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

 

Home Library Progress Update

So months and months ago before my back went out I started turning our loft into a home library. I thought I would share how I’ve updated the space so far! I mean it’s pretty much done, sort of, except for the desk and the filing cabinet which are being replaced–eventually. I still need to repaint the yellow chair and I’m not sold on the rug. So, I guess it’s not almost done but whatever. I’m rollin’ with it.The pink walls I painted last fall or summer–last year was kind of a blur and it’s all running together at this point so I don’t really remember when I painted them. Why pink? The better question is why not pink? I tried to choose a pink shade that was a bit more subdued and adult. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to claim Baby Blush is sophisticated, but I was going for glam anyway. The pink walls casts a soft glow in the second half of the day that filters the light in the living room below. It’s heavenly.

I made a mood board on Pinterest where you can see the vibe I was going for–It’s kind of a 70’s Texas glam. I kind of went ham sandwich with color in this room. I felt it was a space I could really go all out with color but I tried to keep it away from being bitsy and juvenile. Sam of course, is a good man and encourages me do as I please when it comes to design. I’ve found that as long as I don’t let form come before function too often(especially when I want to spend $ on the big stuff) he usually loves it–even if it’s pink.I do plan on painting or changing out the filing cabinet. I mean I have to have some sort of filing system for bills and my manuscripts but I don’t know that it needs to be a filing cabinet. If you’ve got any ideas I want to hear them. Tell me! I mean there has to be an aesthetically more pleasing way to store paper. Another issue I have to tackle is all the server and its trimmings but that’s a blog post for another day.

I made the shelves out of these steel double mount tracks and these brackets that I painted rose gold. I went with raw Plywood for the shelves I had cut into 12in x 8ft pieces. I used nice plywood because its cheaper than buying boards by the ft and I liked the industrial look of the raw plywood edges. This was a really easy and self explanatory DIY. Basically figure out how wide and tall you want your shelving to be and how far apart your wall studs are. That determines how many wall tracks you’ll need. Then figure out how far apart you far want your shelves and that will determine how much wood you will need. I also didn’t have to go through the hassle of sanding and staining each piece, but if that’s your thing then I say go for it!The #shelfie is a still a work in progress but for that’s the most fun part anyway! I went with the traditional method of cataloging–alphabetical by genre–so books are easy to find and file. At the end of the day it’s form over function–besides the books themselves are so beautiful they don’t really need much flair. I have really enjoyed taking my time finding the perfect book ends and nick-knacks. It’s just a perfect excuse to buy one more horse lamp.

Like I said the desk and filing cabinet still need work. I’m also not sure about the black and white striped rug. I wish it was bigger. I’m also considering putting a sisal or jute rug beneath it to give the space more oomph. As I write this I’m also trying to figure out how to integrate a standing/sitting desk for Sam up here. It’s just more motivation to find a smaller desk for me and fix the paper filing problem for good.I hope you enjoyed the under construction walk through. Once I get the living room finished I’ll get to throw all my energy into this room! If you want a more in depth explanation on how we built the shelving leave a comment below and I’ll put a blog post together.

Also, this is kind of random, but since I change out my decor pretty often I have a Facebook Market Place that has a fairly steady rotation of home-goods and furniture that I either no longer want or just don’t work with my design style anymore. I don’t ship but if you live in the DFW area it’s worth taking a peak at!

Maegan

 

Antique Doll House

The Benefits of Climate Controlled Storage: A Quick Guide

Last week I took a poll on Instagram and asked if y’all would like to know more about climate controlled storage and the overwhelming consensus was–YES!

Living in a rental or a small space–Sam and I hit both marks–makes storage a challenge. We have more space than most–but it’s still not enough or ideal. As we’ve been KonMari-ing our house–in large part due to Marie Kondo’s TV show–I noticed our loft area has become a makeshift storage space over the last several years. Items that we don’t think will survive the 100+ degree weather in our attic or garage come summer have now taken over half the space. We are losing valuable living space by keeping all that stuff stacked up in the corner.

So we had a serious conversation last week about what to do with all of it. To clarify, the ‘items’ are some antique furniture handed down by my parents, a giant antique doll house, photos, paper memorabilia and my wedding dress(which is sealed up in one of those fancy storage boxes)–basically valuables and antiques. Some of it we get out once a year at Christmas–like the Beary Merry Christmas doll house–but most of it goes untouched year round. We know we need to store these items but do they need to be stored in climate controlled unit and would be worth the added cost each month?

Basically, it all comes down to geographical location, the type and/or age of the item you want or need to store, and if you’re willing to pay the extra money for the peace of mind.

But first, what exactly is climate controlled storage and what are the benefits? Climate controlled storage units are usually indoor and maintain a consistent temperature all year round–some units even come with enhanced features like humidity control. They are often placed inside buildings with sealed and insulated roofs, walls, and floors. Below are some of the benefits of a climate controlled storage and reasons you might consider renting one:

  • Extreme Temperature

If you live in a climate that sees extreme temperatures like 100+ degrees in the summer or below freezing temperatures in the winter and you might want to protect your valuables from the damaging effects of extreme temperatures. Sensitive items like wood furniture, antiques, and musical instruments can suffer from warping, splitting, or cracking due to the constant change in temperature. Additionally, items like fine art, photos, books, or business records can also be damaged due to the highs and lows of temperature change.

Items that would benefit from a climate controlled environment:

    • Antiques, especially wood furniture
    • Musical instruments
    • Mattresses
    • Books and magazines
    • Electronics
    • Important documents
    • Upholstered furniture
    • Vinyl records
  • Air quality and circulation and keeps the air fresh.

It’s common to overlook air quality when shopping for storage units. A standard storage unit isn’t sealed the same way an indoor climate controlled unit is. Because climate controlled storage facilities continuously circulate the air, the air remains clean. This prevents you from needing to open your unit just to get some fresh air inside which is important for the storage of sensitive electronics or documents–air quality should be high on the priority list.

  • Less chance for dust, debris, rodents, and insects.

Climate controlled storage units are often placed inside buildings with sealed and insulated roofs, walls, and floors. As a result, these units are less susceptible to minor flooding or tracked in dirt, and because they’re indoors, there isn’t as much chance for rodents or insects to make a home in your stored things.

Another benefit here is you’ll have less dust and debris always making its way into your unit. You’ll find your items just the way you left them, whether you store them for a week, a year, or a decade.

  • An extra peace of mind

Climate controlled storage usually costs more than traditional storage. This added cost is often insignificant and usually overshadowed by the peace of mind you’re given knowing you’ve protected your items from harsh seasonal changes and weather-related mishaps.

However, if you’re storing items that aren’t valuable for a short period, traditional storage is often adequate.

  • Humidity control

As mentioned above, humidity control is sometimes an enhanced feature some storage facilities offer. Humidity control, as an addition to climate control, maintains constant humidity in the unit to around 50%. Humidity controlled storage units are most often needed in places with either year round extreme high or low levels of humidity. For example, if we lived in Corpus Christi, Tx on the Gulf of Mexico –where the humidity is close to 100% almost everyday–we would need humidity control for what we want to store. Not only would the salt in the air cause damage to our things but there is a really high chance everything we stored outside climate and humidity control would mold, rot and be attacked by lots of bugs and rodents.

Conversely, if we lived in an extremely dry climate like Denver, Co, our valuables would be more likely to suffer the opposite effects by drying up from the lack of moisture and I’m sure be attacked by bugs and rodents.

I hope this helped clarify the issue and makes the deciding whether or not you need climate controlled storage easier. For us, the answer is a definitive yes. We were right not to leave our items stored in our attic or garage.

As far as pricing here in the Dallas area, a 5×5 or 5×7 unit runs around thirty-five to forty-five dollars a month and went up in price the larger the unit. My advice in determining how much storage vs rental you can afford is to roll both payments together as one and consider that your total monthly rent payment. that way you can determine how much apartment you can afford vs how much storage you can afford.

Here are a few storage unit tips before I go:

  • If you can’t afford humidity controlled storage and will be storing during damp months, be sure to access your unit regularly. Opening the doors will allow fresh air into the unit and will circulate out built up humidity and odors.
  • Some humidity controlled storage units are available without climate control.

 

Maegan