Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Organizing the Pantry and Our Movies

I really wanted one of those drool worthy pantries you see on Pinterest, like this one or this one, (really both of these houses are amazing and totally drool- worthy as I imagine mine would be too if money wasn't an object), but after looking at the prices of similar bins on- line I just couldn't do it...



I like an organized space but $12 a bin is just too steep for me!

Plus I think the act of opening all the stuff I buy at the grocery store and pouring them into clear jars and bins just isn't practical at all for me.  I was planning to take a trip to the local dollar store if need be, but I found that just by putting like items together I was able to make the pantry so much nicer looking.

 I did move some materials out of the closet that we weren't using but mostly I just re-arranged the items I had, used bins that I had emptied from previous cleaning sprees this past week and I love the results!

    I think a real key in organizing is grouping like items together, labeling bins you can't see through, and thinking about when and where you use these items.  


When organizing any area there are several questions I ask myself:
  • Do we really need this?
  • When's the last time we used this?
  • (If edible) Is it expired?
  • Where do we use this the most?
  • Who uses this the most?
Then I put it into a pile with like items and move onto the next one.  If there is something I come across that needs to be stored in another place I don't go move it there; I just set it aside to work with later.  I find in the midst of organizing the room usually looks much worse before it gets better but taking everything out and sorting it into piles is a must! 

I place all cleaning and seasonal items on the very top shelf; slightly out of reach, the next two shelves are for our food and the cleaning products we use daily (like dishwasher detergent); within eye sight and perfect reach, and then I saved the bottom few shelves for all our homeschooling supplies; at a good eye level for the boys.

I can't say there was a huge dramatic difference from start to finish but it was enough of a difference that my husband and children noticed.  It's much easier to find the things were looking for now and isn't that really the whole point?  It's not like I'm preparing my house for a magazine shoot or anything, just trying to make it easier for us to live in and find the things we need.  Of course, I live with 4 males so even when the house is completely and totally organized I'm constantly asked "do you know where _______ is?" 

Before

After
My order from Amazon came in and I started organizing our movies.  After talking it over with my husband last night and sharing my concern that it would take us hours to find movies in our new cases (and after discarding the idea of making a master list on the computer) we decided to organize movies by genre.  I spent the morning sorting the movies into piles-- kid, family, action/ adventure, non- fiction, holiday, romance and comedy.

I then went through the lengthy process of taking them all of out of their cases.  I was able to take three shelves worth of movies and condense them down to two.  For some of the movies I kept the original colored tabs they came with and just labeled them but for others I cut new color tabs out of my scrapbooking paper scraps so we can quickly see at a glance what genres we have.  I was bummed that I couldn't fit all three bins across one shelf like I had thought I'd be able to do but ended up keeping a few of the original baskets and used them to hold old VHS tapes we still have, our remotes, and assorted stuff like that. 
the before bins looks pretty good only because I didn't photograph the third
shelf with all the overflowing movies 

After


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