Organizing Our Pantry: Part 1

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 11Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 10

The hardest part about living in a small space is storage and clutter. You really can’t have tons of excess belongings or visible storage solutions because it makes the house cluttered. Since we moved into this town home six years ago this pantry has been a problem. It’s more closet than pantry. It’s very deep which makes it hard to reach items in the back. The shelves are also very far apart which wastes a lot of valuable space. I have tried numerous times to reorganize it but it always ended up back in its former dismal state. And I think the reason for that is because I was using the wrong kind of storage and not thinking in terms of how a working kitchen needs to be arranged.

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 2First I needed to purge, clean, and catalog. So that’s what I did. Then I thought about the pantry in terms of how a working kitchen would be laid out. I arranged the items on each shelf by category and put the the most used food stuffs within arms reach. Of course once I started rearranging the pantry it spilled out to other areas of the kitchen. I made a list of all my pantry staples and then I went shopping. Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 6

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 5I storied on Instagram over the last couple of days about my trips to the Container Store where I picked up several different storage bins–that majority of which are super affordable and perfect for this project. I picked up these Multi_Purpose Bins four medium, one large, and four extra large bins. (They are located in the office supply section) I also purchased these InterDesign Linus Pantry Bins in small and large and these InterDesign Linus Deep Drawer Bins in 4″ X 16″ or what I consider the small size. By the way all the bins I purchased are on sale right now! The Container Store has been running their Customer Favorite Sale for several weeks and will end on August 18, 2019 so you still have time to take advantage of it!

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 4I began with the canned goods shelf. I took the medium size bins and filled them with the canned goods. What a difference! I tried the large size for the 24oz cans but it was too wide. It might look like the medium size isn’t wide enough but I assure you they are!

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 1Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 3I wrangled the chips, crackers, and the insane amount of pasta I didn’t realize was crammed into the pantry in the extra large bins on the shelf above. I dedicated this as the gluten shelf. Chips, crackers, pasta, bread, oatmeal, instant breakfast, and snacks–those are the items that live on this shelf.Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 8Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 9I moved the oils that where on the third shelf to the bottom shelf in the last extra large bin. I decided that this bottom shelf would be my baking shelf. I put the extra flour, and all the other baking essentials in the large woven basket and all the sprinkles, baking candy, and food coloring in the one large plastic bin. I went back the next day and bought a small, deep bin and used it to store my baking twine, soups vide cooking bags, crock-pot bags, and plastic microwave steamer bags.Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 10On the highest shelf I stored all the zip lock, plastic wrap, and wax paper in the second woven basket that had once housed the oils. Next to it I filled another small, deep bin with our everyday napkins. I decided to keep the trash bags located on the top shelf. The boxes of coffee pods still need to be moved to the hutch.

So the shelves are as follows:

Top Shelf: Storage bags, paper goods, trash bags

Third Shelf: Pasta, Chips, Snacks

Second Shelf: Canned Goods

First Shelf: Baking Goods and Oils

Bottom Shelf: Still a Mystery

Door Storage: Condiments, Dry Goods, Seasoning, Breading, Stocks

The top and bottom shelves are still unfinished but so far I think it looks and functions so much better. In the process of rearranging things I broke one of the over the door shelves so that will have to be replaced eventually too. It still has a ways to go but I’m making good progress. I look forward to posting the full before and after when it’s done. I hope this gives you all inspiration for your own pantries. Do you have any pantry storage hacks or tips? Help a woman out! I want to hear them!

xoxo

Maegan

 

Master Bedroom Closet Mini Renovation

acs_0510I have been waiting so long to share this tour with you all. The renovations were minor but the overall effect is spectacular! I get so excited every time I walk into our closet, now. This is my closet? No way! It is so beautiful to look at I purposely leave the closet door open! I’ve also started using it more like a real walk in closet by getting dressed in the closet–it’s way faster and more convenient. Sam is also a huge fan of the new layout and excited he no longer has to fight his way through the pillows strewn over the floor. I always feel satisfied and proud of my work when Sam gets excited about the end result of a project. I know I not created something beautiful but also functional. I’m linking the post I wrote on how I decluttered our closet before I redesigned the layout and organized our clothes. BONUS: I’m also listing the five ways to instantly give your closet a face-lift at the end of this post. This is not an affiliated post and there are no affiliate links in this post. All products and opinions are my own and bought with my own money.

Here is the before:img_0028img_0029img_0030

And here is the after:acs_0509acs_0510acs_0529 My total renovation cost for this project was fifty-two dollars. Most everything I purchased was on sale or I used coupon. We already owned the lumber, paint, wooden dowel, acrylic magazine holder(this one is similar), chair, sheepskin rug, and art(thrifted). The total project if you owned none of the supplies but, did have you own power tools, screws, and paint brushes, would be about $150+ (not including the accessories). Here’s the breakdown: $20-$30 for lumber, $4-$7 a piece for shelf brackets depending on size, $15 for a quart of paint, $18 for hat hooks if bought full price, $8 for a 6ft 1 1/4in wooden dowel rod, $15 for an acrylic magazine holder, 60 hangers for $30, 10 for $8 plastic slimline hangersacs_0515acs_0522

As you can see the ‘before’ closet was a jumbled mess. The mismatched hangers and random pillows and other accouterments strewn across the floor lent itself to a haphazard feel. As I considered the closet’s overall design I realized that Sam’s clothes needed to be hanging where mine currently hung and vise versa. I was also wasting a lot of dead space with the dresser and small ‘shoe shelf’ which didn’t even begin to hold half of my shoes. There was also an odd nook on the other side of the door I was never sure with what I should do. I’d also been organizing my purses in shoe boxes on the shelf above my clothes and it had never stayed tidy.acs_0512acs_0525

The first thing I did was declutter our closet. I then swapped Sam and I’s sides of the closet so my maxi dresses wouldn’t be dragging the floor and Sam could store his things on the shorter shelf. I decided to move all the clothes down the closet so when you open the door and step inside we would greeted by white open space. With the clothes moved to the other side of the closet I replaced the hangers. Just swapping out the mismatched, bulky, plastic hangers for identical slimline hangers made a huge difference. I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough hangers the first go around and it ended up taking sixty hangers–which was shocking–for my clothes alone. We lucked out and had enough white velvet slimline hangers for Sam’s dress pants but we had to buy more to replace the rest. Sam’s hangers were very cheap($2 a 10 pack) because he doesn’t like the non-slip hangers for his shirts so we found some plastic ones at Walmart!acs_0511acs_0517

To maximize space I added a bottom rod beneath my tops for jeans and dress pants. If you saw my Instastories, the original bottom closet rod brackets were hung too far to the left and were old. We bought two inexpensive brackets to replace the old ones and repositioned them to hang directly below the top shelf brackets. Since this is a rental, I stuck to the same closet bracket style that already existed–though I would have loved to rip them out and replace them with modern and stylish brackets. I want our apartment complex to appreciate the upgrade–not charge me for it whenever we move out.

Next, I worked on the shoe shelves. I measured my tallest pair of heels and added an extra inch in height to determined how many shelves I could get from floor to the shelf above the closet rod. I also measured my tallest riding boots and allotted space for them on the floor. I painted and Sam cut and hung the shelves. This is my favorite part of the entire closet!acs_0524acs_0523

The purse shelves gave me the most trouble. I didn’t think I could fit boutique style purse shelves in our closet. I originally wanted a little command station but decided to give it up in favor of purse shelves. We had some left over wood from another project that just happened to be the perfect depth. I painted them and Sam hung them and the ended working perfectly! Now, I have room up top to add even more purses! I can hear the leather of Sam’s wallet squeaking as he death-grips it. I have a very small hat collection that I was keeping on Styrofoam mannequin heads–which was cumbersome–and the blank spot on the back wall seemed like the perfect place for them. The hooks I bought were a little too big but for $3 each they are getting the job done. Now I think the mannequins look chic and add character. acs_0514acs_0513

Lastly, I felt the space needed an bit of personality and a place to sit and put shoes on. I already owned the sheepskin and chair–some of these items were haphazardly stuffed in a corner of our loft. The floral art was something I thrifted recently and was so so excited to give it a permanent home!

Overall, I think the closet mini-reno turned out beautifully! Its such a functional space now AND it’s beautiful to look at! There are a few things I still want to work on in this space. I still want to add an extra shelf on Sam’s side of the closet to extend the storage, install a milk glass light fixture, and swap the storage boxes out for ones that are 12×12. Overall, it turned out wonderfully and I’m very proud.acs_0526acs_0517

Here are the five things you can do right now to give your closet a major face-lift:

1. Declutter your closet — the best thing you can do is donate all those clothes you don’t wear so you can see the things you actually love to wear. I wrote all about declutteringnmy own closet here so you don’t have to figure it out.

2. Matching hangers — matching hangers streamline the closet and creates a cohesive, and dare I say, custom look for not a lot of work or cash.

3. Hang clothes by color– hang all red tops together, hang all red dresses and skirts together(separately from tops), etc. then hang all clothes by type in rainbow order. This streamlines the closet and makes getting dressed quicker and more fun.

4. Invest in hooks — hats, belts, scarves–get those things off the floor and out of the clothing space by hanging them on hooks along the wall

5. Add something personal — a monogram, a piece of art, your favorite perfume, pink hangers, find a way to make your space look and feel like you!

I hope you loved this post! I want to see your closet makeovers! Link them in the comments below so I can check them out!

Maegan

P.S. Here are some bonus blooper photos of Lemon! Have a great week!

acs_0521

acs_0520

Declutter Your Closet in 9 Steps / MaegankJohnson Blog

Declutter Your Closet in 9 Steps

The closet purge. It doesn’t matter how well you know your style, every so often it’s time to clean everything out. Am I right? It could just be that the seasons have changed and as you un-box your clothes for the new season wardrobe you spot pieces and items that just aren’t working for you anymore. Or maybe there are a few things that just don’t fit the same as they used to–hello Christmas cookies and those extra holiday carbs. Or maybe you’ve had a major life change and your wardrobe no longer fits your current lifestyle–I’m looking at you brand new mama. Whatever the case may be, life is constantly changing and so our wardrobes are constantly changing as well.

I have two resources I recommend reading on the subject of decluttering and closet management. First is ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up‘ by Marie Kondo and the second is ‘The Curated Closet’ by Anuschka Rees. They both have a wealth of knowledge on two different but similar subjects–one on organization and health the other on style–and I highly recommend you read them both. I drew a little from both of these resources while coming up with my own purging method.

A few recommendations before you start:

Purge your closet before organizing your closet

  • I’ve made this mistake a hundred times and let my say that trying to organize where bags and shoes should live among all the clothes you probably don’t wear and wont be keeping is a total waste of time. Leave the organizing until the end.

Purge accessories and shoes last

Gather your tools

  • Trash-bags, permanent marker, music to set the mood, something to keep you hydrated

Let’s Begin!

You will be making four piles: pieces that don’t fit, pieces you haven’t worn in the last year, pieces you’re keeping, and a donate pile. Lay a trash-bag out to represent each pile.

1. Separate and place in a pile what doesn’t fit

  • Let’s be honest–you probably know the exact pieces of clothing that don’t fit in your closet right this minute. And if you aren’t sure, you probably have a good idea which pieces really need the ‘try it on’ test. I will go so far as to guess with great accuracy that you are picturing those pieces of clothes right now. Take everything for the current season that you know doesn’t fit and put it in a pile. Don’t try anything on yet.

2. Separate and place in a pile everything you haven’t worn in the last year that still fits

  • Don’t make excuses for your clothes, don’t not put it in the pile because you spent good money on it and you probably will wear it later on–maybe(that’s called the sunken cost fallacy–go google it). Just put it in the pile. You will be glad you did later on.

3. Go through the ‘doesn’t fit pile’ one piece at a time, try it on if need be, and determine if this is really something you will ever reasonably be able to wear again.

  • If you’re not confident you will be able to fit into it again within the next six months or by the next year(summer 2019 from now summer 2018) then toss it in the donate pile. Holding onto the past sometimes keeps us from reaching our goals in the future. I’m speaking from personal experience as someone who lost 130lbs. When I started my weight loss journey, I parted ways with a lot of clothes I had been keeping for years in the hopes one day I could go back and fit into them like the old days. You can’t go back to the old you. You–in the present–has to move forward to your future self–that’s how time works. However, if a particular piece of clothing motivates you forward I say keep it! That clothing is now an empowering tool to encourage you! You will know the difference too as you hold each item. If it fills you with guilt its holding you back. If it empowers you, keep it!
  • If something is too small or too big but has extreme sentimental value(notice I didn’t say guilt or sunken cost fallacy) then keep it!

4. Put all clothes you haven’t worn in the last year in the donate pile

  • Let’s face it–you didn’t wear it because you didn’t love it and you probably are never going to wear it. Give someone else the chance to wear it who really would love it. If it’s a more expensive item try selling it at a consignment store or through an app like Poshmark. *
  • If there’s something you haven’t worn but has extreme sentimental value(notice I didn’t say guilt or sunken cost fallacy) then keep it!

5. Go through the remaining clothes in the fourth pile piece by piece and determine if it fits your style perfectly

  • Can you make three separate outfits with this item? Do you really love wearing it? Does it fit right(can you wear it all day without discomfort)? Does it make you happy to put it on? If you answer yes to all these questions then place it in a new ‘to-keep’ pile. Repeat this step for each item. What doesn’t make the cut gets tossed in the donate pile.

6. Separate all the off season clothes (that would be fall and winter right now) and put them in bags or boxes and store them underneath your bed

  • When doing a major ultimate purge I don’t recommend trying to sort off-season clothes because it’s too overwhelming to guess where you might be in four-six months in life. Just repeat this process once the seasons change.
  • Move all off-season clothes into bags or boxes and store them under your bed. This will free up space in your closet and each time you look for an outfit you will only see the clothes that can be worn right now. This is really a huge deal because it gives your brain a mental rest and it becomes relaxing to look at the clothes in your closet and not have to constantly block out all the off season items.

7. Bag up all the clothes being donated or stored and label them

8. Put your donate bags in the trunk of your car

9. Place all the items in the ‘to keep’ pile back in your closet

10. Repeat these 9 steps for your shoes, jewelry, and other accessories

*There might be a few items that you’re on the fence about. I recommend a trial separation for these items. Put them away for two weeks in a bag under your bed. If you don’t go looking for them in two weeks donate them.

Once you have it all purged its time to organize and beautify your closet!

I hope this post was incredibly helpful and simple. Its daunting to tackle what seems like an impossible task but I know you’re up for it! I want to know if my ‘method’ worked for you! Come back once you’re done and tell me how it went in the comments below!

Maegan — xx

Boho Chic Laundry Room Renovation

Laundry rooms are not glamorous. Especially laundry rooms in a rental. Ours is utilitarian at best and that’s only because the hook-ups actually work. Like most adults I would love for my laundry room to be functional and look great. Our laundry room was obviously neither functional or pretty. It was a hideous mess. Aside from the tools laying on top of the dryer this was what it looked like a good eighty percent of the time–especially once we started fostering. I couldn’t keep up with the clutter and the clothes at the same time. The fact that we had nowhere to put a laundry basket made the situation worse. Part of renting in a large city is lack of space. I was stacking the laundry baskets on top of the washing machine and dryer to keep them out of the hallway that runs between the guest half bath, our bedroom, kitchen, and garage door. I also had other baskets full of laundry randomly scattered throughout the house. I had to take the baskets off the top of the washing machine every time I washed clothes–it was such a time waster. Not to mention that the tiny horrible self was really hard to reach. I finally had enough.

My goals for this mini-remodel were; a permanent place for my laundry baskets and laundry, laundry supplies within arms reach, a soothing and happy color palette, and no more clutter. I had been wanting to paint something a deep dark green for years, so I immediately knew that this space was the perfect place to try that color. If I hated it I could quickly repaint and it was easily hidden from guests.

The first thing I had to do was rip the shelves off the wall. They were installed poorly and calked around the perimeter so they ripped off the top layers of drywall and layers of ancient paint. They were a mess and they smelled so so bad. It was really gross. I was immediately faced with several dilemmas I wasn’t expecting; first, I had to repair the drywall and peeling paint; and second, I now had to putty and add texture back to the wall. I had no idea how to do either. As I stood staring at the gashes and holes torn in the wall I started second guessing my decision. It’s that moment every renovator has when they realize they’ve committed to more than they expected but it’s already too late to turn back.

The first thing I had to do was take a very sharp knife and cut around the edges of the peeled up paint. I’d never repaired drywall before so that took some internet sleuthing to figure out. I used Rx-35 PRO-999 to seal down the drywall and paint, and create a layer for the putty to stick to.  So I painted over the entire exposed area and then let it dry. (This is the drywall after the PRO-999)img_9377

img_9376

Once it was dry I started puttying. I used a wide putty knife and regular old DAP, and honestly I just went for it. I have seen my dad and Sam putty before so I kind of had the idea. This was a little different though in that I had to layer in on thick and leave it(that’s why the PRO-999 is so important because it helps that putty stick). It took over an hour to putty the area and then it took about twelve hours to dry completely. Once it dried, I lightly sanded it and then reapplied another layer of PRO–999 over the entire area to set the putty into place.

img_9379

img_9380

With the putty dry we taped off and painted. The color I chose is called Thunderbolt by Valspar. I opted to have the color mixed in Sherwin Williams Enerald paint because it’s antifungal and water resistent–perfect for a laundry room. With that we installed the Closet Maid wire shelving from Home Depot. They were the only brand I found locally that had 20″ deep wire shelving. They cut my shelf to length in store so it fit perfectly in my car with the back seat down. Did you know both Home Depot and Lowe’s can cut your wire shelving in store to the exact length you need? I was so proud of myself for figuring that out. I saved a lot of money on this project because I didn’t have to buy an extra tool to cut my shelving! Sam was very very happy about that too. I chose coated wire shelving because it wouldn’t be as affected by the humidity and moisture constantly trapped in this space and it was an inexpensive option even though it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing shelving to look at. And we rent, so the budget for this reno needed to be a reasonable. Y’all know what I mean.

Maegan Johnson Laundry Room Tour Before and After, Dark Green and White,

I now had a designated place for all my laundry baskets but I lost space for my laundry supplies. I cut a 3/4″ piece of pine and painted it with some white paint I already had to match the appliances and shelving. I bought these 3″ brackets from Hobby Lobby and painted them to match. A key component to living organized in a small space is to constantly get rid of stuff. I completely purged the junk that was being kept in here and what I didn’t trash I moved under the kitchen sink with the rest of the cleaning supplies. There are perks to living a more plant based life because the stuff you actually need gets narrowed down to the essentials. I honestly had no idea that I only needed like three things to do laundry.  Laundry soap, dryer balls, lavender to scent the clothes, and lemon for stain removal. Done.

Maegan Johnson Laundry Room Tour Before and After, Dark Green and White, Theives Laundry SoapMaegan Johnson Laundry Room Tour Before and After, Dark Green and White, Small Laundry Room

With the dark green walls I wanted to keep the aesthetic as crisp as possible. I also painted the dryer base white and what a difference it made! It added a cohesive, geometric element to the space. The laundry room is located in the smack middle of our town home and it gets no natural light. I needed a better, brighter, whiter light so I could see. How can anyone see stains in dim yellow light? I changed the light bulb to a generic 75 Watt Daylight LED and what a difference it made!

Maegan Johnson Laundry Room Tour Before and After, Dark Green and White, Scottie Dog, Lemon

Lemon is soo sweet–and such a good helper! She really wanted me to play while I was shooting for this post. I can’t believe what a little paint and some new shelving did to our laundry room or what a huge impact it has made on our life. I have seriously stayed on top of laundry now. Let’s get real though, my husband still wants to leave a pile of clothes on his side of the bed and I left the clean sheets in a pile at the foot of our bed the other day. But, this change has brought so much peace and functionality to a daily chore that was really making my life miserable. And, for the first time in years, I am actually able to keep up with what is clean and what isn’t–and I’m not drowning in loads of unwashed laundry. This ended being a bigger project than I anticipated, but it was worth it. Oh, was it so worth it.

I hope you were inspired by my mini reno! I always want to inspire you and remind you that if I can so can you! Do you also have a space in your home that is completely not functioning for you and your family? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Maegan — xx

Click here for our Midcentury Coastal Nursery/Bedroom Tour!