Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Katie Bower

Her name is Bower. Katie Bower. She married a goodlookin’ studmuffin, Jeremy. They’re just a couple of suburban Atlantans who decided to write about this crazy adventure called life in their blog BowerPower. Katie is a 30-year-old former homeschooler who has a love for decor, entertaining, jokes, and photography. A blog seemed like the best way to catalog their transformations and family escapades without actually picking up a phone or breaking out the stationary.

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  • Ever seen one of those magical pantries? The ginormous ones that are so large that it's able to hold a miniature supermarket of canned and boxed goods? The ones that are organized to the hilt... where things are begging you to cook them just by looking so beautiful? The pantry that is a couponer's dream space because it can hold a stash the size of a rhino on steriods. Seen one?

    Yeah... me neither.

    I have a real pantry.  A real pantry with real dimensions and real limitations on what it can hold. I can't buy six boxes of brownie mix and eight bags of pita chips and expect to have room for my other necessities... aka the case of Cheese Whiz  :)

    So that's what I wanna talk about today -- how to make a normal pantry (thought I was gonna say alternative dairy products?!). Here are my tips for utilizing your pantry to the max:
  • Photo Credit: BHG
  • Sort Food By Zone.

    Create sections of food for easy organization and fast access to your food.  I have mine in six different zones: cereals/breakfast items, snacks, baking goods, canned goods, side items, and breads/chips.  It's way easier to grab a box of brown rice if I don't have to search through the entire pantry space.  And it makes grocery shopping easier too because I don't have to question if a can of diced tomatoes is hiding because all the canned goods are all together.
  • Photo Credit: The Social Home
  • Get Matching Containers

    I truly believe that matching containers in a pantry are like a slice of heaven.  They not only keep your food fresher and less exposed to the potential pest or dust…but it looks fantastic.  Jars, baskets, tupperware bins, and other glass or plastic food storage containers are a pantries best friend.  Functional and oh-so-purty.
  • Photo Credit: BHG
  • Use Pullout Drawers

    I find myself annoyed when the can is all the way in the back of the space and I can't find it fast enough.  Seriously pinto beans--the chili is burning--come out of hiding.  So it sometimes makes perfect sense to install more functional shelves.  Analyze your space to see if pullout drawers, divided shelves or even built in stacked shelves makes the most of your small pantry.
  • Photo Credit: BHG
  • Fill empty wall space

    Make your pantry work double time by using up all the available wall space.  Most pantries have a limited amount of room, and we all have kitchen 'extras' that we would love to store neatly.  Brainstorm ways that you can use your empty wall space to maximize your storage.  I love using our walls for a plastic bag holder and hooks for our Swiffer stick and mini kitchen vac.

  • Photo Credit: BHG
  • Attach storage to the door

    Speaking of empty pantry space, consider the back of the door as additional space to hold shelves, racks or even hooks.  You can even paint it with magnetic paint and use magnetic containers to hold small things like cooking spice packs, dried herbs and even appliance cords.  The possibilites are endless.

    What are your best tips for making a real pantry into a really nice one?  Spill those beans.  Not literally of course :)

    - Katie
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