Kitchen and Pantry Makeover

7

Dec 7, 2011

The holidays are just a few weeks away making it the perfect time to clear out the clutter in your kitchen so you are ready to entertain your friends and family.  Also, it couldn’t be a better time to donate or regift all of the canned goods and cooking gadgets that you no longer need.

A few weeks ago I tackled this kitchen and pantry for a client who was frustrated with how sloppy everything looked and the lack of functionality. Every time I organize a kitchen I pretend I am moving into the house and I create a plan in my mind where items “should” be stored based on the layout of the cabinets and the appliances.  Next I remove everything from the cabinets, wipe them clean, sort the items, create a shopping list for products that might make the space more efficient, shop for products, and then put everything away.  Simple changes like shelf liner, adding cute bins and baskets, and clearing out duplicate items and outdated food will make your kitchen more inviting, spacious, and organized.

For this project I followed all of the steps I mentioned above and started with the lower cabinets and worked clockwise around the room.  One of the cabinets was full of several mis-matched pots and pans, taking up a ton of space.  I had my assistant Devin sort them and try to find one matching set that was in the best condition, then we lined the shelves and put everything away.  We reused a vertical file that my client was using to store lunch boxes in a different cabinet to store the lids.

Before
After

As I worked on the rest of the cabinets I put Devin in charge of the spice cabinet.  It was so jam packed that the cabinet door wouldn’t even shut!  Devin pitched all of the old spices and then made great use of the built in spice rack by sorting them away based on type (seasoning, dried herbs, etc.).

Before
After
My client has a beautiful custom made pantry with slots for trays and roll out shelving.   She had her food items stored on the deep top shelves which may seem like the best place because they are at eye level but because of their depth items tend to get lost in the back and go to waste.  Because of this, I swapped out the linens from the bottom roll out shelves with the food so that everyone in the household could easily see everything with a quick glance.  Here are some before and afters to illustrate the changes…
Before
After
Before
After

Because there is nothing worse that reaching into a box of meal bars, or snacks to find it is empty, I recommend storing items like candy, power bars, oatmeal, and snacks in clear shoe boxes or canisters.  It helps give you an idea of what you are running low on when it is time to create a shopping list and prevents empty boxes from lingering in your pantry.

As I shared in the post about my organized pantry, it is important to store like items together and keep all of the labels facing front to create a sense of order.

For this kitchen project I hauled 4 bags to Goodwill, and tossed 3 garbage bags of expired food.  I hope this motivates you to organize your kitchen before those holiday guests arrive!

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