Sunday, February 21, 2016

Spring Cleaning the Pantry (and more)

In my last blog post I talked about how setting aside a whole week for Spring Cleaning is impractical for a full-time working couple. I also mentioned that I am following along with A Bowl Full of Lemons 14 week organizing challenge.

Each week you are supposed to tackle a different area of the house. Well the very first room, the kitchen, took me four weeks to complete. I'm going to make the excuse that it is the toughest room!
Well I finally got to move on the the next area... the pantry. I didn't move far, but at least this one was a small space.

Well, I thought it was a small space, but look below to see how much stuff fits in there! This is after I threw out the 5-6 expired items. Because of the small pantry and only two people in the house, I can usually keep tabs on what is in the pantry and toss old items.

Figures that as soon as I got the kitchen cleared and cleaned, it gets all cluttered with pantry goods. You can see I did have my little helper, Eva, as always. However, her time was split between checking on me and snoozing in the sun spots.

The thing that has always bothered me with this pantry is the instability of the shelves.  Only two little plastic clips are holding each shelf in the back. Too many cans on one shelf and it would start to "bow" and become bouncy. Every time I placed a home-canned jam or sauce on the shelf, my insides would cringe as I envisioned the shelf falling, glass shattering, and all my hard work and love splattering over the tile floor.

 No more! While permanent shelves would be nice, I like being able to "see through" the shelves so I can see everything in the back. So using scrap wood I had on hand, I build shelf supports and screwed them into the studs on the back wall of the pantry. While the shelves still bend a bit under a heavy load, they are more stable, and my heart doesn't flutter every time I stack apple butter.

It was pretty easy. I just measured and cut the wood to length, used a studfinder to mark where screws should go, pre-drilled holes and screwed the boards in place.

The funny thing? I painted some screws white so they would blend in a bit better. However, when I was installing them I found that longer screws worked better on the ends. Well, after that photo was taken I did a short-cut cheat. *Shh don't tell!*

To hide the gray screws, I actually used white-out to "paint" them so they would blend in better! Normally that is a bad idea because it won't match perfectly, but you really don't see these screws much, and I didn't want to spray paint them and ruin the wall paint. Silly, I know but sometimes it works.

I also added yellow plastic place-mats to two if the shelves. They really help to keep the cans from tipping over.

It still looks a bit cluttered, but most of that is due to the leftover chips from our Superbowl party. Dear Husband (DH) told me I was buying way too many chips but I wasn't convinced. Needless to say, he was right.

Now, week three (dining room) and week four (launch pad) were pretty easy for me so I was able to clear and clean them more quickly.

Our dining room is on the half of the house we don't use as much. I still had a large pile of items for donation that I culled out of the kitchen, so I really only had to put things away where they belonged
I still need to paint and put up curtains, but I am STILL working on removing the wallpaper paste. (Worst. Project. Ever.)

The "launch pad" is the area where you drop all your stuff when you enter your house. Some people have a mud room, others just have a few hooks on the wall. In our case we have two areas; one by the garage door for us, and one by the front door visitors.

This was was a closet I converted into a mini mudroom and the first space I redecorated when we moved in. Removing the bi-fold door made it much easier to use, but it is still very difficult to photograph due to the tight space. To the right is the view when you walk in from the garage. Coats, shoes, and mail goes there.

On the other inside wall you can see where we hang our keys and sunglasses.
I also see a peek-a-boo puppy who is spying on me!

Here is the one by the front door where guests can hang up their coats and sit down to take off their shoes. (Don't mind the ladder, that is for removing wallpaper paste. Ugh.)

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