future.  They seemed to work based upon the groceries we had on hand.  I hope this is what we normally have....I think it is, but you never really know.

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So, we have gone from cluttered pantry to pretty labeled bins everywhere!  Mama is a happy camper - the pantry makes me smile each time I open the doors!  I also removed all the stuff that was between the bottom shelf and the floor -- it feels so much less messy with nothing on the floor except brooms and the trash can.

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I ended up having to hang two signs on some of the bins, because I had to put many varied things in them (and also was too lazy to re-do the signs when I made that realization).  I think it looks fine though.  It also speaks volumes about our life right now that we have a whole sign that reads "Hamburger Helper/Mac & Cheese."  Welcome to life with two full-time working parents, a toddler and a 10 month old, I guess, right?  I'm surprised we don't have two bins solely dedicated to hamburger helper.  (Oh, and see my Lazy Susan for the spices? Also an idea from an organizing blog.)

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My dollar store red bins.  I like them!  The cereal boxes are the bane of my existence, but I fear they cannot be organized any better than that.  They come and go too quickly, so I am just going to bear with them.  I think they look fine all lined up, so whatever.

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And last but not least, I have made Sophie and Scarlett their own snack basket, down at kid-reaching-level, filled with apple sauce packets, goldfish crackers, and Capri Sun flavored waters.  This could be a grievous error in judgment, as Sophie helped herself to not one but TWO Capri Suns today after naptime.  I'll give it a week and see how it goes...

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Any ideas on what I should tackle next?  The rest of the house is in need of this same type of organizational makeover.  And let's not even get started on my office at work....

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