I Threw Some Money at My Pantry

My pantry has been a disaster since we moved in over a year ago.  I just didn’t have enough storage space, the shelves I did have (el cheapo particleboard bookcases) didn’t hold more than a few pounds before they started to buckle, and the thing is just funky-shaped.  I just got laid off at work (hopefully, it’s a temporary thing) so the pantry was making me even crazier.  I decided (after losing my income, mind you) that I should just go ahead and throw money at the problem.  I love problems that can be solved with money.  Then again, I guess all my problems could be solved with money but I don’t love each one of them.  In fact, I hate my student loan problem in particular.  A Master’s degree will do that to you but that is a tale for never.  I didn’t take a before photo because I’m a dumbass.  I wish I would have because you would be so impressed.  The transformation really is, “Ooh!” worthy.  It’s okay to believe me because that is a true story.  The best thing is, as you can see, I have plenty extra space and room to grow.

Now, this pantry doesn’t look funky-shaped, but it is.  Do you see the shadowing where the two shelving units meet?  That’s the funky-shape issue… it is a 2×3 alcove that juts off to the right of the pantry and it is a pain in the badonk.  Why would someone build a pantry like that?  My house was built in the 1770s and the pantry is an add on.  We all know that if you add on without accounting for (or even gutting) the previous space, you end up with a Frankenhouse.  I live in a Frankenhouse.

I originally tried to set the pantry up to work with that Frankencove but that meant I could only put two tiny, two-foot wide shelves in there.  I decided that there is no working with it and the best thing to do was to block it off.  On a side note, my Christmas tree skirt is still stored back there so someone please remind me of that when it’s the end of November and I’m pissed that I can’t find it.  The back shelving until is 4 feet wide.  FOUR!  Plus, I shelled out some extra money for an add-on shelf for it.  The shelving unit on the right side is 3 feet wide.  As an added bonus, these shelves are 6 inches deeper than the other ones.  I effectively tripled my storage space* and it shows.  Let’s take a bit of a closer look…

Close up of pantry

Yes, I got clever and hung all of my pots and pans off of the shelving units and freed up a cabinet in my kitchen!  Plus, I really do prefer my pots and pans to be hanging.  It makes it so much easier to get to them.  I’m dealing with the earliest incarnation of drywall in my kitchen putting up my hanging rack is out of the question.  It is.  I don’t want a gigantic hole in my wall the size of well, the wall after the entire thing falls down.

Moving the bookshelf out of the pantry meant I could use it somewhere else in the house.  The kitchen was the perfect place.  I had a short bookshelf there originally and it was crammed full of stuff but…

Putting all of that shelving in the pantry had a ripple effect through my kitchen and it shows here.  I now have a larger kitchen shelf that is not crowed and I’ve got enough space to move my tomatoes, potatoes, and onions and garlic.  That, people, is a big deal around here since it turns out that Stu is an eat beast.  That cat will totally eat those sweet potatoes if he can get to them.  And, yes, I do pretty much store everything in mason jars.  They’re inexpensive and convenient.  See that fish water pitcher?  It’s a GurglePot.  Get one and feel free to throw some money at my problem by sending me one in every color.  I’ll need to figure out how to reincorporate the Frankencove in the pantry to store them but I’ll manage.  I love those pitchers.  And the colors are just so pretty.

Now, my pantry has new organization but my freezer and fridge?  Not so much.

It’s not bad but it works for now.  I straightened it up after a couple of months of neglect so that it’s at least functional.  I’ve got to get that study together before I go tearing my freezer completely apart.  There’s all kinds of stuff in there.  Including jars of chicken stock and a healthy stock of almonds.  Notice the frost build-up?  It’s not a frost-free freezer.  Why?  Food stores better and for longer in a manual defrost freezer.  Google it.  Really.  See that bottom shelf above the frozen water bottles?  Stu likes to jump up there if I’m not paying attention.  He tried to grab one of the packs of chicken and take off with it.  [sigh]  Nothing is sacred to that cat!

The fridge rounds out the tour of my week’s organizational efforts.  This is how it’s usually organized, I just went through it and cleaned it out.  Those are refrigerator pickles!  I was able to salvage some cucumbers before Stu ate them all and I made pickles!  The storage bins are el cheapos I got in the Spring.  I realized after the fact that they’re probably loaded with phthalates and other crap I don’t want to think about (but do anyway) so I’ll be replacing them.  Soon… I hope.  Because all I see when I look in my fridge is toxins leaking into my food.  I told you this wasn’t a guide to life.  I have issues.  On a happier note, I don’t drink soda.

So, yeah… I spent my first week of unemployment trying to find a job and organizing my house.  I am so proud of that pantry.  Even the Cop liked it.  I rule.

*Not actual math but it feels right so it becomes fact.  Just ask anyone reposting a meme on Facebook.

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