Sunday, January 4, 2015

Taming One of the the Beasts

Happy New Year!  Doesn't this mean we all have to start talking about goals, and organizing, and fresh starts?  That's a law somewhere, right? 

Well, I'll be happy to tackle the organizing part.  Because frankly, we're at a tipping point in this house.  I don't even know how it happened - I mean come on, we've only been here for 18 months.  How much disarray could there possibly be? The hubby insists it's not that bad, but we'll just call our tolerance levels for clutter...different.

I'll fully embrace that I'm a little nuts when it comes to being tidy.  I blame my mom.  "A place for everything and everything in it's place."  Now be sure that you read that in a slightly screechy, naggy, mom-type voice to really get the full effect.

My first "let's get our act together" project (one of many to come) was to get a handle on the food pantry.  Now, maybe my before picture isn't as bad as I think, but the space needed some help.  Considering the range of items stored there went from canned goods to exercise accessories to camping gear, it definitely met my criteria for a re-org.  Here are a few less than orderly before pictures:

The answer to the question "Is that a 6 lb medicine ball in the middle of the pantry floor?" is yes.  The shame.

So maybe it wasn't too terrible, but it definitely needed some TLC.  The shelves were all over the place, some overflowing, with no rhyme or reason to what was stored where.  Which of course resulted in not being able to easily see and find things, not really knowing what was in the pantry, and buying products we didn't realize we already had.  Not ideal. I realize it could be much worse than this, but it was cluttered enough for me!


But, the real mess is around the corner.  Talk about using a space to shove whatever we didn't feel like dealing with - for whatever reason - for over a year!  Under this pile of crap was anything from toilet paper, to what seemed like an excessive amount of reusable cloth grocery bags, to a jump rope, to one of those plastic dog cone of shame contraptions, to a space heater, to snorkel fins and masks, to a ukelele.  You get the picture, right?  It had become the shove it spot for anything and everything and it needed to be tamed!

Ugh.  Look away!  Look away!

My strategy was to purchase a few organizational tools to help me get the space whipped into shape.  Think hooks, over-door shelving, and baskets.  I procrastinated for about a month before I finally just sucked it up and did it already.  And I'm SO happy with the results.

I think the biggest difference is the over-the-door shelves.  They provide so much more space and take advantage of an area that was completely unused before.  How about this paragon of efficiency:

With room to spare!

My two other favorite features of the new and improved pantry space are the hooks I used for the step stool and reusable grocery bags, and the plastic bag recycling container.  Before, we just shoved plastic bags in a cardboard box that was never unpacked & was left in the pantry, and the reusable grocery bags were thrown all willy-nilly in the empty space. This is so much better!


I'd say the pantry's looking better now:


I went with baking supplies and sweets on the top shelf, pasta and canned goods on the second, rice/dried goods/beans in the basket on the third shelf, and all booze and booze-related things in the canvas basket.


Paper goods and cleaners are on the floor, and I used a wood side table we weren't using anywhere else to bring the clear 3-drawer shelf up off of the floor.



Not really a fun project, but it's one of those tasks that once you stop procrastinating about and just do, you immediately feel better about having finally finished it.  And maybe - if you're feeling particularly inspired, you'll be motivated to tackle the next organizing project.  Cause ya know there's a next one!

I'm so relieved that step one of taming the clutter is done!  I think my next project will be the drawers in the kitchen.  You know the ones.  We all have them.  Battlefield kitchen accessories.

I'd say 2015 is off to a refreshingly organized start!  Maybe there's something to the whole clich├ęd "let's start fresh" mindset for the new year.  I know I'm a happy camper with that black hole of a pantry finally tackled.  So, what are you going to take on for the new year?

Ta-ta for now.

Pizza break.  Almost done!

So much better!



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