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The Organized Pantry

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As far as pantries go, this one in Olathe, Kansas, was fairly typical of what I see- things were generally grouped together by category (snack bags were nearby other snack bags, cans were in close proximity to other cans). However, my client wasn’t happy: her family was putting things back without rhyme or reason, and many ingredients were getting buried, so that she was burning extra money on groceries to replace what she already had. Additionally, she wanted nothing on the floor except for the glass and paper/plastic recycling, and the existing system of the hanging bag wasn’t working- it annoyingly brushed her left shoulder whenever she walked into the pantry.

Pantry objectives

  1. Being able to find things quickly to save time in the morning.
  2. More cost effective: Everything totally visible so that nothing expires/no wasted grocery money.
  3. Crystal clear homes for every item, so that her family (ie, three teenage boys) had no doubt when it came to where an item was to be returned to!
  4. Nothing on the floor except for the recycling baskets (easier to clean).
  5. Attractive, and a joy to walk into!
  6. Most important: a system that was so clear-cut that it would not need to be reorganized in a few weeks.

She wanted this pantry to be the best it could be, and I could not wait to tackle it!

I started with a purge. She didn’t even have to be home for this part- she went out and ran errands (she was very sweet and surprised me with a yummy chocolate health shake when she returned!). I went through every single item of food, and checked every expiration date: With her blessing, anything that was expired and opened got tossed. Anything that was expired within recent years and was not opened got placed in my car for me to drive it to Shawnee Community Services after work. 3 hampers worth of food was donated! The rest, I placed into groupings: large snack bags, canned foods, baking, dog supplies, etc.

Purging done, and it was time to organize! I took measurements of the space, and returned the next day with organizing supplies.

Check out the final result!

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… Daaaaaamn!

My client and I then went about purging and organizing the very high up shelves in the pantry (not shown here) where the non-edibles live: serving platters, pitchers, bowls and seldom used appliances.

Here are some fun close-up details…

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The best of all… Ready?…

It has now been 1 month since we have tackled this pantry, and guess what? It’s still completely organized! Mad props to the family (especially those teenage boys!) for putting things back exactly where they found them.

 

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