I have been really encouraged along in my pantry challenge. Partly by my own progress, just seeing my cellar evolve into an actual pantry, and partly from hearing what everyone is doing! I am not the only one to have noticed that like ants we are all out and about working on building up our supplies!
This week Patsi from A Working Pantry is talking about how to make room for storage and make the most of the space we have. There is a conversation you can join on facebook and I love this as every person has a unique home and set of circumstances. And while we have had heat and cyclones the American ladies have had snow and ice like you would not believe!
If you want some inspiration also read Anut Ruthies latest blog post on Sugar Pie Farmhouse . It is just lovely. Reading this made me feel like yes! I am on the right track! Her blog is always encouraging and sets me straight on things.
Last week I did a lot of re arranging and creating space. Patsi got me started on this with the trunk she uses to store gifts. This made me review the giant trunk I had on the veranda that I had found. Being huge it had a lot of storage potential! This has become my blanket and pillow storage and it means my overcrowded linen cupboard is now spacious and I can make that over. You know how one thing leads to another, now re doing my linen cupboard is next...
To do this first the trunk needed a huge clean. Then I rubbed oil into it to bring it back to life. I know exactly where all the filth went s it was all over me!
I added a big old padlock I had. (it still reminds me of a pirates chest) Next I lined it with pretty paper. Then I scented it so as I open ii up the scent is lovely. To keep that I added cakes of floral soap to the bottom. (More soap supplies and left like this soap gets so hard it lasts a long time if you ever use it).
This is so big I have four blankets in there so far in this picture and it looks empty...
In my kitchen pantry everything changed as I moved long term storage into my cellar. Space! This continued. I went through every item and a few things were thrown out (not too many) and other things I wondered why were they even in my pantry when I wanted more space? I had spare drink bottles, thermos, water filters and all kinds of things that if only I could re home I would have lots more room for actual food. And so began a lot of moving things and looking at spaces I have or could use.
I started to eye a laundry cupboard that is full of "stuff" and the space above my fridge and the gap I have between the fridge and the end cupboard....
Helen had created space by de cluttering, adding shelves and getting a metal storage unit. She created a lot of space! Having a re assess, a re arrange and clean out can produce space we never dreamed of!
Here we have IKEA and Howard's Storage World. Both are great for ideas on maximising space! You don't necessarily have to buy their products to benefit from brilliant ideas which have come from top designers and experts on the subject. Study what they have done! You can do this online, in storage stores, pinterest etc. If you go to IKEA look in all the cupboards. IKEA is like DIsneyland.. all the good stuff is below the surface! The ideas are fantastic. I had a lot of light bulb moments in there. I just snap a photo on my phone so I don't forget it!
Some ideas I have loved to add space or create space have been...
To turn a spare room, closet or linen press into a pantry. Yes, the whole thing becomes a pantry! The addition of shelves can turn many spaces into a wonderful storage space. Even a whole wall along a passageway can become a pantry if it is lined with shelves.
The area under the bed can be a huge storage space. Remember how old fashioned beds were high off the ground and you had to climb up onto them? This looks and feels romantic to me. Well, any bed can be placed on something to make it sit up high. Then you can have a whole storage space under the bed! Laine used to use under the bed space. It could be something simple like suitcases for storage or drawers but that is a whole lot of space.
Gaps. Most homes have odd spaces that seem unusable. Mine has a gap between the fridge and end bench. A gap between the pantry cupboards and the wall. A gap between the laundry sink and the wall. Each of these is about 6 inches wide or so. You can slide in there a basket and fill it with your baking trays. Or buy a skinny set of shelves on wheels (they are made for such gaps!) or how about something like this...
This is from Classy Clutter blog and they have full instructions to built this! (I have never used any other persons picture on my blog before but this is such a good idea and I have no hope of building it in time to show you!) This gets you thinking about the gap spaces in your home!
Adding a shelf. Adding shelves on blank walls, above doorways, into existing cupboards...
The space above your fridge or cupboards. This doesn't have to look messy. Lovely baskets that fit nicely look great and can store heaps of less often used items. It is a fine place for seldom used things. The top of my fridge now stores trays, stacked, plus I had this really rustic old bread bin. It is big. I added transfers and lined the inside with lovely paper...
It is Shabby Chic in the extreme... but now it houses all those spare drink bottles, thermos' and water filters and my pantry has more space!
Slide out trays or baskets that fit under cupboards, the bed etc. they are like an extra shelf.
Hanging things. If you have shelves run a row of hooks underneath where you can hang utensils, pots and pans or other items.
A pots and pans hanger. Saucepans and fry pans take up a lot of room! Hanging them from a hanger can free up so much kitchen space. In my last house I had an old ladder suspended from my kitchen ceiling. I hung all my pots and pans from there plus baskets, dried herbs and all kinds of things. It was fabulous and saved so much space. It looked really good too.
Do you have things inside that could be in the shed if stored properly? I did. Wrapped, covered and some things in tubs, they have gone into the shed freeing up cupboard space.
Do you have clutter that is really useless stuff and if cleaned out you would have pantry space? A lot of things build up. A garage sale might clear a room or a cupboard, free up the space and fund starting stocking up your pantry at the same time. In a crisis a tennis racquet from the 80's is probably not going to be much help! But a stockpile of food, water and first aid will be.
Convert a bookcase, trunk, stack of suitcases, wardrobe.
Fill a shelf or ledge with baskets. In our hallway I keep baskets of things that are ready to go out the door... gifts, things for the girls, books to take back to the library and so on... These are really handy.
Some of these things do not directly create pantry space. But I am finding as I create space things can be re homed that have been stored in my pantry that really don't belong there. Others can become pantry space. I now have a free top shelf in the laundry and much more kitchen cupboard space than I had before. The difference is amazing.
So my week was mainly about re arranging and creating space. And now I have all this space to fill in my kitchen pantry cupboards. I did add some things but it is going to take me weeks to stock this up. I added polenta, couscous, tuna and vanilla paste.
I want to end with something lovely from Sharon at The Shepherd's House Blog. Loving pantries and loving jars I think her mason jar gift tags are just beautiful! Yesterday was Helen's birthday and I had to include something for her pantry in her present! I wish I had made these tags. Mason Jar Love. A future project!
It feels good to make progress! Helen and I were talking about how it was with the cyclone coming in and imagining how it is for the girls with so much snow. I had realised things I had never thought of (as we are just not used to anything like it...) that peoples water pipes freeze so they have no water, that the chickens water freezers so they have no water! That people can die just if their car breaks down in the freezing conditions! Both of us felt there are so many reasons we are working on this project.
Thank you for joining in. The comments, conversation and friendship is just wonderful. I appreciate your thoughts and ideas so much.
How have you built up your pantry and preparedness this week and how have you managed through the cyclone or the snow if you are in those areas?
Every little step is progress. Some weeks will be bigger and some smaller but over the year we will be amazed! xxx
The little birds...
If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.
Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.