Pretty & Practical Storage
Hey friends!! I hope you all had a productive week and relaxing weekend! My week wasn't as productive as it should have been, but it is always good to take a much needed break! I finally got to Fridays post for #romancingthehome , which was pretty and practical storage. However I think we scheduled this one a week too late, as last week seems to have been the week to clean out pantries and closets for everyone (thanks to Marie Kondo and Tidying up)! So even though I'm sure you have all seen enough pantries and closets to last you a life time, hopefully I can give you a few useful tips and sources you will be able to use in your own home! If you do use any please let me know about them and send me some pictures, I'd love to see!
So firstly lets start off with the pantry! When I was first designing the house I knew I wanted a walk in pantry with open shelving as it looks so beautiful and creates easy access when cooking. However it can get very messy if you don't keep on top of it! I also wanted to add in a few draws for all the not so pretty things such as cans and baking stuff! The method and items used can be used in your cabinets too if you do not have an open pantry, and will also look beautiful in a display cabinet.
So to get started you first need to empty everything out of the pantry, and like me I think you will be surprised by how much you actually have! I then went through everything and threw away everything that hadn't been used in a while or had reached its expiry date. Once that was done I then decided to group everything into categories, for example, the pastas, breakfast porridges, rice, sugar, snacks, sweets, biscuits, sauces, sandwich toppings and a group of "others" like two minute noodles and bottled beetroot and gherkins. I then counted how many jars, baskets and lazy susans I would need and made a list.
Time to go shopping!!! I must admit, to find baskets that would fit the shelves and the budget wasn't easy, and the jars also proved quite difficult as they were out of stock of the ones I wanted! But Mr Price Home never fails us and I eventually found the rest of what I needed there! ( I will link everything at the end of my post).
Once you have the storage containers you need its time to clean everything. Wipe down the shelves, and wash the containers! Once the containers are completely dry you can start taking the food out of its packaging and put it in the jars! How much better does that look already? You can then start placing the stuff that can't go into jars such as crisps, certain individually packaged sweets, two minute noodles, onions, potatoes, garlic, bananas, clementines, and apples into their relevant baskets. Once everything is in their respective containers you can place them on the shelves in their groups.
The item I bought which I love the most is definitely the lazy susans! I put all the condiments on them and they make gaining access, and visibility of all the condiments so easy, mostly for my husband, so that I don't get the same question every night of where his hot sauce is...Can anyone relate?
I placed everything we use the most where it is most accessible, and visible. These are sadly the sugar and pasta in our household! But who doesn't love a nice easy pasta dish on a busy weeknight?
Also you might spot our guilty pleasures, consisting of oreos, (only dairy and egg free biscuits I can eat...yes sadly I am allergic to dairy and eggs), pink Fizzers and my husbands favourite the soft gummies from Woolworths. It was a real challenge to keep my husband from eating all the sweets before I could take some photos!
Another great tip is to keep your cutting boards out on the counter! I use to keep them in the to draw however it was always a mission to access them! By grouping them all together it looks great and also allows you to quickly grab one instead of fighting with all the pots first!
You may also want to label everything which I have not done yet as I am waiting for my Dymo Embossing Label Maker which I have ordered from takealot. Labelling is important when you have a lot of items which look very similar, however in my case we do not have this and therefore I can still tell the difference between all the ingredients.
Now it is time to enjoy your hard work, and try to keep it looking neat! My tip on how to keep it looking neat and beautiful is to immediately after unpacking the groceries to put them in their containers! I also recommend having a separate area with all the new items which haven't got specific containers and then once a month grouping them and deciding how many more containers you will need to buy! I have noticed that we go through phases of what we enjoy eating! one month I will eat oats every morning and then it will change, therefore you can use the container which is empty and fill it with one of the new items which you are currently enjoying.
For a great smelling kitchen add some vanilla essence in an oil burner, and some fresh herbs in beautiful planters ( I added basil, thyme, parsley and Violas, which can all be used when cooking) and it will smell like you are baking and cooking something delicious!
Next I started with the refrigerator! Does anyone else have a ridiculous amount of condiments (sometimes multiples) which don't get used, we sure did! The steps for the refrigerator were vey similar to the pantry, however I definitely gave it a deep clean, as you should do at least once a month, and should be wiped down once a week!
Empty the whole refrigerator, throw out all the expired condiments and juices, which we seem to keep way past the expiry date.. why?? Haha. Deep clean the refrigerator by removing all the shelving and soaking it in a mixture of dishwashing liquid and bicarbonate soda, depending on how long ago it was deep cleaned, you can also use some bleach to ensure all germs are killed, and a great way to keep it smelling fresh is to put a small container of bicarbonate soda in the fridge!
You can then start grouping all the items once again. My groupings consisted of beverages, condiments in small jars, butters and margarines, fruits, meat, salad stuff, veg, milk, bottled condiments and eggs.
Once again I put the condiments on a lazy suzan so that they are easy accessible and visible. I also bought extra containers for the fruit and some juices, so that you can pull them out and access the goods easily. Another great tip if you do not have an egg tray is to take the egg carton and tear the lid off and place that in one of the shelves in the door, this also makes for easy access and makes the amount of eggs you have visible.
Another area which I added some pretty and practical storage was the laundry area. When designing the laundry area I loved the idea of an area to hang the washed and ironed clothing, so I added in a bar like this, and it is really a step up from hanging them on the cabinet door handles as we use to. I also decided that I needed easy access to the washing powder and the pegs because scratching through the cabinets every time you do a load of laundry wasn't working for me!
So there you have it! Now for the difficult part, keeping it looking good!
These ladies also have some more inspiration and ideas on pretty and practical storage to get your home looking neat and tidy! Go give them some love!
Stacy - Sawdust and Highheels
Ramona - Ruffles & Rust
Talia - My Shabby Shack
Liz - Keep it French
Grey Baskets - Mr Price Home
Wire Baskets - Woolworths
Lazy Susan - Crazy Store
Cutting Boards (not online) - Westpack Lifestyle
Roman Blinds - Rene's Blinds
Planters - Mr Price Home
Herbs and Flowers - Woolworths