I’m so mad at Young House Love right now for stealing pretty much the only worthwhile pantry pun out there (you know…pants party/pantry party…Anchorman). Actually not really, it’s pretty much impossible to get mad at those two Young-Sters! But they totally trumped me! Curses! Next time YHL, next time.
So yesterday we revealed our pantry finishing touches and also gave you a bit of sneak peak on how we organized it. But today we’re going to get down to the nitty gritty of how we organized it! Yee-haw! It was such a fun time organizing the pantry. Just picture me perched on a kitchen chair maniacally drumming my fingers against each other and muttering “some of you will get organized and some of you must go” while peering over my overabundant collection of baking supplies spewed all over the kitchen counter. Such fun, such fun!
The whole pantry ended up turning into a baking pantry of sorts. We keep most of our food in the two cupboards between the sink and the oven and it all fits quite nicely. What we did need help organizing was baking tools/supplies. They were thrown everywhere…more specifically thrown haphazardly everywhere…and I longed for a super sleek, organized storage solution for often used items like flour, sugar, and my Kitchen Aid mixer. I don’t bake nearly as often as I used to which I attributed to having to take everything but the kitchen sink out of the old baking cabinet just to find the brown sugar. It wasn’t ideal. But now?! So much easier to access all my supplies!
Just so you get an idea of what I’m talking about, here is our overstuffed kitchen buffet (it’s an old hardware store cabinet we picked up at a yard sale for $50 two summers ago) which we store dishes, electrics, pots and pans, linens, miscellaneous baking supplies, and Goose food on.
And here is the baking storage cabinet in all its unorganized glory. I’ll pause while you pin it.
Got it? Good! Like any good organizing project, I started by pulling EVERYTHING out of the cabinet. I’m talking everything, everything out of the cabinet. I found things deep in that cabinet that I hadn’t seen since I stuffed them in there when we first moved in four years ago. It was ugly.
I purged, I donated, I threw out the six year old rice, may have snacked on a few chocolate chips along the way, and slowly put things into the pantry in an organized fashion. Let’s take a tour of the organized afters, shall we?! Starting with the top and the microwave nook.
The space fit our microwave perfectly. Maybe it’s because we built it that way?! Custom build for the win! There was even enough space beside it to fit my beloved Martha Stewart cake dome with enough room behind it to expand the collection (hint hint Colby…add mini cake domes from the Martha Stewart for Macy’s line to the list of gift ideas for your wife). We do intend to upgrade our microwave in the not so distant future to a stainless steel one to match the rest of our appliances. We’ve found one and it’s just a waiting/stalking game until it goes on sale.
Next up…the top pantry pull out drawer:
Since this shelf is the hardest of the five for me to access, I opted to include items that I don’t use as often. This includes bread pans, cake pans, and a mini pie pan. The basket was an organizing purchase from Home Goods (a whopping $16) and holds all my cookie cutters. While in Home Goods I briefly debated (as in couldn’t decide so I called Colby and made him decide) getting an open weave, wicker-ish trash basket but opted for concealed and dust free.
Moving down…the second pantry shelf:
These items I use slightly more often than the top shelf items and pretty much includes all my Kitchen Aid goods. That’s another one of those Home Goods baskets…I got two…and this one holds the Kitchen Aid attachments like my saving grace of attachments…the shredder! This shelf was also an appropriate spot for the flour sifter since I often use it in conjunction with the mixer.
Moving even further down…shelf number three:
This shelf features the first of two baking supplies shelves. Remember back in October when I was working with Coupons.com on a sponsored post? And I had to buy something for fall (using one of their coupon codes) that could transition into everyday? And I bought glass jars? And turned those glass jars into a gory Halloween specimens display? And said I would re-purpose those jars in a pantry? Could I ask you anymore questions? Well folks….THIS is what I was referring to. I decided to dedicate this shelf solely to flour and granular sugar…the two most used baking supplies, appropriately stored in the two largest jars.
And shelf number four:
This shelf was organized similarly except integrated a few of the smaller jars. The large jar is for confectioners sugar (for Christmas mint making), with the two smaller jars housing chocolate chips and brown sugar. The beauty of these two glass jar storage shelves is that when I’m baking, I just mosey on over to the shelves, pull them out, and scoop my measuring cup/spoons into the jars and dump the ingredients into my mixing bowl. So super easy with no digging through the cabinet underbelly for that long lost flour!
And finally the bottom shelf:
The kitchen electrics (and errant apple peeler shelf). Which reminds me, our poor blender which I’ve had since college is on its death bed (hint hint number two Colby…hint hint number two). The shelf also houses our kitchen scale, which is honestly about one of two kitchen things Colby moved in with that I didn’t get rid of. When I obligatory razzed him about it, he admitted that it really wasn’t his and he wasn’t responsible for picking it out. He inherited it from a friend’s wife when they moved across the pond. Should have known. It was too cute for him to have picked out.
Now with the pantry organized, the buffet is looking a smidge better:
And the kitchen cabinet, former baking storage cabinet, is looking TONS better.
Both spaces still need a bit of work. Both are just haphazardly put back together. But I have a few more organizing tricks up my sleeve. So let me divert your attention back here to the organized baking pantry for a bit while I work my magic on the remaining mess.
Mad love over here for the new pantry…crazy mad love! I’ve already baked a crap ton (official measurement, conversion to metric unknown) of cookies with about eight more dessert recipes pulled ready for testing out. I can feel my pants getting tighter as I type that.
We still have a few more items on the kitchen to-do list, like finishing up that chalkboard wall, boxing out the kitchen beam, and painting/installing all the baseboards and toe kicks around the kitchen but it’s much improved. The kitchen is actually a place I want to spend time in these days. And just because I can’t resist good before shots…like move in day before shots…without further ado:
Bahahahaha! Now that’s some serious ugly! That space with the old cabinet and white fridge is where our new fridge and pantry live. And since our pantry project has pretty much come to a close, here’s the final budget breakdown:
- Particle board for pantry sides and microwave shelf: $42
- Drawer slides for pull out shelves: $100
- Kiln dried spruce for chunky pull out shelves: $30
- Pull out drawer hardware and screws: $19
- Various pine trim pieces: $15
- Primer, paint, stain and poly: FREE (already had on hand)
- Chalkboard paint: FREE (already had on hand)
- Two baskets for pantry organizing: $32
- TOTAL: $238
Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Especially since it’s a custom built piece that totally transformed our kitchen both functionally and aesthetically. The beauty of this pantry project is that it all stemmed from a bit of kitchen “what’s behind the walls” exploration gearing up for a big kitchen reno. When we first started this project we thought it would just be temporary until we get around to completely renovating our kitchen. But now that it’s done…we’re designing the new kitchen around this since we love it so much!
Pssst…Have you guys finished any lingering projects around your neck of the woods? Any organizing projects? Dish!
Psssssst….Catch up on this entire project with exposing the wood wall, framing the pantry part 1 and part 2, installing pull out shelves, and adding finishing touches like hardware and a microwave shelf.
Do you ever have one of those weekends where you should do something in particular? You put it on the list, have every intention of tackling “said something” and yet it never gets done? You know, something like utilize the most perfect, rain free weekend to finish painting your porch windows because it’s (look for the blue moon) not raining? But somehow you find yourself installing shelving in the Etsy office? That was my weekend. Obligatory before and after:
Did you also notice the return of the coral curtains?
I couldn’t help it. I needed some shelving. It was one of those if-only-I-was-organized-I-would-get-soooooo-much-done kind of things. Which I totally believe in. I feel I finish ten times as many iPad stands when I can see my go-to stain and don’t have to dig through piles of old t-shirts to turn into rags before getting to it. Of course, it didn’t help that I had recently picked up a mess of these beauties during a trek to the flea market. We got 17 of them for $25. I couldn’t resist. They were cheap and had flaky bits…and in my world flaky bits equals purchase.
Because I knew I wanted to store quarts of stain on the shelves we made damn sure that the brackets would attach to studs. Colby copping an attitude…I mean…finding a stud.
And screwing the brackets into the stud.
When it came to installing/placing the brackets, we used a very sophisticated method of eyeballing it height wise. Width spacing wise, the studs were equidistant apart so we just picked three studs that spanned the area that we wanted the shelves to go.
We decided that it would be best to first hang the brackets to help us decide the length of the pine board shelf. We opted to give the shelf about a 2″ overhang on each end (meaning the shelf is a total of 4″ longer than the space between each end bracket). Colby quickly cut down the pine board to the right size, 8-1/4″ x 68″ total size.
Then I quickly slapped some white paint on the board, not bothering to prime it beforehand. I was going for a ‘white washed” look in theory but in reality it was just shear laziness. Like a I-don’t-want-to-spend-more-than-20-minutes-on-this kind of laziness.
After letting the painted
lady shelf dry overnight, it was just a matter of screwing the brackets to the shelves, ironically using some brass screws that we use to assemble our iPad stands.
And scene…shelves installed. The entire shelf building, finishing and installing process took a whopping twenty minutes (minus the dry time). But that was the quick part of the project.
The longer part of the project…organizing what goes on the shelf!
Lining up my water based wood stains in ROY G BIV order is totally my idea of a good time on a Sunday evening.
My favorite part of the shelf organizing was utilizing a trio of green, metal storage bins that I picked up from Home Goods a month or so ago. They were only $9.99 each, so about $30 for the set. I organized them by task…for the most part. So when it’s time to stain, I grab the bin in the middle which has rags, my staining brush, drop cloth and stir sticks. No more rummaging through a box under the desk looking for that gosh darn staining rag! Which usually ends up me empty handed and running to our closet contemplating cutting up Colby’s Patriots tee (I’m a Giants fan…can you blame me?), but that could never end well.
I even spent a little bit of time organizing the green bookcase underneath the shelves.
I picked up a few old, wood drawers at a local antique store for about $4 each and used them to store like items. Like extra rolls of twine which I use assembling the iPad stands or stamping supplies for product tag making.
The beauty of the whole shelf building/reorganization is that it freed up soooo much space underneath the desk for product storage. The old, wood boxes used to hold stains and iPad manufacturing supplies mixed in with the stands. But now…all that space is dedicated to product.
Pssst…What have you guys been organizing lately? Craft supplies? Paints in ROY G BIV order?
Just call me Kevin Costner (circa 1999 when he filmed Message In A Bottle). Except nix the “message” part and replace with “vitamins”. And with that, I give you our “vitamin in a bottle” vitamin organization project result.
Shortly after installing the first aid cabinet in our bathroom, which was also going to house Colby’s vitamin collection, I scrounged up all the cabinet items and set it up to get a good judge of how everything would fit. I probably should have tested this out before altering the old wooden box with a shelf AND before painting it AND before attaching it to the wall. Thankfully things fit…just not so well.
Many of the the vitamin bottles were bulky and didn’t quite fit within the cabinet. Technically they fit, but they were just a little too pudgy to close the door. Poor pudgy vitamin bottles. They need a diet. Thankfully there are vitamins for that! Even our bottle of peroxide was a bit too hefty for the cabinet. And then the vitamin bottles that did fit inside the cabinet, wasted alot of vertical space since they were midget bottles.
And what precisely are you stashing in that baggie, Colby?! Hmmm? Suspicious…non?! We need to chat about this! Haha! Is this a “the snozberries taste like snozberries” situation?!
Needless to say the vitamin situation and first aid cabinet contents needed a little organization. I was on a mission and thankfully not mission impossible since I already had a mess of glass bottles at my disposal to use to organize the vitamins.
I had originally purchased these bottles (from AC Moore on sale for $0.84 each) to use to display sand from some of the local Maine beaches I’ve visited along with beach sand from our Puerto Rican honeymoon. But apparently vitamins trump sand and the bottles quickly became vitamin storage instead. Have I said vitamin enough? Should we turn this into a drinking game where every time I say vitamin, we drink? Vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin! Why yes…I am THAT person! No wonder I never got invited to drinking game parties!
Anyway…the project was as simple as (1) dump the vitamins into each bottle (post glass bottle cleaning of course), (2) label each bottle with the vitamin’s name/dosage using a strip of masking tape and a black pen, and (3) recycling all those hefty and half empty vitamin bottles.
And miracle upon miracles…everything fit! I even picked up a new, smaller bottle of peroxide so all of our BandAids and ointments fit nicely inside the cabinet.
I absolutely adore the impact of a consistent set of glass bottles for vitamin storage. The vitamins look SOOO much cuter all lined up in their matching bottles and labels than they did before in their random groupings of original bottles. Added bonus…now that the vitamins are all in one space, clearly labeled, and easy to get to (they were jammed into baskets on the bathroom shelves before) Colby has admitted that he’s already taking the vitamins more often than before. Apparently ease of access is key in vitamin taking. And now everything is one place, in the easily accessible old box turned first aid cabinet.
So I’m officially checking off “first aid cabinet” from the bathroom to-do list, which I don’t think I’ve shared with you yet (hanging…head…in shame):
Find a dresser/buffet to convert into a bathroom vanity(we found a buffet on Craigslist for $75) Hack up said dresser and paint it(vanity hacking post here and here during installation; the vanity is painted Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore which you can read about here) Demo out the old “temporary” vanity that had been in our bathroom for nearly three years and patch the sheetrock(vanity demo go boom…note…Colby challenge me to spoof the KFC “Game Day Bucket Go Boom commercial in every post…challenge accepted) Prime and paint the bathroom wall a cool, minty color(we painted the bathroom Mantis Green by Benjamin Moore)
- Add bead board above the built-in shelves and paint the bead board and the shelves glossy white (for shame that we haven’t yet painted the bathroom built-ins…it’s been three years!)
Build a first aid cabinet for the space above the toilet paper holder(we didn’t build it though…we found it…for six bucks… here’s the post)
- Organize, organize, organize!
- Build shelves for the blank wall space beside the vanity (coming soon…I’m tackling this for the Spring Pinterest Challenge)
- Build another shelf, maybe one out of driftwood, to hang over the back of the toilet
- Find or DIY some interesting towel hooks (picked these up during our recent Brewer School House Antiques shopping excursion, just need to paint and install them)
- Finish off the space by hanging a little art and accessorizing here and there (I’m sensing some Etsy art I’ve been drooling over in our future!)
Progress is being made! Woot woot! And I am SOOOO thankful we’re no longer knocking down walls, plumbing, electrical-izing, sheet rocking and all that other heavy lifting type stuff and now it’s all about the details and decorating! My favorite!
Pssst…Our Etsy shop is officially open and aptly named “Roostic“. We only have one product up so far, the iPad stands that we built back here, but we’re hoping to add a few more products in the near future. Baby steps, folks, baby steps! Have a great weekend everyone!
If you’ve learned anything around these parts, it’s the following…(1) we love us a good DIY project, (2) we’re crazy about our pooch, Goose, even though he’s off the charts on the obnoxious scale just a little more obnoxious than Heidi Montag but a little less than Paris Hilton, and (3) I have precisely zero point zero willpower at Home Goods (remember the pink mirror from a couple of weeks ago?)! Anyway…the other day I was on a quest for a bathmat…somehow upgraded to a cart to pick up a few baskets to organize the bathroom, and then these guys just magically jumped into my cart.
It happens. Mermaids are magical like that. I picked up the trio of mermaid canisters for $19 (they were sold individually for $9.00 for the large one, $6.00 for the medium one, and $4.00 for the small one. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them…but then when I brought them home I had an epiphany moment…dog treat canisters to corral the dog treat mess going on in the metal cabinets in the laundry room.
Disclaimer…no, we’re not big fans of the old school metal cabinetry nor our dated kitchen. We bandaid-ed the space with some paint, but plans for a complete remodel are in the works…woot woot! Anyway…I know we have a Goose treat problem…but seriously…how can you resist a face like that!
Thankfully the canisters were food safe, at least that’s what the sticker on the bottom said. So hopefully Goose won’t start acting deranged or grow extra toes. Goose’s treats easily fell into three canister categories…fancy “Goose is a good boy” treats (the veggies from Beneful), the everyday treats (the Beneful dog crackers…which Colby also finds tasty…seriously…he loves them…I wish I was kidding), and the “good for Goose’s teeth” dental sticks.
And the entire time I was organizing Goose’s treats…he was “supervising” to make sure I was doing it correctly. Such an overbearing dog.
After filling the canisters, I plopped the mermaid trio on the counter beside the stove, which fit oh so perfectly in the space.
Although I’m not convinced that they’ll stay there since (A) they’re in the stove top splash danger zone where one should be aware of spaghetti sauce splatters and (B) they also are in the even more frightening “Goose can reach these” danger zone.
I’m sensing imminent doom for those canisters. We’ll see how Goose handles them over the next couple of days before deciding if we should relocate them. Hopefully we won’t be reporting in with any mermaid destruction.
Pssst…So what has “jumped” into your cart lately? I don’t think I’m physically capable of coming out of Home Goods empty handed. Just doesn’t happen. Or anyone else have an overtly spoiled fur baby? Or a husband that enjoys dog treats? Sheesh!
Last week, or was it a few weeks ago, I can’t remember whether I’m coming or going these days, I posted about our trip to the Big Chicken Barn in Ellsworth, Maine. We shared all the cool goods that we wanted to come home with. But what did we actually get? This collection of stuff:
Oh…and one more thing. The Life Magazine from the month and year I was born. I still don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but everyone needs their Life Magazine, right?! I tried to find Colby’s but lo and behold, it was just about the ONLY month/year that the Chicken Barn didn’t have. Once I’ve got the complete collection I may have to whip up a little Life Magazine art display somewhere in the house.
But back to the goods, what we got and what we paid for them. First up, the rope knot which was originally $9 but with the 30% off sale, it was only $6.30.
You got a sneak peak of it in yesterday’s entry makeover post, where I hung it from one of the coat hooks on the shelf.
I’ve been swooning over all the rope knots that grace the pages of Country Living and Better Homes & Gardens magazines, so when I stumbled upon one at the Chicken Barn, I snatched it up quicker than a klepto at an unsecured jewelry store.
Next item up is the old pottery crock that I picked up, which replaced our old utensil holder in the kitchen.
The crock was priced at $30 but was also 30% off (thank you winter antique sale) making it only $21. I’ve been stalking these crocks for years now, ever since we moved to the house way back when in May of 2010. Every crock I’ve found has either been too big, too small, too pricey or chipped. But this one was the Goldilocks of crocks and was “just right”. The crock is so much spacier than the old, too crammed full utensil holder.
The next Chicken Barn score was that gorgeous coral/aqua shell we showed you during our Chicken Barn tour. It was $10 plus the 30% off for a final price of $7.
I love the shell…absolutely love the shell. Right now, it’s on our bathroom vanity. That is if you can call it a vanity. It’s just a painted piece of plywood with a $10 Habitat For Humanity Re-Store sink attached to it. It’s a “temporary vanity”….an air quoted temporary vanity because it’s been there for nearly three years. But I swear this year will be the year that we FINALLY finish the bathroom and build a real vanity!
Anyway, the shell is parked on the vanity to serve the purpose of jewelry holder when I remove my bling at night for face washing time.
And finally, my favorite score…drum roll please….the green metal cabinet.
I actually didn’t buy it during my first trip to the chicken barn. I came home without it, did nothing but think about it for the next seven days, dreamed about stroking it gently and whispering sweet nothings to it, and returned to the Chicken Barn the following weekend to pick it up. And thankfully it was still there and still on sale. It’s original price tag was $30 but with the 30% off discount, the price came down to $21.
As for the location, the cabinet became an office space organizer and I tucked it under my computer on my side of our shared, his/hers desk.
I’m really digging the cabinet in that spot. I love how it elevates the computer just enough so that it helps fill the awkward void between the top of the monitor and underneath the shelves. I can’t explain but that empty space always bothered me. I chalk it up to general weirdness.
Anyway…I knew exactly what I wanted to use the cabinet for when I bought it…CD storage.
I’ve been on a file backup/cleanup my computer rampage lately. Mostly because my computer is old, storage on it is maxed out, and I’m trying to burn all my files to CDs, organizing and storing them in the cabinet.
I was worried at first that placing the computer on top of the metal cabinet would place the screen too high for comfortably working at the computer. But because I have one of those old mushroom Macs, the monitor moves pretty easily up, down and around.
Go go gadget computer!
Pssst…What have you guys found at your local antique stores lately? Anything good? Or anyone recently leave something behind at a store only to think about non stop until finally going back for it?! Do tell!