Last week we had the opportunity to work with one of my friends who wanted to surprise his wife with a pantry makeover. First of all, how sweet is it that a husband would initiate this for his wife? I think it’s absolutely adorable! Bonus points for this guy, right? Second, I have to give HUGE kudos to his kids and nanny for keeping this a secret too. I went over to take a look-see when his wife was at work, and the kids and nanny were home. I don’t know what my friend did to keep his kids from telling their mom that there was a strange woman over looking through her kitchen, but would guess there was a bribe involved.
What I found when I did the consultation was that his wife was already very organized. I could easily see the system that was working for her, and I could tell that she didn’t like seeing clutter in her pantry (evident by the amount of canvas bins she was storing canned and boxed goods in). The challenge though, was that her husband felt like he had to constantly search through bins when he wanted to find something, and that made him frustrated.
The other challenge that wasn’t as obvious until we started cleaning out the pantry, was that there was a decent amount of expired food, including a packet of meatloaf seasoning that expired in 1999. We weren’t shocked because we often find far-gone food when we organize pantries, but we did giggle and make a small contest on our Facebook wall about it.
After a few hours of sorting, tossing expired food, and repurposing the bins she already had in the pantry, this was the final result. By moving the canned and boxed goods to shelves, the items will be more top of mind when it comes to cooking dinner. If you can see it, you can want to eat it, which makes you rotate through your packaged food more easily.
The bins are still being used, but for very specific categories, like bags of snacks and pastas. Since most homes often have numerous open packages of these items, I like to keep them all contained in bins so they don’t create visual clutter on the shelves.
My favorite part of the whole project was the chalkboard labels I got from Bradens Grace on Etsy. This was my first time using this type of label, and I LOVED them. The chalk pen that I ordered worked really well, and I was able to erase my mistake ones with a damp paper towel. Not only are they super cute, but now my friend will know exactly which bin he needs to look in to find Advil, crackers, or a quick bag of chips.
All in all, this was a super fun project to work on. We created some big results in very little time, and saved another family from kitchen clutter.