Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What is Your Organizing Style?!

Pretty soon we will all get the Organizing bug!!!

4 (154x327)
My bug is the first one! Of course! Black and white stripes. You may choose which ever organizing bug you prefer.

I was thinking a little bit about the approach I will take this year.

The Plan:

I realized that my organizing style is one where I have to have a plan that will allow me to keep the rest of my home in order while purging and re-organizing.

In order to do that I decided I should think about the top three areas that are used by my family the most and start there.

That involves the pantry, the refrigerator and the laundry room. Isn’t it funny  that it always comes down to the basics, shelter, food and clothing?

Let's start with the pantry............
1 (324x384)
(Dream Pantry, Not Mine!)
5 (132x200)

Think about what your ideal pantry would look like,Hmmmm???

Have you  ever noticed that the pantry of your dreams does not really have very much food in it? Or it is twice the size of the pantry you have in your own home.

I was looking at some pantry's that I thought looked perfect, and upon further examination I realized there really wasn't any REAL food to be found!! They did however have some wonderful looking containers and baskets that I would love to have.

Now let’s talk about a Real Pantry with Real food…….
After Christmas my pantry was, disorganized ( a real mess!)

Purging Process:
I started organizing the pantry by putting away the items that were used for Christmas baking, such as cookie decorating items and cookie cutters.

I also had a varied amount of snack foods that I don’t normally keep on hand except when I have company. Out they went!!
I re-organized by putting like items together.( I am a stickler for this concept, but I have "other" people living here that don't follow the same concept.)

I checked all the dates on my items and threw out what had expired.
Now I can see where my problem areas are. By that, I mean lack of space for some items and too much space for others.

Possible purchases:
I can also see where I need new containers to hold loose items that seem to get messy and maybe upgrade to the baskets I would love to have in my pantry.

I did that  today and it felt really good.

My New Plan of attack:
I think it is really important when you go through the cleaning process to really examine where your problem areas are and think of a practical solution.

After living with my pantry make-over from last year I have learned a few things that did not work for my family. Let's look at what I did last year.......
Last Year's Pantry Make-over!

Last year I did a Pantry make over. It looked so nice after we were done, but it did get messy again. That is how real life is. We clean, we purge, we mess- up and so goes the cycle.

We started with a fresh coat of soft blue paint. I chose blue because it is a color I enjoy looking at and find very soothing. I have all white shelves that I covered with linen and white checked shelf liner.

For my makeover last year, I used a lot of containers that I already had, and added a few inexpensive containers to the mix.

Here are a few pictures of my finished pantry from last year……

frige pantry closet redo 053
I have a label maker and it is the best toy! (I mean tool)
frige pantry closet redo 050
frige pantry closet redo 052

frige pantry closet redo 049 

What I discovered:

After living with this for a year, I have discovered that covered baskets are not for my family.

My family is more of a throw-in kind of group so now the white baskets are left open.

As pretty, neat and clean as the covered baskets look, they just don't work for my family.

I also discovered that only certain things can be in baskets for my family.

I will put bread, children’s snacks and chips in baskets but all other items have to be out on the shelves for easy access.

I learned some important lessons by being observant to my reality rather than the dream pantry I had envisioned. Sometimes it is prettier to be a little practical.

What style of organizing do you have?

Do you just start tearing into it or do you plan your attack first?
(Sometimes I think I take too long on the planning process and never get to the actual work.  I need help in that area!)

I would love for you to leave a comment with some of your organizing successes that have worked for you  in your own pantries.

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Organizing your home!!


BTW: Next post the Refrigerator!!

To Help With Your Organizing This Year:
Be sure to sign up for the Container store giveaway HERE!


Julienne said...

Oh dear Kathysue!
What is organizing?!
If I leave it alone my pantry breeds and pretty soon I won't need to go to the supermarket at all!!!!!
I do think yours looks very pretty though!! xoxo ~ J

Sue Giannotta said...

Kathysue, I am tackling my pantry today too. I tend to just tear into mine, purge, sort, clean, then stand back and admire it because within a couple of weeks it will be a mess again.
I found your blog a couple of days ago and am so enjoying all your useful information.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I'm with you, I don't want my whole house to look like a cyclone hit it when I'm organizing a single room.

You are so fortunate to have such a large pantry. It looks so neat and tidy now, doesn't that feel good?

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What organization! Good ideas though and I am going to TRY this year. My bonus room has to get done or I will scream.

Kelly @ JAX does design said...

I have to admit, I'm not a very organized person. So I don't really have any tips to give, other than that writing a to-do list helps a lot. I put everything on my list, even little things like watering the plants. It feels good to be able to cross something off the list, which is where the little things are really helpful - I find that getting a little thing done and crossing it off the list gives me more incentive to get the bigger things done :-)

You made a good point about how it's important to organize for the way you live. Just like decorating a room in your home, you want it to look nice, but it's more important for it to be functional for the way you live :-)

Happy 2011!

Design Elements said...

a thoughtful post! it's great you have a large pantry.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I'm one of those people who takes too long planning what I'm going to do but then don't have time to get to it...or feel overwhelmed by the entire process! The room I use as my office is where I need help the most. Yikes! I really need to get busy! Yes, my home office and kitchen...!

Party Resources said...

Open baskets, purging regularly of all spaces, stacking things in tupperware of the same size. I am all about being organized.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I think that pantries have a life of there own and have parties at night when we are asleep, otherwise how can they get so messed up so fast.(-: Actually, mine is pretty well organized, I like to use glass containers for all of the basics: flour, sugar, pasta, etc. The only other containers are a wicker basket for breads. And a hanging basket for root vegetables.Like you I group everything in catagories.

vignette design said...

This motivates me to get organized. With 4 cooks in my house, my "pantry" is a disaster! YOu would faint if you saw it. It's actually a cupboard. I would kill for a pantry. We are trying to free up space in the garage for more of our stuff. Getting organized in 2011 is one of my goals! Thank you for an inspiring and motivational post! ~Delores

Melissa Miller said...

It's funny but our pantry is almost empty all the time. I have the usual bread, cereals and bags of nuts. A few cans of tuna thrown in along with paper towels and extra tea, coffee. That's about it. I'm not sure why? Maybe because I don't usually cook from recipes or bake at all. I like your ideas and I think your pantry is fabulous and clean.

Happy New Year Kathysue!
~Melissa :)

La Dolfina said...

I'm a jump right in kinda gal and the inspiration just follows...

Lyndsey said...

That's the first thing that I noticed of that beautiful pantry in the first photo. If I only had jars of mustard, olives and sauces my pantry would look neat too. It's almost like when they do the bedroom makeovers and clear out the dressers and where do you put your clothes? Not all of us have huge walkin closets!

Anyway...funny you should post this. That is the only thing that I asked for for Christmas...re-doing my pantry/laundry room. The problem with old Florida homes is the lack of storeage. No basements or attics to speak of. My laundry room and pantry are together.

I was using clear boxes with lids too that just didn't work for us either. I have some open basket like yours where I throw in the pasta and some grains. I like that they slide out, but I need them to be see through too. I will be checking out a lot of pantries to make the best use of my little space. I also seem to be like you in that area too!

I'll be back to check out everyone's great pantry ideas.

Mariette said...

Dearest Kathysue,

Good food for thought this blog!
In regard to pantry, I am very blessed with a husband who designed the perfect home and build part of it himself. Part of his education as he designed also high tech plants for Campbell's Soup. For him being very organized as well it worked great as a team for having a practical and large pantry. Over the course of the year I will show more of our home... Today I'm with my Papa in The Netherlands who turned 90. First things first!

Lots of love,

Mariette's Back to Basics

Hamptontoes said...

You know by now that I love organization and a lack of clutter...it allows me to be happy and to get lots done. When things are a mess, so am I. So, my advice is that less is more. Seriously, why do we have to have soooo much stuff?

The Buzz said...

I'm a Tupperware bin kind of person myself yet no one in my family seems to care where they replace that box of cereal or bag of chips! When I began reading your post and saw that first image (thinking it was your pantry, of course!), I almost died. That would be my dream pantry, too, without all the jars of mustard and dip. Thanks for inspiring me to clean house this weekend!

Infatuated with Homes and Gardens said...

I would love to have such an organised pantry ,but I just cannot do it ,I am more of a once every 3 months (or when its just unbearable) I have a huge clean out ,before Christmas I did this and threw out 2 large garbage bags of out of date food ,where did it come from ,cause my teenages always complain there is nothing to eat :)

Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

So envious of the size of your pantry. Mine is tiny. I have learned {it's taken a while} to plan out my organizing. I realized I was wasting too much money on bins and baskets I didn't end up using. I love clear bins and anything that stacks. Looking good, girl.

Designs By Pinky said...

HI Kathy Sue, I love your pantry! The pantry I had in my LAST house was a dream. It was only 1 foot deep but abbout 8 feet long with sliding doors. I could keep all the food on one side and crockpot, big pots, toaster, etc., etc. on the other. These days the entire tings would be FILLED with dishes:):) I tend to just get right into organizing by emptying a closet or whatever and purging etc. XO, Pinky

Jeanie said...

Okay - I'm officially jealous!! I definitely need to retire and organize! You're the BEST!

Hamptontoes said...

I had to come back and say that your comment about having clean counters in the kitchen made me laugh...did you see the lack of clutter on mine? You and I agree on just about everything except orange (wink, wink!)

Mona Thompson said...

The same around here. It does no good to put a lid on it, because it will not go back on and I'm the worst culprit. In my new home I have a walk-in /working pantry and I put doors in front of the shelves with all the can goods etc. Luckily there is enough room to open them and stand back and see everything as if it were open shelving, yet it hides the clutter.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I LOVE organizing...so I always enjoy hearing what others have to say about it and this was fun and your pantry looks great!

Velvet and Linen said...

Can you come over and organize my pantry? You definitely have the gift!
Thank you for sharing your tips with us. Now I have another New Year's resolution :)


A Room For Everyone said...

I found grouping items in to breakfast, lunch, dinner works for us. I'm still working on it though..Great post. Rachaelxx

Erin said...

Oh, I would LOVE this! We have a baby coming in four weeks and moved into a 1937 house with the worst closets.

I love your blog just the way it is (been a follower for a while).
Thank you!!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Kathysue- OH BOY! Do I need this blog post! I have NO organizing style! But... in the new little house I am turning over a new leaf!
GREAT tips!
Thank you!

Ann said...

Oh the first one is a dream...I want one of those kind of pantries for the longest time but somehow I haven't got the time for a renovation...oh maybe this year:)