New Year, Newly Organized

Happy New Year Everyone!

At the risk of sounding like a total nerd, one of my favorite ways to spend New Year’s Day is cleaning out and organizing those messy, neglected areas of the home.  This year, those two areas of neglect were the kitchen pantry and my craft room.

I am a bit embarrassed to share the disaster of our pantry, but I would like to think I am not the only person who has this same hot mess hiding in their kitchen…. Below is a look in our pantry….plastic bags, cracker boxes, random appliances.  It’s a wonder I find anything in here!

The most efficient way I find to re-organize is by pulling everything out and starting from scratch. Once the pantry had been emptied and I took the second picture, I was questioning why I had committed myself to this project…

After sorting the good, the bad, and the totally useless empty boxes, I was ready to re-fill.  I consulted Pinterest for organizational ideas and was bombarded by these beautiful pantries with cloth-lined baskets and chalkboard labels on each canister.  Impressive, but I chose the frugal approach instead.  $5 at The Dollar Tree and I had 5 new bins to store my snacks!  The other great part of cleaning out is that you often find long forgotten, yet useful items.  I came across 2 unused glass canisters and another 3 plastic bins.  The entire process took about 45 minutes, and it was so worth it.  I don’t cook, but my hubby can now easily find all kinds of dinner ingredients! 🙂

Before moving on to the craft room- let’s talk about that awesome llama printed Grocery Bag Saver you see in the properly organized pantry.  As much as I would love to be that person who remembers the re-usable totes for groceries, I am not.  I do re-use my plastic bags for trash bin liners throughout the house, and needed somewhere to stow them.  Maggie over at Smashed Peas and Carrots has a great tutorial for making the below bag saver.  Check out her tutorial here.  I added some rick rack trim and a pom pom loop, but the project still took less than 30 minutes to whip together.  And it was the perfect use for that quirky fabric I couldn’t pass up at Hobby Lobby.

bagsaver

The craft room tends to go in waves of totally organized to complete mess, depending on what projects I have going.  My full time job allows me to work from home, so my craft room must double as a home office.  I am entering my busy season for work, so I needed to contain the crafts and have a focused place for business.

This room is still in process of completion, but for the purpose of this post, I wanted to share some organizational elements.  I love that open shelving allows me to bring in pops of color with my storage.  The best part of these shelves is that they were FREE!  The brackets came from kitchen shelving that we re-designed upon moving in.  The wood pieces were 2 leaves from an oak dining table that my neighbor gave me.  I didn’t have to do anything to them- the wood grain and stain was gorgeous as is.

One thing I did not want to clutter the room with was plastic bin storage.  While it is extremely efficient and useful, I hate the look of it.  The bottom row of pictures reveals my solution.  The long dresser was part of an antique bedroom set, but our master bedroom is too small to fit all the pieces.  This dresser has become the perfect storage unit!  The middle section has pull out drawers, where I keep my fabric for current projects.  The side drawers house separate projects.  One drawer for scissors, chalk, pens, etc.  One drawer hides my yarn mess.  If you can’t tell, I have crafting ADD…it is nice to have a place to hide the mess!

So that’s it!  A few hours of work allows for much better use of our everyday spaces.  Now I can focus on creating more home projects and crafts, and my husband can find ingredients to make dinner!

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