18 Jan

Put A Lid On It

Plastic Pantry

As I was rummaging around in the pantry muttering about the builder’s stupidity for not installing any lighting in there my son was busy putting away the dishes. Over my own complaining I could sort of hear him whining about having too much Tupperware and not enough cabinet space.

I’m pretty sure he was complaining more about me and the way I insist things be put away just so but since he was smart enough to ‘whisper-gripe’ I couldn’t be certain.

As I slammed the door and flung outdated food on the counter he looked at me and said “Why don’t we put the food in the cabinet and the dishes in there?” pointing to the pantry. Being the logical and responsible parent I responded with “Because.”

Then, for the next couple of hours, I mulled over his question.

Why did a family of three need a walk-in pantry? I certainly don’t coupon enough to require storage for 15 boxes of cereal or a year’s worth of spaghetti sauce. I’m not a ‘prepper’ and feel secure enough in my faith to believe I won’t need to fill up on dry goods and bottled water in case of the apocalypse. As it was, I certainly wasn’t utilizing the space efficiently and with what little I did have in there, I was still managing not to use food before it went bad.

Unorganized Pantry

So why not give his idea a try?

Well for one, that would be admitting he was right. And anyone with a 15-year-old kid knows better than to play that hand too quickly. So I sat on it for a few days. I actually forgot the suggestion until the next time I decided to play hide & seek for a can of veggies.

Dark Pantry

I had had it. {see that stupid push on light??}

So at roughly midnight that night I decided to make the swap. The plan was to switch the food for plastic and if I hated it have things back in place before anyone woke up.

It took a lot less time to remove all the food than it did to match bowls to lids. Stacking and arranging (and color coding) took even longer. When I was done I’m pretty sure the heavens parted and angels sang. It was glorious.

Plastic Pantry

But I had the entire right side left over. I emptied the lower cabinet and moved the crock pot, dutch oven and mixing bowls over. All that was left were the pots and pans.

I didn’t have any “s” hooks on hand but had an idea. We had recently replaced the chandelier over the dining table and had left over chain link. Knowing it would come in handy at some point I stashed it in the junk drawer.

A few tugs and pulls with the pliers and I had my own version of a pot rack.

Pot and Pant-ry

By now, I’m sure all the racket I’d made had woken up the neighbors but I was on a roll. I was so impressed with the make-over that I even considered giving the kid full credit. Obviously it was time for me to get some shut-eye.

After playing with the new setup for a few days I decided it would take so I painted up some peg board and installed it on the inside of the pantry door. The hardware was harder to insert than I expected so a few words as colorful as my Tupperware were uttered but eventually it all came together. I hung up my frequently used utensils and stood back to admire my masterpiece.

Utensil Door

I almost threw my shoulder out patting myself on the back.

Organized Pantry

Now when I open up the door I see bright, cheery kitchenware waiting to be utilized. I almost feel guilty for hating to cook. Oh and the kid and I fight a lot less about putting dishes away. That alone would brighten anyone’s day.

Message Center

See the sweet little note the hubs left on the message board? I’m sure glad I decided not to stencil “Pantry” on the center of the door! Now, I have a long list of what should be recycled on that door. Since we stashed our trash I have to remind these guys what needs to go where. #neverendingbattle

So what do you think? Would you turn your food storage area into a pots & pan-try? Do you have as much Tupperware as I do? Are you wondering why someone who doesn’t cook has that much plastic? {grin}

Speak up! I would love to hear your opinion on this spatial deconstruction project.

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22 thoughts on “Put A Lid On It

  1. Whichever idiots that built our house in 1976 apparently decided there was no need for a pantry!!! So, we store our can goods out in the garage in a cabinet and the cabinets in the kitchen are divided between food and cooking utensils and there is never enough room… We also have a family of 5 so we need more room for food.

    • Well now I feel bad for not putting food in mine! But I’m with you on idiot builders. If they go to the trouble to put in a pantry why on earth wouldn’t they add a light in there? Since I loathe trips to the grocery store I sympathize with you. I’m always a fan of building up so if that’s an option that’s my suggestion (just make sure you have someone tall or a step ladder on hand to reach everything).

  2. Hmmm… I pinned this one TWICE. Once in For the Home and once in Repurposed. I made a board called Repurposed just for you, Dee. … ha hahhaa That seems to be your specialty!

    • It IS what I love to do the most Linda – so glad you noticed! 🙂 And now I feel crazy special to have duplicate entries on your boards. *grins*

  3. And here I was going to ask you how to BETTER organize my walk in pantry!! I also have my plastics/pots and pans in my bottom cabinets (plus I have Fibromyalgia and it's difficult enough getting those let alone macaroni noodles…LOL!!) I have much more food than I do plastics/pots and pans. I do use the lower shelves in my pantry for a lot of my cooking items, bread maker, canning pot, casserole dishes, bread pans, deep fryer, etc.
    It just all seems such a mess. My food is reasonably organized: canned fruit w/ canned fruit, tomato sauce w/ tomato sauce, pasta w/ pasta..I don't lose much by way of food items….I just wish I could figure out a better way to "pull it all together" better….I have a great light in there and lots of shelves…just not pretty to look at…
    Maybe I'm asking for too much…Anyway…your idea sounded delightful and looked even better….Oh well..off to the drawing board!! (My pantry and shaped exactly like yours at an angle…and I really love your door…I may have to follow suit with the chalk board paint!!
    Love your great ideas!!

  4. I actually just spent the weekend making this transition and today found your site while searching for new creative ways to store my tupperware lids. So far I really love the change. I feel like there is more room in the cabinets to organize the food so it's not all on top of each other and more room in the pantry for the pans and bowls so I can see and reach what I need. I've also moved all of my spices into the smallest size Ball canning jars they are about 2" tall and so cute and pretty and used their decorative desolvable labels to label the top and have all of my spices stored alphabetically in my kitchen drawers where my utensils used to be. It's so much more organized than before!!

  5. I love this idea! Wouldn't work for me because the pantry/laundry room is about 10 feet away, but I love that it works for you. Totally original. Visiting from blog talk 🙂

    Marty@Marty's Musings

  6. Love the idea, cause its the same with mine, but my tupperware and pots are on the bottom cabinets and think it been harder with the can goods there. great job everything nice and neat

  7. What a great idea, especially being able to hang the pans up! How does it work with putting the food elsewhere? (I also have trouble finding things in my pantry. Discovered that I had 3 boxes of raisins. Kept buying more because I thought we were out! lol)

  8. Pingback: 28 Great Home Organization Ideas!

  9. I love it…. my imagined space! 🙂 I have a tiny space that I live in, with only 3 regular and 2 small upper cabinets, but at least I can live vicariously through your brilliant ideas … Arlene

    • Arlene – I think it's easier to work in smaller spaces. I am not a fan of big, open, blank areas. Such a waste of space! My girlfriend, Nike, has a wonderful blog just for small spaces. You should check her out too – http://eighthundredsqft.blogspot.com/ Let me know what you think of her. I love her ideas! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  10. AMAZING….Also, I envy you. My kitchen is SO UNORGANIZED I could cry. 🙂 oh and the "patting yourself on the shoulder" line. hilarious.



  11. very awesome and you should be proud of yourself!! Sometimes kids have awesome thoughts on things but I know what ya mean about lettin them know!! LOL They are already think they know it all!! LOL Your transfer rocks!! I love your message from your hubby!! Also a great place for a chalkboard!! Lovevyour ideals!! XOXO Fran.

    • Aw Fran thanks! I haven't posted about that door because I think it's pretty self explanatory. But it was just a plain slab that I picked up at the Habitat ReStore for $10! I actually machined and installed it upside down because I wanted a bigger area for the chalk board. When I actually use it for my "To Do" list I get things done. Thanks for checking back in. 🙂

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