After living for 3  years in a small 1920’s house with 0 counter space and even less cabinet space ( I had 3 cabinets and no pantry).  One of the things I loved about this place when I looked at it, was the HUGE PANTRY.  What I didn’t realize then, was that deep pantry’s only have so much usable space without things getting shoved to the back and forgotten about.  And when you store some things that have a potential to get mold on them… this becomes a VERY IMPORTANT PROBLEM.  Since I discovered that problem pre blog, the pantry has pretty much been organized for a couple of years, but I thought I’d continue on the kitchen organization conversation happening this week and post about it.  (If you missed the other posts see here and here)

The first step in my organization was to buy a canned food holder.  This thing has been awesome.  Instead of searching through stacks of cans in the pantry, I can usually see everything that is there.  And since we don’t eat a lot of canned goods, but clearly eat A LOT of cookies… its become the go to place to store my emergency bag(s) of chocolate chips.



I also bought a short, deep basket to keep our bread and snack stuff in.  This keeps it all corralled, and can easily be pulled out to see the things in the back.  I might eventually buy a rolling drawer like I did in the tupperware cabinet but for now this is working for us.  We also have a wire basket (a gift for our wedding… I think from Crate and Barrel) that we use to put prepackaged individual snacks in, like granola bars, protein bars, etc.  It makes it an easy place to go searching if you want a quick snack.


We also registered for a ton of these OXO Pop containers during our wedding and I have loved them.  I find they are most productive with things that you keep on hand for a while.  I make a lot of oatmeal from scratch, we keep the husbands massive amounts of protein powder in them, as well as rice, spaghetti noodles (uncooked obviously), and our baking goods.  I bought the vinyl stick on labels from The House of Smith’s Shop.  This shelf is all baking goods items and I keep the frequently used stuff towards the front with extras in the back for if those run out.


The other major piece of organization I did here was to add in a set of elfa shelves along the door.  I just drilled it into the door following the instructions from the container store.  If I use their smaller set of baskets, the door has no problem closing and it adds a TON of usable space for all my spices and oils and things.  Plus it’s easy to see the labels and keeps them from rolling around on the pantry shelf.



We store our appliances on the top shelf (remember the husband and I are not so tall… so the top shelf isn’t the most used space in our house, but we can reach up and get an appliance).  We aren’t coffee drinkers, but my mom likes to have coffee at my house, so I keep a pot for when she comes to visit. That appliance on the top left is a steamer.  If you don’t have one of these you should.  We cook the vast majority of our vegetables in it, just cut them up, add water into the bottom and POOF (well 30 minutes later) perfectly steamed veggies.



And that’s our pantry! I believe the tour of kitchen spaces is now complete!

Everybody’s Got a Junk Drawer

You know the one… its the drawer in your house that usually only slides one inch out because inevitably something has gotten stuck in the back prohibiting the drawer from opening until you can slide something in there to free the drawer from its restriction.  No? Just me…? Okay.

And now the bad blogger award goes to: MJ! I got on such a roll organizing the kitchen cabinet that I showed you yesterday that I just dumped the whole drawer out before snapping a photo.  OOOPS.  Now put on your imagination googles and imagine all of this:

junkdrawer4 Shoved into one TINY LITTLE drawer and you’ll get the picture.  And if you don’t recognize it… that’s a little baby Jesus in the bottom left. It belongs to a nativity at my mom’s house. NO CLUE how it made it into the junk drawer.  And that, my friends, is the beauty of the junk drawer.

So I have no illusions that this is going to solve the JUNK problem at our house, but I do think it will at least help it out for a while.  And bonus, all last week when I didn’t have a computer, I knew where all my pens were. Mission ACCOMPLISHED. Ready to sneak a peak into our junk?

junkdrawer3 It has all the necessary things you can NEVER FIND IN A HOUSE: Scissors, tape, a pen, a flashlight, headphones for our runs, etc.  I mentioned this a bit in yesterday’s post, but the countertop right above this is sort of our ‘command center’ and by command center I mean crap collector.  Its where we sort mail, put things to be filed or dealt with, things to return, and where I keep my purse when I’m at home.

It is also where I keep track of invitations, calendar and birth announcements, leaving the front of our fridge to be left uncluttered.   junkdrawer2

Two other things on the side of the fridge that I want to point out: that card that says Internet Code? In grad school I had so many study groups and friends come over to the house and need our wi-fi code that I wrote it on a nice card and hung it on the fridge.  4 years later and I still have the card and it is such an easy way to help guests out.  If I know I’m going to have a guest stay the night or someone over that will need internet access, I can just leave the card out on the table for them.  But for the sake of posting on this ole blog I deleted it out of the picture so none of you weirdos will come over and steal our internet. 

The other thing I have up there is a cheat sheet from a local nursery on what to do when for your yard. They gave it to me one of the times I went in and asked for advice… I tried to google it so that y’all could see it in more detail, but I couldn’t find it.  However, Covington’s does have great advice for North Texans on their website here.  I went ahead and laminated it and stuck it up on my fridge just as a reminded for what I needed to be doing to help my yard look a little nicer.

And that’s the end of our little tour of our ‘command center’.  I’ve got one more post about the pantry and that will wrap up my kitchen organization, making it one room completely organized.  I’m feeling pretty confident that I’m going to be able to check this item off my 30 Before 30 List!



Another One Bites the Dust

…And fortunately this time I am NOT talking about my computer.  I apologize for the few days of absence… I had to get a new computer and someone way more tech savvy than myself had to recover all of my files off of my old computer.  So almost a week later I am starting to get my technology house back in order.  I’ll write a post a little later on covering all of the things I learned about backing things up.  But for your pleasure, here is one of the posts I had planned on writing for last week before my computer decided to hijack my schedule.

I have been on a mission to clear out the junk in my house, one cabinet, drawer, closet at a time.  If you want to see some of what I’ve done so far, check out here, here and here.

Last weekend I got on a roll and decided to eradicate the last few areas of my kitchen cabinets of their junk. After my previous organization sprees, the only truly bad cabinet/drawer in my kitchen were in the space I use as a command center-ish.  Since the hubs and I don’t have any kids yet the paper clutter is only mildly apocalyptic, since we both try valiantly to recycle any junk mail as soon as it comes in the house.  But this is the area we dump pretty much everything as it comes in: mail, my purse, things to return, etc.  I like that it is a fairly tiny countertop, so it restricts what all we can just dump into the space (i.e.  if I switch purses, there isn’t much space to leave a second purse, forcing me to go put it in the closet where it belongs).  I also love that this space is hidden from view when you first walk in the door, which makes it feel like the kitchen is cleaner than it really is… a perfect solution for the lazy cleaners.

But the cabinet beneath it… OUT OF CONTROL.  This is the area that broadly we stuck anything that didn’t fit in the junk drawer (just above it… I’ll show you that tomorrow) and Lexie’s large collection of doggie gear.   junkcabinet5

Check out that pretty sight! EEK. As I mentioned with the tupperware cabinet we have awesomely deep cabinets.  GREAT for keeping lots of stuff, TERRIBLE for keeping lots of stuff easily accessible.  So I decided this cabinet needed some awesome rolling drawers from The Container Store as well.  So I bought 2- 11″ rollout drawers during their spring sale.

They are pretty simple to install (if you want more details on that part, see the tupperware post) and took about 15 minutes. The hardest part of this whole thing was cleaning out my cabinet, it always gets worse before it gets better:



A lot of the things in this cabinet were trash or actually belong other places, but after sorting that stuff out I snagged a few organizing boxes from Target and put all the dog stuff on the bottom shelf

junkcabinet7 All her little accessories fit nicely in the little box, with a spot for her bones right behind them and her shampoos and her own thing of peanut butter (something grosses me out about giving Lex food out of our pantry even though we never double dip the spoon).

The top shelf is more of a hodge podge of emergency supplies, batteries, and my running belt.



And with that, I am one step closer to knocking off another item on my 30 Before 30 List. And obviously from the weird coloring on these photos, I’m still working on the ‘getting better at my DSLR’ item… I’m working on the whole white balance thing.