the pantry project

15 Jan

I live in a small house. Therefore, most things in the house are also small; the bedrooms, the bathroom, the closets, and of course, the pantry. As I’m sure you have gathered, I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. My kitchen is also small, but I love it. It has two skylights that I love and we painted it red, my favorite color. The only downsides is that it lacks space.  It has a pantry, but not one of those beautiful walk-in types that I imagine in my dreams. Like the one Ina Garten or Ellie Kreiger has on their respective Food Network shows. Oh to dream….

Mine is probably the world’s smallest pantry and I’ve been shoving things in it with not a lot of organization for 7 1/2 years. Recently a friend of mine started telling me about the Container Store and how she used their services to re-design her pantry and what a difference it made in how she utilized the space. Another pal chimed in that she had done a few closets in their house and that she could not recommend it enough. It also just so happened that their closet design system (elfa) is on sale right now. The planets were aligned and my need for organization was extremely heightened.

I knew going in that there were not all that many options. My pantry is only 11 inches deep and 26 inches wide. There is only so much you can do with that space. My goal was to get it a bit more organized, add a shelf or two and room to include my spices. You see, I currently store my spices directly above my stove. This is the worst place one can store spices as the deteriorate much faster when they are close to heat. So, if I could fit them into the mix, I would be a happy gal.

Walking into the Container Store was a bit overwhelming. There are so many containers! I went straight to ask for help and explained what I was looking for. The gentleman I worked with was very nice, but I must admit I really wanted someone who would get a bit more excited about it. I had a number of questions about food storage containers in addition to the actual re-org and he wasn’t all that helpful. he just pointed me to the wall of containers and said to look around. What? Can you not tell me which is the best? What is the most popular? What do you prefer? That’s what I was looking for but it just wasn’t in the cards. He was helpful with the actual building of the pantry and I left with all sorts of shelves, gadgets, and screws for Brette to play with during installation. Note: they will install it for you (for a price), but it didn’t look too difficult. Granted, I did not handle the installation, but it seemed to be a cinch for my handy hubby.

To give you a clear picture, here are a few before shots.

Once the pantry was empty, Brette filled holes and painted. He’s a saint like that. So my kitchen looked like this for a day or two.

This is in the living room. It added something to the decor, don’t ya think?


The Final Product

So, here’s what it looks like without anything in it…


I gained two shelves and 6 racks on the door. Plus, it looks shiny and clean. My canned goods are very happy about the situation.

And here it is filled with goods.


Doesn’t she look organized?


I love having room for spices and my numerous bottles of vinegar.

This is not all of my spices. I bought a container to put my smaller jars of spices in and that is also in a new spot away from the stove.

I picked up a long narrow basket for the floor to put the softer items like my ginormous bag of quinoa, tortilla chips, pasta bags, etc.


So far, I am loving it. I’ve been able to add in additional items that I had stuffed in other cupboards so everything overall is much more organized and easy to get at.

I would recommended the elfa products. I am thinking that down the road, I might do our bedroom closets so we can maximize those tiny spaces as well. However, it’ll have to be a little spread out. The system isn’t what I would call cheap. I was happy to be there during the 30% off sale. When it was all said and done, it cost me about $200. To me, it was worth it.


Am I the last one to the party on the Container Store? Have any of you been there? Have you done a re-org to a closet or pantry?





2 Responses to “the pantry project”

  1. Willa January 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    It’s beautiful!

  2. Mellissa January 17, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Organization makes me happy! I like using big baskets and big containers with lids. I went a bit crazy at Ikea one day!

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