Before & After: A Super Simple Pantry Fix

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It occurred to me recently that I hadn't actually considered the state of my pantry ever since I had moved in...over 6 months ago. Uninspiring, messy and not the least bit organized, I knew this wasn't a huge project, but one in which a little time and money could make a big difference.

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A visit to the Container Store left me the proud new owner of several small but vital organizing tools: a small, narrow pantry shelf, a lazy susan and lots of new food storage containers. Before getting to the store, I measured my pantry for depth, length, height and also for the clearance of each shelf opening.

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My first step upon returning was to clean the shelves. While I may add color later on and while many of you may protest, I decided I liked the simple and clean look of no colored paper inside the pantry (though I might feel more inclined to add some punches of color when the weather gets nicer.)

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After cleaning, the organization part was a snap. I moved my favorite teas into a cute vintage sugar and creamer set I repurposed. I grabbed a vintage mail sorter and used it to display my favorite recipes. I lovingly arranged my spices on the lazy susan. I added my dried goods to my new jars. So, it was super simple, cost under $40 for the new items and took less than 2 hours with the store trip and cleaning to assemble it all. Now I've got a remarkably cleaner and more inspiring pantry space for a fresh start to the new year.

Will you be reorganizing your pantry this year? What's the one spot around your home that definitely needs freshening up for 2011?