Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Pantry

For years I have just endured our pantry.  When we had the kitchen remodeled and the fronts of the cupboards redone, Dana built a pantry in the corner of the kitchen.  It was great at the time, and we could fit tons of boxes of bottled food in it.  When he built it, life was crazy, 6 kids living at home, and life was pulling me along, so I never painted it, or really organized it very well, even though you could find things in it.
Here is the pantry with all the shelves taken out, gutted, originally the sheves were the entire size of the pantry, so I could not touch the back of the pantry wall, so this is an overdue project.

This year for Christmas, I asked for the remodel of the pantry. One of my bucket list items for a long time.  This section of the house is old, very old.  We heard once that it was a house moved in from 40 miles away, and then added onto.  It has beautiful original wood floors and very crooked walls.  So to ask Dana this feat, to pull everything out and remodel the shelves was truly an act of love on his part.

On Monday afternoon this week, we started.  I had just finished painting the guest bedroom, and so Dana was ready to tackle this new project.  It took us an hour to pull everything from the shelves of the pantry, how could there possibly be so much in there.

The last shelf was cleared, and a box, which I thought for years until Monday, was filled with bottled cherries, became a treasured box of childhood memories.  I collected tea cups, which my mother and I started when I was around 12.  Each place we visited we purchased a tea cup for my collection.  Every room from then on, had a shelf built in it by my dad to showcase my tea cups.  When we moved to this house, I know I packed the tea cups, but I never could find them.  Even this year when we cleaned the top storage of our garage, I thought for sure they would show up.  But no tea cups.  And over the years I had sent the boys to the top of the garage in search of these tea cups.  But on Monday, we found them.  I unwrapped one of them, and gasped.  I KNOW what this is!!!!  How fun is this.  It has been 22 years since I have looked at them!!!  Well, they are still wrapped in newspaper in a special place for now, that will be for a day after Christmas to dedicate time to reminisce with my tea cups, and find just the right shelf for these treasures.

Back to the pantry.  The table, the floor, the hall, all full of food from the pantry and an empty pantry corner was ready to be built.  Now that it was empty, it was time for paint.  I found a old can from 15 years ago of white paint, and spackled the holes, caulked the cracks, and painted the walls before shelves were installed.  Instead of one HUGE shelf, I wanted to be able to walk into the pantry, and have shelves to organize cans of food, and quart jars of juice, tomatoes, apples, and whatever else I love to can in the summer and fall months.  I also wanted a shelf for appliances.  The best discovery of the day was..... a outlet at the bottom of the closet we forgot over the years was there.  Voila, now I can have a light and electricity in the pantry! 

Dana spent 2 days cutting shelves, measuring, and re-cutting shelves, because old houses just are not square.  By the end of Wednesday, I'm pretty sure he was not loving this project at all.  Most of the time having to re-cut boards 3-4 times to make them fit.  I painted shelves before they were installed, and after installation touched up again, and the boards that the shelves sit on were painted too.  The entire pantry was white!  And by Wednesday evening we were ready to move in.  Even this was a task in itself. 
 The new pantry, door open, light on!
 Bottom of the pantry, plastic food containers in a row labeled!
 I can actually see by rows what food in in the pantry and what needs to be replaced.
 There is room for rows of jars, which we have lots of.
My favorite shelf, the appliance shelf, there is a strip plug on the wall, so these appliances can be used on this shelf if needed.

I have been saving containers to put flour, sugar, oats, lentils, and all those bulk food items we purchase in containers the same size and look.  Thursday the labels were printed, food put in the containers, cans all found a home, and appliances placed in their new home.  It was pure joy to finish this project.  And of course it never would have happened without a loving husband willing to build it for me. 

One of the great things with the appliance shelf, is I don't have to take the toaster out of the cupboard to the counter to use, it is plugged into the new power strip Dana installed in the pantry and we just toast in the pantry.  I could even use the crock pots the same way.  It really is such a fun convienence!

Bonus to this project, Dana also reorganized and cleaned the fruit room! This project took him Thursday and most of Friday to complete, it is a pretty good size fruit room.  I didn't ask, he just did it.  Great bonus for Christmas,  I so love this man. 

Well, what do you think of my new remodeled and organized pantry.  It brings us both so much joy! 



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