our new pantry!

I’ve talked before about our pantry (or rather, lack thereof). We have been using a baker’s rack as a pantry, which would have worked great if we didn’t have a toddler. I would find pantry items scattered throughout the house, and once I discovered several cans missing labels (sounds like she’s living up to her middle name!).

We looked for another pantry for a while. Our biggest problem was that the only space to put a pantry also had the HVAC vent for the kitchen, so whatever we got had to be at least 6-8 inches off the ground. We also needed something that was able to be baby proofed. Last Saturday, we finally bit the bullet and bought the one we’d found at Ikea.

We spent 6 1/2 hours that night putting it together. It was so complicated! We only stopped because it was 2am and we really needed to get to bed. We didn’t have time all last week until today, when we finally finished it. It looks great! I have most of the pantry stuff put back. I just don’t know what to do with my cookbooks; I’ll have to find somewhere else to put them. (I’m thinking the secretary in the den?)

One thing I love about this cabinet is it’s so versatile; when we redo the kitchen we’ll be able to easily find another use for it in another part of our house.

Here’s how it looked before:
Our kitchen (after)

And here is our new pantry:
New pantry

New pantry

Sorry the pictures are dark. One of the bulbs is burned out in the ceiling light. You can see this thing is almost as big as the fridge! I’m not used to seeing it yet… I keep catching it out of the corner of my eye and thinking the fridge door is open. It is good to get everything behind doors though. I think ideally I would have preferred something that wasn’t quite so deep, but really it’s perfect. (Technically, it’s made to hold a microwave. So we could move our microwave in the kitchen if we wanted and have a vent-free pantry in the dining room where the microwave currently is, though really we should just save our money for a kitchen reno.)

Anyways I’m still getting used to it, but overall it’s a good thing.


Savannah’s room, updated

I posted some pictures of Savannah’s bedroom a while back. It didn’t change too much from when we moved in, except for the paint. At the time, the only thing we kept in her room was a changing table and her clothes. Now, we have a crib and she sleeps in there. (We keep most of the toys in the playroom downstairs.) Also, I organized her clothes last January and never took a picture! So here it is finally. :-)

Savannah's room
Savannah’s room. I really, really want a glider so I can rock her! I have been scouring Craigslist but have not been very satisfied with the prices.

Changing table
The changing table & dresser of sorts

Savannah’s closet. In January I got that bookshelf and that has been PERFECT! I really like having it. I also got some rubbermaid containers for her clothes that she’s outgrown. I put all the “outgrown” stuff on the top shelf of the closet.

Savannah’s crib (Ebony is demonstrating where Savannah sleeps)


kitchen pantry

Our kitchen needs a definite facelift! I naively thought, way back a year ago, that we would use our $8,000 for that project. Ha, that’s funny to think about now! I think it will be at least 5 years before we’re able to put money into aesthetic things, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking and dreaming. I will have to detail my thoughts about the kitchen in a future post.

However, there is an issue that we’re going to have to address before 5 years. And that is the lack of a pantry. Currently, this is what our pantry looks like:

Our kitchen (after)

That’s the only open space we have in our kitchen. The previous owners had a table there, but we decided to use our baker’s rack as a pantry. We keep cookbooks on the top shelf, pantry items on the middle shelves, and pots on the bottom shelf. It works pretty well, but there are two problems.

The biggest problem is that it is sitting over the only HVAC vent in our kitchen. We have one of those plastic deflector shields to try and encourage the air to go out instead of up, but I don’t know how much it helps. I like that the baker’s rack is pretty open; hopefully that helps.

The baker’s rack would be fine except for the other problem. It is impossible to baby-proof an open shelving unit like that! So far we haven’t had to worry about that, but I know that won’t always be the case, and I’m in the process of trying to figure out what to do. I don’t want to be constantly cleaning up everything Savannah takes off the shelves while I’m trying to cook or wash dishes. So I’m in the process of finding something that can be closed, doesn’t block the air vent, and isn’t too expensive. I don’t want to put a lot of money (or effort) into something when we’re going to just redo the kitchen in 5 years.

Tonight we were walking through Ikea and I saw this cabinet. I thought it really met our needs. It is the same width as the baker’s rack, and just a few inches less than the depth of the fridge. It can totally be babyproofed, and I think would hold our pantry stuff really well. It also has legs and is raised off the ground, for the air vent. Paul doesn’t think it is raised high enough – he liked a different unit that I’ll talk about in a minute. The other negative is that it’s a little on the expensive side. I’m not saying it’s not worth the price, but it was more than I was hoping to spend. However, this is something that we’ll be using heavily for the next five or more years, and once we redo the kitchen and solve the pantry problem (which might incorporate this unit, who knows?), it can totally be repurposed to another area of the house.

There was another possible solution at Ikea that Paul liked better. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it, but it’s basically a tall wall cabinet that is much less deep than the other one. This one would attach to the wall, and can be hung as high or low as we wanted. I didn’t like the look and feel as much, and it wouldn’t fit in as well with our current kitchen (not that that matters a ton). When I got home and measured the space, I think it might be too wide. So all this might be a moot point.

Anyways, I think we’ll see if Home Depot or Lowe’s have anything similar. Maybe we can find something that fits our needs that is less expensive. Besides, the one I want is sold out right now at our Ikea, so I have to wait anyways.



Originally posted at twentysixcats.com

I feel such a sense of accomplishment! Our house is disorganized at best, and I have found it hard to summon the energy to tackle the mess. (It’s so overwhelming!) Savannah’s bedroom was no exception – it had become a storeroom for all things baby related, to the point where I simply just found a space on the floor for her clean clothes. Part of the problem was that her wardrobe has grown considerably, and I didn’t have a good system for the new clothes so really all the sizes were mixed together. I had a shoebox I was using for her too-small outfits, and I’m sure you can imagine how that was overflowing. :-)

I had been trying to figure out what would be a good solution to the disorganization, and I finally decided some large plastic bins for storage and a bookcase for the closet would do the trick. We got both yesterday and tonight I spent several hours cleaning her room.

The biggest challenge was getting the clothes organized enough that I could easily see what was there, and that her current size was the easiest to grab. I had no conception of what exactly her wardrobe consisted of. For example, a few weeks ago I went out and bought two packages of 6 month size onesies. Then tonight I discovered a whole pile I didn’t know I had! Included in the pile was a set of 5 that are now too small. She never even wore them. :-(

With the help of the bookcase, the clothes are much more accessible now. I also hung up as many as I could, and arranged them in size order – smallest to largest. The bookcase also houses a shelf for her books and a shelf for her toys. Everything is much neater and more accessible now!

I’m so excited about how it all looks. I would take photographs but I’m not quite done. I still want to hang a few pictures, and I’d love to get the crib set up. (It’s in pieces right now.) We don’t have a mattress for it, which is why I haven’t set it up yet. I also am not sure what to do with the stuffed animals – perhaps a net thing hanging from the wall? Overall, I am really happy with the improvement!

Now if I can only accomplish the same in other rooms…