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Confessions of a Pantry Clean Out

Fair warning. This is not exactly a Pinterest-worthy blog post. But, I’m hoping that it’s helpful and inspires you to tackle that organization project in your house that you’ve been staring at and just need to do!

Last Saturday afternoon, this was the scene at my back door…

Outside pantry

Ridiculous right?  Who lives like this?!?  In all fairness, I’d be cleaning things out to make room for winter boots and this was the moment when you realize that there’s no turning back…that you have to make a huge mess in order to get to a point where there’s actually less mess. Follow me? So, the door on the right is our pantry and it didn’t look much better.

Pantry before

I went to make something for dinner, had a major freak out because I couldn’t find a damn thing, ordered pizza and told my husband I was going to the Container Store.

Pantry organization from Container Store

Normally when I have an organization project like this, I bring in the Amy reinforcements, but she was at a party (at least one of us was cool on Saturday night…) and I could take the mess no longer. By 11:45 PM Saturday night, this is what my pantry looked like…

Pantry After organizing

Ok, minus the crappy photography (did you see the scene in the first photograph? Today wasn’t much better so clear photography was not on the top of my list unfortunately!)

It doesn’t have to be complicated.  I literally got a few baskets and just corralled things into categories that make sense to me and my family. I also grabbed one of those tiered expandable pieces for cans so you can see what you have.

On the bottom shelf, we now have breakfast items. This allows my kids to grab cereal in the morning without having to ask me! They can just tie up the tops of the cereal bags and throw them in the basket.

Pantry Breakfast

Next shelf up is snacks–a basket for pretzels, crackers, etc. and a couple of open, stacking bins for those squeeze tube things, fruit snacks, etc.

Pantry Snacks 2

Pantry Snacks

Ok, another confession, this pantry is NOT STYLED at all (obviously)…it is literally all the junk that I had in there and just found a place for. Not exactly interior designery of me, but there you have it.

On the next shelf up is all the baby stuff. My freezer is full of food ice cubes, but I also keep some packaged baby food and snacks on hand since we’re on the go a lot.

Pantry Baby Basket

I love the little “blackboard” stickers that you write on with chalk pens…decide to switch what’s in the basket (like in a few months when Will is eating whatever we’re eating) and you can just change the label.  I always find it easier to stay organized if I label stuff.

I decided to just put all the pasta and rice and things that I don’t access more than once a week (once a month in the case of baking) on the very top shelf.

Pantry Upper Shelf

The top shelf also got the IKEA jars full of things I don’t access very much, are bulky, but not too heavy so easy to get down.

Pantry jars

So, this is a call out to all of you disorganized pantry people…just clean it! Don’t feel this immense pressure from gorgeous Pinterest shots of beautiful pantries, just make yours work better for you. I knew my family wouldn’t do more than throw things in a marked basket so that’s what I went with. Good luck!

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Itsy Bitsy

One of our favorite things to do with this blog is to share the resources that we look to for our clients (and ourselves!) for stylish, yet affordable options. Are you familiar with Home Decorators Collection?  They’re actually a Home Depot company that have a great line of furniture and  six retail stores nationwide, two of which are in Illinois. Tessa bought the rug for her son’s room there. They recently launched Isty Bitsy which is a children’s furnishings line and I was so impressed! Here are a few things that caught my eye…

Love this little garden side chair which also comes in blue and silver.

Little Garden Side Chair - Set Of 2 - 28

Garden side chair

Where was this round foam ottoman when I was decorating William’s nursery???

Custom Kids Round Foam Ottoman - 17

Round Foam Ottoman

 This Wren upholstered storage bench would be great in a family room–large enough to store all of those toys scattered throughout the room.  It’s only 18″ high so it could be used as an ottoman and comes in several fabric options.

bench

Wren Upholstered Storage Bench

I have a crush on anything dark wood these days–at only 30″ high and 18″ deep this Deerfield student desk could be used as a console or as a desk/nightstand in a guest room.

Deerfield Student Desk - 30

Deerfield Student Desk

If you’re looking for a headboard for your child or even for yourself…definitely check out their selection of custom headboards offered in many different shapes and fabrics–like this Barrett upholstered version

headboard

Barrett Upholstered Bed

 Love these sweet Georgia drapery panels for a girl’s room–the ruffles are so fun!

Georgia Long Drapery Panel - 96

Georgia Drapery

These storage bins with handle come in many different designs. Love this version for a boy’s room.

Kids Storage Bin With Handle - 11

Storage Bin with Handle

Forget the kids’ rooms, this Mystic area rug comes in an 8 x 11 size…bring some pattern into your family room! It comes in four other colors.

Mystic Wool Area Rug - 8'X11', Blue

Mystic Area Rug

It’s always great when I stumble across a new source for kid’s furnishings.  But love it even more when those items could be used in a grown up space, too!  Definitely check out Isty Bitsy—I was smitten with some of their furnishings! Oh, and because they’re part of Home Depot, there are always good promotions going on. Right now, I know they have $50 off $250–so even better, you don’t have to pay full price!

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Nine Great Storage Solutions for Kids

A couple of months ago, I picked up these baskets on sale at Serena & Lily for toy storage in Madeleine’s bedroom…love the thick textured weave and bright colors.

Serena & Lily storage baskets

I kind of have a thing for toy storage bins and baskets. They make me feel organized when really I’m just stuffing a lot of crap away from view!(Admittedly my favorite kind of organization-cue Amy’s cringe…) So here are a few of my favorite options out there right now– big open ones with great prints (love the letters and numbers on #2 from Land of Nod!); practical ones with tops (lid goes on and everything disappears!); an open wire option great for stuffed animals; three different styles great for bookshelf storage (how fun is the retro TV bin from Urban??)

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1. Origami Hamper by Pehr Designs// 2. Land of Nod Alphabet Bin//3. Laundry Basket by Ferm Living//4. Charming Basket by Land of Nod//5. Serena & Lily Rope Collection//6. Yellow basket by Ferm Living//7. Serena & Lily Pandan Bin//8. Wire Locker Basket//9. Television Canvas Storage Box//

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