Spring Cleaning: Redoing a Redo!
by Mama B
Ack!!! There is one thing about organizing that bothers me - once it is done, that should be it, right? No more mess, no more having to hunt through said mess for whatever you are looking for, and definitely no more need to hide a mess behind closed doors, praying that no one opens those doors.
Last year, I did what I consider a massive reorganization of certain places in my home. I did the downstairs powder room, the upstairs bathroom, the hallway closet, and the space under the stairs. All of these have been splendid and have kept me sane, except the space under the stairs.
If you have been following us for a while, you may remember that I reclaimed that space for my pantry last year. I had high hopes and dreams for that space, and for a bit of time, I managed to make it function - for a little while. Unfortunately, it didn't work as I had hoped and it just became another major dumping ground for all things homeless. I finally got busy redoing my redo the other day, and until we can move into a bigger place, which isn't happening anytime soon, it will just have to work!
After I had Damian pull all nonpantry things out of the space, I reassessed my options as well as the things I had on hand that I could repurpose to make this work. Several months ago, I had pulled the set of shelves out from under the stairs and put them on top of a dresser in my kitchen (another post for another day). Now, I needed another set that would fit in the space. I thought of everything from buying new ones, to building some and finally settled on dragging a set in from outside. I had used these shelves to hold lawn ornaments, plant pots, etc over the winter. Now, I scrubbed them off and Damian put them under the stairs.
My son, Dirk, gave me two wooden crates for my birthday last month. I had told him that was what I wanted as I am planning on building a set of shelves out of eight crates. It's going to take me awhile to gather up six more and I had nowhere to put the ones he gave me, so for now, they are serving as shelves under the stairs. Damian gave me two smaller crates that are also doing duty under the stairs as shelves.
I reconfigured the wooden cube shelves that were already under there, and topped them off with a wooden shoe rack that I was going to throw out now that I parted ways with forty pairs of shoes, and no longer need the shoe rack in my closet.
Using dollarstore baskets and bins that I already have, I finally got things under control in the pantry. There are still a few tweaks needed, but at least I can see what needs tweaking and there is no mess left!!
The shelves from outside now hold things like my crockpot, my vintage triple milkshake maker, and a ceramic snowman that somehow missed being packed away after Christmas.
It certainly is not my ideal pantry, but it works, and I am grateful to have a space to use as a pantry!
Tucked under the stairs, way in the back, we had stored several boxes of stuff that have been under there since we moved here three years ago. Damian had pulled them out and I glanced through them. It was all Christmas decorations that hadn't been used in five years. It was a tug of war to decide what to do with them. I asked my daughter-in-law if she would like any of it and she didn't. I hummed and hawed about getting rid of any of it in the first place. I couldn't do it, so I put the boxes back. There were five apple boxes and a couple banana boxes of Santa Claus decorations. One of the banana boxes had our son, Dustin's glass collection. He collected glasses with boats and clipper ships etched on them. He actually came and picked them up the other day. He couldn't believe that I still had them. Yes, well...hoarder here, need I say more?
The next morning, I had Damian haul all the boxes back out and this time I went through each box and I kept only things that had extreme sentimental value to our family. I managed to fill one rubbermaid bin (no, not a huge one - a regular sized one) and I rehomed the other five boxes to our neighbour next door.
The only bins under the back of the stairs now are Christmas decorations that will be used this Christmas.
I feel lighter now that the extras are gone.
My pantry is more organized and I have some ideas to expand the storage capabilities under there that need to be, as I said earlier, tweaked to suit this unique space.
Some of the "new" additions I added are:
1) I put a large wicker basket that the handle had broken off, on top of the bar fridge to hold potato chips and other bagged snacks, like individual goldfish bags, along with the clips to keep opened bags closed.
2) The shoe rack gives me two extra shelves on top of the cube shelves for a total of three shelves in that space. It is just the right height for canned goods, such as pumpkin, evaporated milk, soup, etc. The top shelf holds dollarstore bins with baking supplies in them.
3) The large crates hold baskets of picnic supplies such as plastic cutlery, napkins, disposable plates, a drink dispenser and tablecloths.
4) The small crates house containers for food storage and is a temporary home to a large bag of flour.
5) My potatoes and onions and other root vegetables store well in a set of tiered plastic bins.
6) I store my oversized muffin tins as well as other muffin and vintage tart tins in a large magazine rack.
7) Dog food is stored in a small covered garbage can.
I am sure that there are more ideas that will come to me, but for today, I am happy with my accomplishments. I will post the tweaks as I come up( and follow through) with them.
Have a happy day!