July 28, 2011

21 Day Challenge- Day #1

You know those organizing projects that you know you need to do, but keep slipping to the end of your endless to-do list? Sigh. 

For me, having some fun reward or reason to complete said projects always helps. Of course, I know that a clean and organized fill-in-the-blank-here is a reward in itself... but sometimes I need a little kick in the pants.

Then I stumbled across A Bowl Full of Lemons. This girl loves to organize. She has a 21 Day Challenge for home organization and I thought it might be a good way to motivate me. The cool part is that all the people who are participating are taking before/after photos- so you also get inspired by some great ideas and completed projects. Oh, completed projects, you evade me so! 
Anyway, I linked in to join the challenge! Wanna join me? The challenge list goes like this:

21 Day Organizing Challenge

Yep, all the projects you *know* you want to do, but so don't want to do them!

However, I like do to things my own way... so I am starting with Day #7.
What? Me? Break the rules!? I know. I usually am against such horrors!
But I *really* need to clean the pantry!!

So I clicked over to see a few inspirational pantries and suggested steps. Then I cried.
"Step Two. Remove Everything"??

Wouldn't it be easier to procrastinate neater if I just shoved everything around and make
it look tidier? Kept the beautiful waterfall-glass door shut all of the time?

Guess not. This time I will follow the rules. 

The dreaded "Before."
Yep, it is walk-in. And no, you can't walk in it right now. The bags will attack you. Or, 
the cereal perched on top of more cereal will fall and conk you in the head. 
I speak from experience.
Yikes! This angle is even scarier!

Then, the clean out!

Blank slate!
That corner is tricky! It can hide *a lot* of miscellany.

Even the fixture cover came down for a cleaning! 

This little flower... the last of the flotsam from the floor. A sweet gift from Wee-boy.
Then, I scrubbed everything clean, including the wire racks. Supposedly those lovely shelves allow for "breathing" in your spaces. Really, they just allow for everything to fall through. I am not so fond of them. Plus, if you try to slide things to the left or right, things fall over and get caught. 

Since I wanted to put a lot of glass bottles and containers on the top shelf (so I can actually read the labels and know what is in there!) I pulled out some place mats from the kitchen and slapped them down on the shelf tops. Viola! 
No more pouring through the wires! Easy sliding! Plus, since the top shelf will be cooking oils, less worry of dripping! Added bonus: a pop of color and pattern in the pantry!

I didn't have enough for all of the shelves, and they are too big for the less-shallow shelves in the front of the pantry. However, I am thinking some heavy shelf liner might work.

The pantry is clean!! The rest of the kitchen looked like this:

Where did all of this stuff come from!!?? Please, no comments about the amount of artery clogging foods in our house right now. We have house guests and I want them to feel welcome. Okay, we have *one* guest and she doesn't eat junk food. Ah, well.  

Also, notice the pile of dishes in the background. We are big on no dishes left in the sink around here- shows you how eager I was to jump in on this project!! Better get to those next!

Three trips to the compost and recycling bins later...

Ahhh... SO much better. Now, I still have some things to work out and finish. However, I have learned to clean out a space and find out what I really need to store before heading out to buy beautiful baskets and bins. Otherwise, I just end up making three trips: a scouting/buying-too-much trip, a realistic trip, a returning-the-extras trip. 

So now that I have purged and reorganized, I have an idea of which bins, boxes, and baskets I really need want. If you look closely, you'll see that I have used the lids to a few boxes found in the other kitchen cabinets (a whole other post!) My plan is to actually keep those- just spruce them up a bit (read: spray paint!) Also, a Silhouette SD is in my future (can you say Birthday Girl?) and I just know I'll be making the flour bins fancy with some a-mazing labels!! Stay tuned for updates!

So, how is your pantry looking? Post a comment and share your experience! 

PS- My mom says that posting your first time can be confusing if you have never done it before. So here is a quick tip! Scroll down to where you see the little pencil and "Comments: below. Click on "Coments." Read all the great comments left by other readers (thanks Mom and Jocelyn!) Then, Type in your comment into the big comment box. From the drop down menu below that where it says, "Comment As" click and scroll down to "Name/URL". Enter your name. If you have a blog of your own, you can enter your  website in the URL box. No website? No problem, just type in your name to the Name box and leave the URL part empty. Then when your comment posts it will say, "Sally said:" Yay! 


  1. Umm.. not sure why my words are running off the page. I'll try to fix that. Dang it.

  2. OK, now I have to get off my bum and get going. Pantry looks great, loved the pictures. Iam working hard to catch up:):)
    Happy Birthday!!

  3. Nice work! I have been looking at a 52 organization challenge at: http://orgjunkie.com/52-weeks, but the idea of 52 is daunting. Now 21 days, that seems reasonable. Plus, I can complete it before school starts!

  4. I stumbled on your blog from HOH - congrats on being featured there! Reading some of your posts made me wonder if you live in/around Kirkland (I do!) because I too have a fabric store close to my Costco and I love it when I get to stop there on the way to Costco :)

    Great job with your pantry! :) Love your flour bins! Do you mind telling me where you got them from :)

  5. @Smriti- Thanks for your comment! You are one clever cookie! Yep! I think Hancock Fabrics will now always be on the "errands list" when I have to hit Costco :)

    I love the flour bins too- but I can't find them anymore :( They are "Click Clack" brand. I *think* I bought them at Bed Bath and Beyond, but it was years ago and I haven't seen the same size/shape/brand there for a long time. I need a few more, too, and I would love for them to match.

  6. Okay, so I wrote that reply and then was totally obsessed about adding two more containers to my collection! Duh! Why didn't I look on the internet?! I found them on Amazon! Yay! Not the cheapest containers, but they are sturdy and tough! I have had the originals for years and they are awesome! I have the 4.5 quart size, which is perfect for a 5lb bag of rice, or flour, or sugar. Here's the link to Amazon...