Reclaim Your House: Pantry

When attacking the clutter in your house you have to start somewhere.  For us it was the pantry.  In our small townhouse kitchen, we have found that we have more items to store in our kitchen than we have cabinets.  Here's a sneak peak at our after:

This is the "coat closet", a small closet off of the playroom that essentially was filled with trash/junk dated back to right after we got married and moved in.  I wish I would have taken a picture before we cleaned it out, but let me just say that we filled 4 trash bags full of garbage - old papers, scrap pieces of rug, wood, moulding, etc.  It was a catch all for anything that we should have thrown away to begin with.  So, we finally hunkered down and threw all that trash out!!  This is what we were left with... an empty closet with a wire shelf for hanging coats on at the top.

Sort of "Before" Shot

The first thing to go was the wire shelving.  Then came the trip to Home Depot.  There I bought a couple of 1x2s to hold the shelves up and some 15"x30" melamine shelves for about $6 each.

I measured where the studs were and began screwing the 1x2s into the wall.  Once they were all up, measured and leveled, it was time to paint.  I think you never truly realize how gross your walls are until you start to apply a nice coat of white paint to them... then their true nature becomes clear!

Here you can see where the first shelf is in.

I simply measured and cut the shelves to be 30" wide (with my jigsaw - happy belated Mother's Day to me!).  Then I set it on top of the two 1x2's that I anchored into the wall.

I painted the 1x2's white as well so that everything is a nice solid coat of white.  Here's what it looks like with all of the shelves in.

It is amazing how adding a couple of shelves can make this space so much more useful... and yet at the same time a little bland.  So I decided to try painting some uneven stripes.  Why uneven stripes?  One - because they're fun and add some color; Two - because I would never paint uneven stripes on a normal wall in my house.  So this was a fun little experiment - plus I didn't have to measure.

I started by making some random stripes on the wall with painters tape.  Then I painted the stripes with the blue/green color we used in the bathroom.

The stripes came out ok.  I wouldn't say that I love the result (it's very hard to get sharp clean lines with paint).  But it definitely helped clean up our pantry.  Here's a before shot:

This is our pantry.  Scary right?!
But, with our newly updated closet, we were able to split up all of our kitchen items and create two organized spaces.

Baby steps... that's what I keep telling myself.

Looking for more ideas on how to organize your closet or pantry?  Check out our Reclaim Your House Board on Pinterest.


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