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brown paper packages: { a place for everything...with House of Smiths}

Friday, February 25, 2011

{ a place for everything...with House of Smiths}

I LOVE an organized pretty space, it makes life SO much easier, and to me, there's nothing better then being able to know that everything has a "proper place" :)

This past year, my hubby and I decided to tackle one of the messiest spaces in our house... by FAR!

The Pantry!

Believe ME... we were thrilled to even HAVE a pantry (being that the last 3 houses we had lived in didn't even have one) but overtime we had let it get really out of control.

Case and

So with a little creativity, and a LOT of help from IKEA and our local thrift stores, we finally got this space in tip-top, extraordinarily organized condition... and here's how we did it! :)

So... here's how we went about organizing our space, so it made sense.

*Remove ALL food/electrical/bulky items that don't get used or eaten on a weekly basis

All other products should be moved to another "food storage" location, if possible. This way, when you need to "restock" on pantry items that are low... you can easily refill them with your stored products... and keep your "everyday" pantry clean and free of unnecessary clutter.

If you don't have ANY other space... utilize empty, dead space on the floor with cute, functional containers, that you can easily pull out... that allow for extra storage.

I didn't need to do this, so I kept my floor clear, but I'm thinking some cute pull out drawers on sliders would be pretty dang great in here :)

* Place all items that you DO want or need to store and don't use everyday... up high

I found this wire basket at my local Deseret Industries (DI) for $1.00.

I placed our ice cream cones, drink mixes and rarely used... but still needed sugars in this basket.


The more you label things, the better your kids and husband you'll be at making sure your hard work doesn't go to waste!

Containers or other storage items you've chosen to organize with, will have a better chance at being refilled with the RIGHT products and things will stay more organized and you'll find yourself "cleaning out the pantry" less and less.

Jar Labels can be bought HERE.

Jars found at IKEA. But I don't think the carry them anymore.

Walmart has some though!

They vary in price from about $4-$12.

*Categorize your Pantry

Baking Supplies, Snacks, Paper Goods, Canned Products... and so on.

It just makes sense... right? :)

This little crate was found at DI for $0.50 cents.

I just added a vinyl label to the front.

I keep all the baking powders, vanilla and such in here.

Any SMALL products that tend to go scattered all over the pantry, in due time.

*Protect your Work!

I used these inexpensive furniture, self stick pads from IKEA to put on the bottom of all my "thrift store" organizational storage finds, that had rough bottoms or edges.

I also lined all the pantry shelves with white contact paper, to protect the paint for as long as I can.

It might sound a little "fussy" to do all this for a pantry and more work and money, now... but it will keep you from having to take the time to retouch up paint in the future!

I HIGHLY recommend these two things.

I didn't work that hard, for NOTHIN'! :)

Protective padded circles were $2.00 at IKEA for a large pack, and the white contact paper was from Walmart. I bought one large roll and it did everything but the top shelf (which I wasn't worried about doing anyway)

for about $5.00.

*Make pantry items accessible and easy to "see"

Your pantry can be as cute as ever, but if you can't get to the items you need, or even SEE what you have, then what's the point?

I used hanging bathroom shower caddy's from IKEA

(that were in the clearance section for about $2.00) for all of our spices.

And I used this small tin, also from IKEA for about $2.00... to hold all our spice packets.

(cinnamon and sugar shaker was found at a kitchen supply store for $1.50)

This simple, tight seal bottle was also found at IKEA, and I use it for our maple syrup.

($2.00 I think)

I didn't know how I would like this bottle, for such a thick, sticky liquid... but I LOVE it!

Works GREAT, and my small kids can't open it without my help. PEEERFECT! :)

oh right... and it's CUTE and inexpensive TOO! hot dog! :)


*Keep things you use OFTEN at eye level, for easy use!

The things you use EVERYDAY should be easy to access.

Once again, try to label things and make sure that it all makes sense. If you have noodles in one area... then your sauce should be it's sidekick!

tall containers from IKEA $5.00 each

Wide mouth glass jars with silver screw on lids

Walmart - $5.00 each.

(I have small scoops inside the rice and protein powder that I keep in each container, for easy use!)

Other food products that I use on a regular basis that can't really go in containers are stored BEHIND the larger items.

Again... Our snacks and other items that we tend to use daily, are in places where the kids can easily get to them.

funny... when my kids first saw the pantry they asked if the containers are for decoration or if it's okay to eat the food!


They get it now... and love how "fun and easy" their snacks are to get to.

The small and tall storage containers are from IKEA, once again. I think the small ones were $3.00 each. I put chocolate chips, marshmellows, and walnuts in ours. Great for dumping into cookie mixes.... or just eating as treats :)

And "mommy's snacks" ... these raw almonds, are in this fun glass container I found from DI for $1.50.

*Lose all those bulky BOXES!

Our family goes through a TON of cereal. And everyone likes totally different kinds.

So I didn't want to waste my money on a bunch of different containers that I KNEW would always be half full, and have tons of cereal dust crumbs in the bottom of.

But I ALSO knew that I HATED all the cereal boxes that would pile up in our pantry... making it look cluttered and smaller then the space already was!

So I used this wire crate... again found at DI for about $1.00... and ditched all the cereal boxes and just rolled the bags down with a clip and shoved them all in here!

Nothing fancy...

But I like it!

Our hot cereal mixes are in this basket too.

I didn't put the pancake mix in a container, because I always need the instructions, and we use quite a bit each time we make a batch so I didn't know if it would be worth spending another $5.00 on a container.

If I DO decide to do one, I was thinking of cutting out the instructions and just taping them on the backside of the jar :)

But for now, the bag sits tucked in the corner, by our other breakfast items.

*Keep Heavy, Less Used, Clutter Prone items down low.

Things like my large bottle of oil, vinegars, soy sauce, season salt... and such are stored low, and hidden.

I don't want to have to go to my "alternate storage place" to grab these items, but I don't need to SEE them all the time either.

Can goods are another item that our family hardly uses, still need at hand but tend to clutter our pantry!

I always had cans set up at eye level. But I'm loving them down low and stacked on risers now.

So much more organized, and I can actually SEE what I have :)

These milk crates were $3.00 each, at an annual antique garage sale that my sister in law introduced me to.

I put some of those padded protector disks on the bottom again, to protect the shelf.

I LOVE the look of the old faded wood and metal bound corners :)

They just add a fun personalized element to the regular storage go-to containers, for pantry's.'s kind of a mess inside... but I tried to keep things in there that I will be using in the VERY near future... to save me too many trips down to our

other food storage spot. :)

Can good risers were from my Mom. She gave them to me a long time ago but I'm thinking they were from Target.

I can't imagine them being more than a couple of dollars.

And again... Here's the BIG PICTURE! :)


*Make YOUR pantry work for YOUR Family!

Everyone has different ways of accessing their food, and how they like to keep it stored.

But I promise that if you find functional, easy, clearly marked, (and cute doesn't hurt either)storage solutions for your pantry... you will be LOVING life, so much more!

Things will stay in their place, and your pantry will turn into

a space that can FUNC-TION

instead of a place you put food 'n JUNK in!

Definitely my NEW PANTRY SLOGAN :) LOL.

Here's wishing you and YOUR family a Happy and Organized New Year!

~Shelley Smith


A huge thank you to Shelley, for such a wonderful, in depth look into pantry organization. I love to see that her containers were inexpensive, found at thrift stores and on clearance--organization doesn't have to cost a lot of money!



Blogger Susan said...

Wow, looks great! Makes me wish I had a pantry...and an Ikea within 50 miles!

February 25, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger michelleml said...

I love your pantry wish mine could look and stay that way. I would love to have an Ikea close the closes one is over 300 miles away :(


February 25, 2011 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I am green with envy of Shelley's pantry. I love it. When I first saw it (on House of Smith's) I organized my pantry, and it looks and functions so much better, but I'm so glad for the post here, so many small details I didn't notice when I went through mine. You two ladies are so awesome!!!! Thanks for the constant inspiration!

February 25, 2011 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Jill@Barnes Yard said...

I never get tired of seeing this pantry!

February 25, 2011 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger House of Smiths said...

Thank you ladies! And thank you Kierste! :)

February 25, 2011 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Country Girl in the City said...

This looks amazing, so tidy and organized. I often will put things into glass jars and then tape the info right onto the jar. Also, I like to make my own spice blends, rather than buy pre-made packets, helps to avoid some of the chemical additives. I store them in small recycled glass jars and then write the recipe for the spice blend with a permanent marker right onto the jar.

February 25, 2011 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Jill @ Craft in a Northern Town said...

My dream pantry...thanks for sharing!

February 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I LOVE THIS and I HAVE A HUGE PANTRY, so no reason I cannot organize mine more efficiently!!!
I need to remove all NON food things from it first!!
I am adding this to me to do list!!!
thanks for showing me

February 26, 2011 at 1:37 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

GORGEOUS! I wish I had a pantry to do that to. I love your blog!

February 26, 2011 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Shelly Asprec said...

I know it won't look like this, but I am sooo gonna clean out my pantry today! Thanks for the inspiration!

February 26, 2011 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Erin :: Alabama said...

Great job organizing! I LOVE your wall paper -- where did you get it??

February 26, 2011 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I love your Pantry! You are so amazing!

February 27, 2011 at 2:00 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I adore this! My pantry is so teeeny but I am inspired!

February 27, 2011 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I think this is the prettiest pantry that I have ever seen! I absolutely love your blog. You are so creative and inspiring! :)

February 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never seen a prettier fact, I think it's so pretty that I featured it on my blog.

Stop by, check it out and grab my button...pwetty pwetty pwease :)


February 27, 2011 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Great job. My pantry is so deep it drives me crazy.

When I get home I'm going to have to go through and do something like this--mine is so unorganized. Thanks to Shelley for the tips.

February 28, 2011 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

I love it! Is that wallpaper? Where did you get it?

February 28, 2011 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger meghangramsey said...

beautiful! Wish I had a pantry!

February 28, 2011 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Just got done cleaning my pantry! Thanks for inspiring me!

February 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger Joanna said...

I was so inspired by this that I immediately went and tore all the food out of my pantry and got to work. Then I realized I needed to go to the store and get supplies. Thanks for the inspiration, I've been meaning to do this for a long time! It's here if you're interested. :)

February 28, 2011 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Cayenne Paper said...

I love these ideas, especially b/c my pantry is so small. I end up finding 3 cans of things, not even knowing what I have since it's so crammed. I'm gonna check out Goodwill for some crates and baskets.

Katie at

June 12, 2011 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger Heather Caldwell said...

This is so my dream! My pantry is a disaster! I now have a plan for the rest of the summer, thank you!

July 7, 2011 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I've seen the "final" photo of your pantry for months on Pinterest and am so happy to finally have found the real post about your process. It's inspiring, to say the least - thank you for sharing it!

January 3, 2012 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Joang said...

can you come to my house?!?!?!? LUV your organization skills/style!

February 8, 2012 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger terriv said...

In regard to NOT putting some items in containers because of directions...I cut out the directions, put them in a small ziploc bag and put it IN the container. Works great for me!

May 6, 2012 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger terriv said...

In regard to NOT putting some items in containers because of directions...I cut out the directions, put them in a small ziploc bag and put it IN the container. Works great for me!

May 6, 2012 at 11:36 PM  

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