home + garden

Home Organization Project 7

Home Organization Project from Go Gingham
Finished! This project was messy and took all day – blah!

This week’s home organization project took much longer than anticipated. The kitchen pantry got tackled and it took 6+hours. To save time, cookbooks should have been sorted and baskets, bowls should have been rounded up before starting – rather than during the project.

After almost 19-years in our home, the kitchen pantry needed attention. The pantry has lots of shelves – which is good because we have a small kitchen.

Home Organization Project from Go Gingham
These are from Instagram – if you follow me there, you saw these already. If you don’t follow me there, why not?

My goal was to not buy any new storage containers to make the pantry more functional – and pretty. With plenty around our home already, it was easy. Baskets, bowls, and bucket type items are plentiful at second-hand stores and garage sales. Look around and don’t be afraid of a little elbow grease and spray down with the garden hose if they’re dirty!

Home Organization Project from Go Gingham
Keeping it real – behind the scenes at the Go Gingham test kitchen – blah!

Kitchen Pantry Organization

  1. Everything out: I took out everything – including the shelves – and gave it all a good wipe down. The walls needed painting but I skipped that.
  2. No contact: The old contact paper got removed from the shelves – and did NOT get replaced. I was going to and then decided not to bother. The shelves are a little sticky but it will go away.
  3. Baskets, bowls and buckets: Without buying anything new, I rounded up different shapes and finishes and placed them on the shelves. This helped break up the space of the shelves and will (hopefully!) keep items grouped together.
  4. All together: Grouping like items together helped me see what I had and where it needed to go.
  5. Shelf assignments: It really helped assigning items to shelves. Vices (wine, coffee and tea) were on the top shelf. Cookbooks and small storage came next. Oats, seeds, nuts, and the cookie jar went below  and then savory, snacks, and canned goods went on a shelf. Pastas, grains, beans, and legumes were next and then salad spinner, onions, and lunch sacks were at the bottom.
  6. Consolidate: So many containers of the same item. How did we end up with 7 containers of honey? From chia seeds to brown rice and beans – everything that could get combined did.
  7. Trade out: Glass is the goal for storage but I’m not buying new containers, so the transition from plastic is slow. As I get containers – from peanut butter to pickles – if it’s a good glass jar, with a good top, it will get used in the pantry.
  8. Eliminate: We pared down the cookbooks and then we all added some back in. What can I say? Everyone has their favorites and hearts were broken with, “You’re getting rid of this cookbook I gave you?” So, some came back. Baby steps.
Home Organization Project from Go Gingham
Finished – top to bottom! I love how it turned out but no one can find anything.

Another week and another area done. Honestly, I’m ready to be done with this organizing. Once I finish one area, I saw 5 more that need doing! Especially now that I’ve robbed the house to have baskets and bowls in the pantry. This weekend I’m getting the whole family involved. We’re tackling shoes!

How’s your home organization coming along? Are you cleaning out another area each week, too?

Go Gingham related links:

 Fixing items at home – reduce, reuse, recycle and repair
How to make your own shelf liners – mine are gingham, of course!
How to organize those recipes and cookbooks – but no burning books!
Organizing recipes and set-up binders for the collection – you’ll be so glad once you do

As part of our New Year’s resolution, we’re cleaning out a different area of our house every week this year. Find all of the “weekly home organization projects” – or click the image below.
Home Organization in 52 weeks from Go Gingham



6 thoughts on “Home Organization Project 7

  1. I’m trying to see what cookbooks you have. I recognize ATK since we have the same one. 🙂 I have a weakness for cookbooks …

    My newly renovated pantry is looking good right now, since we just did this process in the fall, but I find I’m still struggling a little bit with storage in other areas of the kitchen because our cupboards are configured somewhat differently than they used to be. I’ve had more days with my kitchen looking like the “during” photo of yours than I care to count. And I know the feeling of not being able to find anything!!!!!!! Your pantry looks great and you will enjoy it once you figure out where you put everything. 🙂


  2. You keep this weekly re-org column up much longer and I might just get inspired. 😉 A long ago post from you did motivate me to move to glass storage containers in my pantry, but the transition has been slow for us too. I wish canning jars were square instead of round! Good luck with the shoes.


  3. My pantry cabinet is much like yours: deep and dark in the back. What has helped me the most are lazy-suzans – the white plastic ones that Rubbermaid makes, in single or double-decker. I find them at estate sales. They make easily visible and accessible the sauce bottles, canned goods and other little items.
    My lazy-susans are segregated by item type: milks (coconut, evaporated, sweetened condensed); baking (food coloring, extracts, muffin liners, cake decorating); seafood (tuna, sardines, anchovies, clam juice); and tall bottles (liquid aminos, cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, vinegars).


  4. Your pantry looks great! I love the fact that you re-used what you already have. I’ve been slowly reducing the amount of “stuff” I have in every room-without purchasing any new organizers.

    This week I tackled my master bathroom cabinets. I’ve reduced all of my bathroom cleaning supplies into one small bucket of non-toxic ones. (Thanks for all of your ideas!) I emptied all outdated medicines and have vowed to limit these purchases in the future. I also encountered many duplicates and cringe at how much money I’ve wasted.

    I’m also trying to reduce our use of plastics but often find myself stumped as to when or if I should replace a perfectly functional plastic item for a more eco-friendly version.


  5. Hi Sara–Wow, that’s very impressive! Your pantry looks fantastic! My favorite photo, though, is the one of your kitchen in the middle of the reorganizing. Thanks for showing us the “during” in addition to the “before” and “after.”


  6. I agree with Amy; I love the photo of the mess. It makes me like you even more, Sara! Well done on the beautiful pantry, and how smart of you to use containers you already owned as opposed to buying new ones. You’ve inspired me to hang on to some of my glass jars and use them for storage. I’ve gradually replaced my plastic bowls with glass, but not I’m going to slowly transition completely away from plastic.


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