Category Archives: house

pantry – a little goes a long way

so, after reading this post over at young house love, i was inspired to finally do something about the chaos that was my pantry. i headed to ikea with a mission; organize the pantry! we only have a small set of built in shelves between the oven and the washer/dryer at the end of the kitchen, so it gets messy fast. i’m hoping this new, improved, organized pantry will at least hold up for a week. ha! we’ll see.



the first big challenge facing me is that each shelf is a different height. the top being the tallest (it’s great for cereal or larger boxed items) and they get shorter as they go down. with a total of 7 shelves that are equal in depth and width, i had to find something to a)line the shelves – cans have left terrible scuffs on the white paint, and b)some sort of storage bin or basket that could hold things that took up too much space in a box, like two packets of oatmeal.

so, off i went to ikea. low and behold, i found some great placemats for $2.49/4 pack – and yes, i totally stole that idea from young house love…but hey – it’s a compliment, right?? right? ok…back to my progress. i also found these great little clear plastic bins for $1.99/ea (they come with a lid to purchase separately – so i was happy to only buy the bin since i didn’t need the lid!)

i now had everything i needed. you won’t believe this, but i walked out of ikea spending only a total of $9 for my pantry redo! (we won’t talk about the other $87 i spent in the store…i’ll save that for another post!)

the obvious first step was to remove all the food and get rid of anything old and gross. it happens all the time. i buy something that sounds totally good and it just sits there for a year. now that i’ve become much more strict with myself about making a list and weekly menu, it doesn’t happen as much.

after removing the food, i cleaned the shelves (i know i’m going to cover them, but they were gross!)


with clean shelves, it was time to rip open my handy placemats! i like the fun pattern – even though not much of it shows, i know it’s there.


now with the shelves all prepped and ready to go, it’s time to “restock” the shelves. i started at the top and reserved the tallest shelf for tortilla chips, pretzels, and crackers. next came canned items. next shelf – pasta, grains, and sauces. next – breakfast items like oatmeal, cereal bars, peaches, etc. (note: i got rid of 3 boxes and put all the oatmeal packets in one of the plastic bins…total space saver!) next shelf is baking items. i put all the chocolate chips, raisins, and nuts in a plastic bin and now they stay put! the last two shelves are virtually empty!

so here’s the finished product. you might look at this and think it doesn’t look that different. for me, it will be a time saver. i can look and easily see what we have or need at any given time.


i love it!

thank you sherry and john over at young house love for all the inspiration and great ideas.

our house…in the middle of our street.

i started thinking about all the changes we’ve made to our house and the updates that are still in progress. it’s amazing what you go through when buying a house that was built in 1938. we love our house, but it sure is a challenge every time we so much as hammer a nail in the wall.

i thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane and do some posts showing before and after shots of various rooms and exterior changes to our house.

i’m tackling the playroom first. this was our dining room when we first moved in – pre kids. it is floor to ceiling knotty pine paneling. it was very dark. i mean DARK. we didn’t do anything to it right away because we had other pressing projects, but we knew one day we would paint.

well, that day came after we had our first baby. we thought about making this room a play room. it’s right off the kitchen and has lots of light – that was getting sucked up by all that dark wood! so, we chose our paint and got to work. it was a lot of work to paint this paneling, but i think most will agree it was worth it.


here’s another view looking out towards the back yard – we replaced the double doors and got rid of the stained glass look – just not us at all.


and there you have it. what do you think of the transformation?