Monday, February 28, 2011

Kitchen Challenge Step 1: Pantry!

Today, I had some extra time to work on my pantry organization. I lost my voice, and most of my job is to answer the phones at work. I didn't have anything to do (other than make important phone calls which I was unable to do) at my second job, so I was sent home early. I decided to use my extra time to start on that pantry organization (after a nap didn't work out...haha)!

I first emptied out EVERYTHING, cleaned the shelves, and finished putting contact paper on the last 2 shelves (we ran out of paper shortly after we moved in).

In progress pictures:

After two trips to the dollar store (I ran out of containers and went back with a list later to get everything I needed to finish) and $44.93 spent, I was home and ready to tackle my pantry.

For my $44.93 (including tax) spent, I got 2 corner wire organizer shelves, 2 mini wire organizers for small stuff, 1 roll of nonskid drawer liner, 13 plastic baskets of various sizes, 19 single plastic containers with lids of various sizes, 3 two-packs of plastic containers with lids, and 1 four-pack of plastic containers with lids. That's a total of 38 organizing items (or 76 items if you count the lids)!!!!

Here's what I bought the first trip (only half my haul):

After I had everything, I threw out old stuff, pulled out some items to donate or give away, and then started transferring everything into their new plastic bins!

Here are the before & afters!!!!

Tall shelves - top (before)

Tall shelves - top (after!!!)

Tall shelves - bottom (before)

Tall shelves - bottom (after!!!)

Short shelves - left (before)

Short shelves - left (after!!!)

Short shelves - right (before)

Short shelves - overall (after!!!)

In case you're wondering, here's how I organized my shelves.

Tall shelves:
Top shelf - large baskets are baking items and the smaller one is cake mixes
Second shelf - Oils & Vinegars, Syrups & Honey, and other small baking items
Third shelf - baking staples & ingredients
Fourth shelf - breakfast items & cereals
Fifth shelf - canned goods, spice packets, sauces, nuts, & pastas
Sixth shelf - drink mixes (ovaltine, protein powder), box meals, rices

Short shelves - left:
Top shelf - Crackers & Rice Cakes, Crystal Light packets, Snacks & Granola Bars
Second shelf - Smoothie mixes, tea strainer & accessories, Loose leaf tea, Bagged tea
Bottom shelf - popcorn & popcorn maker, coffee items

Short shelves - right:
Top shelf - lightbulbs, lunchbox
Bottom shelf - disposable cups, straws, lunchbox, trash bags, bulk baking soda, bulk vinegar

This is step 1 for my overall kitchen organization challenge this week! I was originally planning on spreading this step across two days, but I was able to accomplish it in one! To see my plan for the rest of the week, click here. To join this challenge at A bowl full of lemons, click here!!!

I'm linking up to:

Organize and Decorate Everything

Anything Related

Transformation Thursday

Featured again!

My burlap rose wreath was featured again this week!
The honor comes from Becky at Just Beckause!


Thanks for featuring me!!

Show Becky some love and check out her blog!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekly Challenge: Kitchen Organization

This week's challenge from A bowl full of lemons is to organize the kitchen. Read her post here. You can enter a tupperware giveaway too! Check it out!

I've got a loooot of work to do on this because I missed out on the 21 Day Challenge. Fortunately, my tupperware cabinet and spice cabinet are in tip top shape already. However, the pantry will take a bit longer. Here's how I'm hoping my week works out.

Sunday - homework (haha... it has to happen sometime!)
Monday - Empty out pantry, wipe down & finish papering the shelves
Tuesday - Purge, label, and organize pantry
Wednesday - Tackle under the sink (SCARY!)
Thursday - Organizing kitchen drawers & half the upper cabinets
Friday - Organizing the lower cabinets

Hopefully I'll be able to do all this this week. It's been a long time coming. I do have midterms this week, so we'll see how I get along!

Will you be joining me in the challenge this week? Where could your kitchen use some organization?

How to revive an antique trunk

So I promised you a post about my antique trunk that is currently serving as my wrapping paper station.

Back in September of 2009, I went estate sale shopping with my mom for some basic furniture for my first apartment! (You know we all need to start out that way!) I was fortunate to receive lots of hand-me-down furniture, but I didn't really have any place to sit in my apartment. So off we went... and I found a couch, a swivel chair, and a loveseat. I had had my heart set on a trunk as a coffee table so that it could have double functionality by providing storage for me. As we were checking out at the estate sale, I saw it..... a trunk.... a HUGE trunk that just needed a little love. For about $37.50 it was mine....ALL MINE!!! And I had huge plans for it.

When I got it back to my parents' house (I hadn't moved out yet), I cleaned it up and set to work on making that baby sing!

Here's the plain ol' brown before. This picture is actually it upside down because it was pre-blogging days where I try to take pictures of everything! But this is what the trunk looked like all over.

I made a quick trip to the used bookstore around the corner to see if they had any old maps. I found a beautiful 1970's map of the Grand Canyon. It was perfect! But it wasn't enough to cover this behemoth. So I started poking around the National Geographic magazines from the 1940's and 1950's. In the front and back few pages, I found old travel ads that were PERFECT! So I bought 8 or 9 of them along with the maps, and then headed to Barnes and Noble to see if they had any map calendars. They did! I bought 2 mini calendars - Old World Paris and Old World Maps.

The next few days consisted of cutting, arranging, and mod-podging all of the beautiful pictures into place. I had to use an exact-o knife to get the pictures to fit around the metal latches perfectly. It took me several hours to finish this project, but it was SO WORTH IT!

Here are a few pictures of the finished trunk:



Other side:


And a few details of some of my favorite aspects:

And my absolute favorite: "SURPRISE awaits you in South Africa!" (I wonder why....)

I'm linking up with:

You light up my world (part 2)

First of all, can I just say that I love estate and garage sales? They're so much fun!

I was able to find some new floor lamps to replace our outdated 80's lamps today! I was just leaving a farmhouse estate sale when I saw a sign for a moving sale. So I wandered down the unknown country road, and I'm so glad I did! They lady was so sweet and had great prices on everything! She had 3 floor lamps, and I scooped up 2 of them for $4 a pop!

Here's the other side of the living room before:

And here it is after:

There's definitely a lot more light in the room now. And the best part about these lamps is they are the kind with 3 different brightness levels. All I need is some 3-toned lightbulbs and we'll be set for brightness adjustment! Woo hoo!

The 80's lamps moved to the basement for now. My husband still loves them. I haven't a clue why, but we're not dumping them yet!

I'm linking up to: