A little mission – pantry makeover and organisation. What I did so our kitchen worked more effectively for us as a family. We all have our systems in place and I’m sure you have your own too, however incase it helps, I thought I’d talk you through what I did to organise our kitchen and pantry cupboards.
If you’ve been following along with this weeks Mission on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve been talking about decluttering and organising my home now that the children have gone back to school. One drawer has led to another (isn’t that always the way!)
I always enjoy a good old spring clean and declutter and it seems I’m not on my own – thank goodness! Spending a year in Lockdown has meant we’ve looked at our spaces differently and in my case, decluttering at the beginning last March and now again a year on!
Clear the clutter so you have room to see the potential in front of you.
Syd and Shea McGee
Moving Day; the back story.
To give you a little back story, when we moved into our home, the children were still young, I was running my Fitness and Wellbeing business and up at 4.15am every morning and my husband also has a busy job! Not unusual, I hear you say..
Moving in day was equally busy. I picked up our new keys at midday, having run two busy fitness camps for my clients at 6am and 9am. We had until the 3.30pm school pick up to get the majority of the work done. Essentially I was keen to at least make the childrens bedrooms and the living areas livable! Yes my #PowerofanHours were in full swing, even then!
Obviously in an ideal world, we’d have looked at the space in our kitchen and worked out logically where everything should live. We didn’t, we simply unpacked the boxes (in an organised manner as possible) and that was that, back to our crazy busy lives, excited to be in our new home. It worked.
Lockdown bought a new vision
Over the years, I’ve decluttered and moved things around but one of the positives this Lockdown has given me was to really look at our space, how it functioned, or didn’t and plan accordingly.
It’s been a huge lightbulb moment for me, having the brain space and time to be objective, yet creating spaces behind the doors that work so much more effectively for us as a family. I cleared a space in my diary and the “Little Mission -the pantry makeover and organisation” commenced!
First things first with the pantry organisation..
I started with one cupboard, where we store our hot drink ingredients, thinking I’d remove the items that were out of date or no longer served the family and simply replace back in the cupboard.. However, on closer examination, I realised that this cupboard also now hosted items we used for entertaining & baking.
Most of the items were already in storage jars but overtime it had become disorganised and cluttered, not only that but our mugs were over the other side of the kitchen. Not a good use of space or time, just to make a cup of coffee! Now I know this sounds silly, I’m sure many of you already have a “hot drinks station” as The Home Edit call it, but remember we moved in and went with the flow!
Don’t you just love a “before” and “after” shot!
The top shelf now stores a basket with a stock of fruit teas, together with a storage jar of filter coffee and the cafetière. the second shelf now hosts our mugs and the bottom shelf hosts the teas, coffees etc that we use regularly. Our kettle lives directly under this cupboard and it works really well! Simple things eh..?
“Having a place for everything and everything in it’s place makes the world of difference” A quote my Granny Ruby would say often, I think I adopted her passion for being organised from her!
“I look forward to spring cleaning and putting things in their place. It’s therapeutic for me”
Kimora Lee Simmons
Powered on, I turned my attentions to the pantry cupboards and adopted the same process.
Remove all items.
Discard what’s out of date or your family no longer need or use.
Wash all storage containers and wipe cupboards.
Assess the space.
Consider what you need to complete the job. Labels? Jars? Adjust the shelf heights?
Refill storage jars and place back where they suit you, your family and your lifestyle.
Things I found useful to consider when starting a pantry organisation.
Think about what you actually do in your kitchen!
Where you cook, where you prepare the packed lunches, which items you use more than others. It took me until recently to realise that I stored my flour on the top shelf, with all the baking ingredients, which meant I’d have to jump onto the worktop to reach it – Every. Single. Time!! Why it didn’t occur to me to have a reshuffle and move these items to a lower shelf was purely because I didn’t give it another thought!
Plan your layout!
I’m an old fashioned kind of girl and when the brain goes round and round in circles, I write it down. This new system needed to work, I wanted to have a space that was efficient, yet looked elegant and that worked for everyone, keeping the upkeep to a minimum. (Our longed for kitchen renovation is still in the “dream stage” but this process all helps for when the planning becomes a reality.)
I drew the kitchen and cupboard layout on a piece of paper and reassessed which storage jars and labels I needed and where they would go. By writing it all down, having an old fashioned “brain dump” cleared the fog and I could get a clearer perspective. A good thing when you are short of time!
Divide the kitchen into “Stations”
I’m sure if I shared my steps in the kitchen before the pantry makeover and organisation, you’d giggle. Everything was so far away from each other.. The honey lived in a cupboard far from the toaster. The herbs were in a cupboard on the other side of the kitchen away from the oven.
Having stopped and reassessed and framed this process as “creating stations”, it really simplified everything and made it easier to organise.
Remove the emotion from decluttering your items.
How many of us keep items because they have sentimental value or because they were expensive? You may remember in last weeks blog, I shared a game our family started “yes, no, go” last year. It really helps to make a quick decision about what stays and what goes. Having a Kitchen and pantry refresh means you can get radical.
Those plates that are chipped and you no longer use? They go!
Electrical items that no longer work? Get them fixed or they go!
Children’s cups and plates they used when they were toddlers but they’re now married and no longer live at home? If you can’t bare to get rid of them, pop them in a box (labelled obviously) and store in the attic. You get the idea!
What to do about remembering expiry dates?
Now you’ve removed all the unsightly packaging, how are you going to remember what expires and when? What if you have family member with allergies and need to know the ingredients on the items you’ve now lovingly stored in jars? I cut the expiry dates off the packaging and taped them to the bottom of the lid of the jar or under the jar depending on where the jar was in the cupboard. I didn’t want to see the tape!
I can honestly say that the Little Mission – The Pantry Makeover And Organisation has made a huge difference. The cupboards and pantry certainly “Spark Joy” and life is even more efficient. I was asked last week, how did you get the time to do this? I simply blocked an hour at a time. worked on a cupboard at at time. You know I’m a big fan of my #powerofanhour and blocking out time. In the long run you’ll save time and had a huge sense of satisfaction. A big win all round don’t you think?
I think it’s fair to say that we all need a little cheer up don’t you? With that in mind, I’m super excited to share that the fabulous team at PrintTailors and I have teamed up to create the most gorgeous giveaway for you.
Print Tailors, like me, love organisation and style. They have created THE most elegant, yet minimal labels for your home. They are printed on High-Quality Matt Waterproof Vinyl so you don’t need to worry about getting your labels dirty you can just wipe them – but do not put them in the dishwasher.
The lucky Winner will receive:
✨ Full collection of Pantry Labels!
That’s a 192 fabulous waterproof stickers to bring a little more organisational flair to your kitchen and pantry. I know you’ll love them as much as I do! Head to my Instagram page to enter: be quick, you have until Monday 22nd March 2021 at 9pm to enter!
Forgive me if you’ve read this blog and thought “I can’t believe she’s sharing this, it’s obvious!” You wouldn’t be wrong! I have to say, we all lead busy lives and sometimes the simplest of things such as having your mugs next to your coffee can get over looked. Priorities take over.
I hope that a step by step walk through of what worked for me, might be useful for you and your pantry makeover and organisation too.
Let me know if this has inspired you to take a look at how your kitchen space works. I’d love to know what habits you got into that changed when you had a lightbulb moment, much like my having to jump on the worktop to reach the flour!! Tell me it’s not just me!
Love and best wishes