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Pantry

Pantry Before Pantry After
  Pantry Before:   Pantry After:  
  This pantry had challenges many homeowners face.  Deep shelves offered a lot of space but made retrieval of items difficult.  As a result, this client found themselves buying new groceries all the time simply because she couldn't find the ones she knew she already had.  And when she did find what she wanted, it was often expired.  Not surprising considering the average pantry I have organized has 25-30% expired products.  The existing wire door rack offered good space, but unstable items frequently fell over or slipped through the cracks.   A few simple tools took this pantry from frightful to functional!  Along the top, containers were added for small packaged items (100 calorie packs, fruit snacks, oatmeal packets, etc.).  This cuts down on the extra bulk of cardboard packaging and allows you to see the volume more easily.  Think outside the box - these narrow, deep containers were perfect for the space and were originally designed to be desktop file boxes!  If you have younger children in the house, put similar containers at their level for pre-approved, help-yourself snacks for after school!  The door rack was improved with the simple addition of cardboard in the bottom of the shelves that needed a more stable surface.  Each layer was labeled for quick identification (Drink Mixes, Baking Spices, Seasonings, Marinades).  
         
  Labeled Can Shelves   Pantry Drawers  
Pantry Shelves: Pantry Drawers:
Canned and jarred items were organized on two shelves using tiered organizers - think of them as stadium seating for your groceries!  Now items in the back are seen and will finally be used before they expire.  This photo shows how items can be grouped and stored similar to how you found them on the grocery store shelves (ex. Fruits/Vegetables, Chili, Soup).  The shelf below was divided into Cooking Oils, Tuna & Packaged Chicken, Condiments and Tomato Products.  Now the homeowner can quickly see when she needs to restock and other household members can help put away groceries easily and accurately!   Homeowners with these deep pantries often struggle with how to use the large bottom space.  It's usually not tall enough for a trash can, not that you really want your trash in with your food.  Some large food packages can fit, but no one really wants food on the ground where it's most susceptible to dirt and critters.  Our solution was two inexpensive plastic drawers.  The top one was filled with Boxed Dinners and the bottom with Baking Items.  This solution make the most of the vertical space.  Frequently replenished drinks still had space along side, while overflow were easily located in an adjacent utility room.  
 
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