Use what you have,
so you can use what you have!
I wanted to show you my before/after pics of my pantry I cleaned out on Saturday. I know this isn't the most interesting topic so feel free to move right along. The after pictures obviously won't make it into a Better Homes & Garden photo shoot. And the point definitely isn't for you to see the 'messy' side of me!
Now, I understand if you have a pantry or closet or cupboard that has glass fronts exposed to everyone, you might want things looking more uniform and matchy (for lack of a better word). Otherwise, look around. This is about using what you already have and just putting them to better use.
For instance, someone gave me these five really cute, clear plastic ice buckets they had used as centerpieces at a wedding. I had them up high in my pantry waiting for the 'perfect' use. Then I had my AHA! moment--or some might think a 'well DUH! moment. Now three of them house my beans, rices, and crackers and the other two I put in the bathroom for Grace's girly-girly bath products and rolled-up wash cloths.
The large shelves my husband put in a couple of years ago. They are just cement blocks and boards. I took one out, which will go up in the bedroom closet. This gave me more room for taller items. The little wire shelves are great for doubling the space.
The rest just needed rearranging and some tweaking. The only thing I got rid of was some cookbooks I don't use, and a few cans of expired food (and that'll be the last time I throw food away).
I had a wire basket that has dividers for plastic ware, napkins, paper plates etc. used for outdoor dining. It's winter for crying out loud, so I brought them down and now they hold my spare plastic lids, straws, water filters. Perfect. Another smaller one holds all my plastic cutlery. Those leftover paper dessert plates and cocktail napkins fit perfectly in a plastic gallon ice cream bucket. (I always keep a surplus of Kool*Whip/ large yogurt containers and tins for sending meals to those who are in need, a new mom for instance--or for that daughter who just moved out. That way, they don't need the added burden of returning dishes--except for you, Chels!).
You probably can't see it in the pic, but I had a heavy black napkin holder just hanging out in there. It helped corral the smaller, floppy pamplet-type cookbooks.
A large, antique glass creamery jar I used to put all of my taper and votive candles in, and the glass jar candles went in a plastic tub.
The cute little aprons were mine as a child. Those are just up for prettiness. After all, we still have to look in there!
This only took a couple of hours and, best of all, it was free!
Here are some ideas:
Cement blocks and shelves are very inexpensive to add to a bare wall. Or maybe a small dresser. Before we put up the make-shift shelves I had a little 3-drawer dresser in that space.
Do you have any container 'collections' around the house? I had a lot of baskets that I used to organize Grace's new closet.
How about some of your glass bowls you just pull out at holidays? (Of course
placing them on the higher shelves if little ones are around.)
Little wire shelves can easily be found at Wal*Mart, thrift stores, or garage sales. They give you double the space. Excellet for canned goods. Dollar stores are great for finding little storage containers as well.
Your larger pieces of Tupper*ware you might only use periodically can be used. And how about tins?
The sky's the limit. All you have to do is look around and think outside the box.
If you made it to the end, you deserve a hug! So ((HUGS)) to you.
It's all USE WHAT YOU HAVE Good!