Happy Friday — and happy holidays, friends! I’m so excited to share this post with all of you. I’ve written about our kitchen before and as our family has grown, the smaller size and limited storage have become more and more apparent. The kitchen is the hub of our home, and even more so during the holidays. As most families can relate, we constantly spend time together in the kitchen. Our open floor plan (kitchen, living room and dining room) is something I absolutely love about our home. It creates an easy flow for entertaining and allows me to cook while also keeping an eye on Morgan in the other room. But the downside? Limited storage.
When we renovated our kitchen prior to moving in, there were two items I knew I needed to make the most use of: the pantry and island. We did some small changes to the cabinets in the island which have made a world of difference, allowing us to easily store cookbooks, large mixing bowls, casseroles and other bulky kitchen items. And though our pantry isn’t gigantic, it has a ton of shelves, a large spice rack attached to the door and even has room for me to walk in — though I don’t go too far. ;)
We’ve made the best of our small-ish kitchen. But now that we have two tiny hands getting into everything (and I mean EVERYTHING), making the kitchen efficient and safe was critical. When Morgan started crawling at seven months, we had the entire kitchen (and house, for that matter) childproofed. This was not only critical with a mobile, curious little one in the house, but has also been tremendously helpful in keeping the kitchen organized.
That is, until we accumulated more sippy cups than any kid could possibly need. Couple that with toddler bowls, plates, utensils and an endless supply of snacks… and the pantry was starting to close in on me.
Eco Modern Concierge
Enter Amy Vance of Eco Modern Concierge for a much-needed organizational overhaul. She’s created a business entirely based on efficiency — and as a mom, I need efficiency more than ever. Among Amy’s many talents is her ability to see a space and immediately know how to shift things around to make it as usable, functional and convenient as possible. It helps that she’s so incredibly down-to-earth, approachable and super sweet, too.
After sharing my kitchen needs with Amy over coffee, she offered to help me tackle the pantry, reorganizing it in a way that is both practical and pretty. The process could not have been easier and our pantry is now more organized and functional than ever. These simple changes have made a world of difference: grouping like items together in labeled bins and baskets, placing bulkier kitchen appliances and gadgets together on one shelf, giving Morgan his own dedicated area (on a shelf that he can’t reach), and shifting some items around between our island and pantry, based on type and frequency of use.
Amy’s 5 Tips to Keeping Your Pantry Organized
1. Purge and make a list. Before you head to the grocery, do a quick pantry review to determine what you need to get rid of, what has expired and what you need more of.
2. Separate items. When unpacking your groceries, organize them based on what goes into the pantry and what goes in the fridge and freezer.
3. Group like items together. Organize your pantry with categories that make sense for you and your family. Group like items together to make it easier and quicker to find what you’re looking for. This also helps you to easily sort your pantry items when you return from the grocery.
4. Put full items behind non-full items. This may seem obvious, but if you still have a little bit of chips left in a bag, put the full bag behind the current bag. This will allow you to finish what you have before opening something new.
5. Eye level. Keep the items you use the most often at eye level. This makes it easier to put pantry items away and pull them when quickly when you need them.