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Like most people early in quarantine I turned to house projects. My husband took to painting the porch and building a deck. I took to organizing. When we moved in in June 2019 we basically did our best to put things where they generally belong. This meant many of our closets, pantries, drawers were a straight mess. In the Spring I tackled my make-up drawers and they are a million times better now but then I lost motivation and strategy. 

This summer sometime I was introduced to the Home Edit via their Netflix show. I became pretty obsessed with them and, basically, I think they're geniuses. I slowly tackled my bathroom closet and a hall closet and their strategies worked like a charm. Over the holidays I took a lot of time off from work with the intention organized my kitchen pantry and the refrigerator. I am pleased to say my pantry is done so I thought I'd take you through it.

First, there are some items in here that won't stay. We are finishing our basement and when it's done I plan to move things like the roaster and our silver downstairs in a closet. Basically, I'd like to move things that we only use maybe 1-2 a year out of the main area to make more room. It's a little packed for my liking now.  My first real step was to measure out my shelves so I knew how much space I had and how big the containers could be. I had inherited a couple of containers from my friend so I already had those. Then I looked around for the right containers. Honestly, find good ones that weren't a million dollars was tough. I could have gotten The Home Edit's line at the container store but I'm not made of money. I settled one this set and this one for the pantry and refrigerator as well. Then I took everything out of the pantry (yes everything) and cleaned it. They recommend taking everything out so you can clearly see what could be gotten rid of and it's easier to reorganize.

The next big step was establishing categories. This way everything has a place and you know what you have. We have so many duplicate items right now, but I"m hoping as we go through things now that we can clearly see what we have, that won't happen anymore. Creating categories for the pantry was the hardest part, there were a lot of things that didn't feel like they had a clear cut place but here's what I settled on:

  • Baking
    • Flour
    • Sugar
    • Baking items (springs, brown sugar etc)
  • Entertaining section
    • Plastic wear
    • Cups
    • Paper products
    • Serving dishes
    • Roasting pan
  • Bread
  • Grain
    • Rice
    • Pasta
  • Breakfast item
  • Produce
  • Spices
  • Canned goods
  • Sauces/oils
  • One shelf has our blenders, instapot etc
  • The bottom right now has our roaster, a container of Reese's art supplies, table decor

I threw away at least one full garbage bag of old/expired food or things we won't use anymore. I did my best to match the categories to bins that fit. I actually put my spices in this bathroom drawer organizer and I think it works pretty well. I also found this container (similar) with dividers that works for our produce and this lazy susan for the oils is *chefs kiss*

The final touch was labeling. The Home Edit book came with some labels, but I decided to primarily use this chalkboard tape instead. That way I could change the labels if I wanted. Initially, I used a real piece of chalk and it didn't look nice at all. Then I remembered we had these chalk markers (similar) from Reese's birthday last year and voila! It looks so good. 

I am so proud of how this turned out, we have been able to maintain this pretty since I did it. I imagine we'll make some adjustments as we live in it, but I'm so much happier now that everything has a place and a purpose. It took some work but in a few steps it's totally doable and worth it!