Our pantry finally got the makeover it deserved and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you. (Especially on this day when Sour Jones launched her new makeover as well.)
Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a few "before" pics before I got started emptying the sagging, grimy, impossible-to-clean-well, wire shelving. Based on what you see crammed onto the top three shelves, you can imagine what the bottom three looked like.
Moving from a home that had an unusually spacious walk-in pantry to this home (that is spacious in so many ways excepting the pantry size) was a challenge. On top of that, when you are working with a team of movers during an "unpack" it goes like this: They rip open boxes and start uploading the contents on any counter/table surface with reach. They do this at an impressive pace. They continue at this speed until they run out of countertop. It's up to you to take things from the tables and counters and organize them to your liking within your drawers, cabinets, bookcases, etcetera. Take note: Once the counter space is depleted, the unpacking professionals are going to move on to another room/area and begin the process there (at the same frenetic pace). In order to get the most from your "unpack" you need to be on your game. (In a perfect world, you'd have a separate "put-away-team" of friends and family in place to help you accomplish this--or at least: a plan.) Ideally, you're working as quickly as the professionals so that the ratio of free counter space to unpacked boxes comes out relatively balanced. In the case of our pantry, it went more like this: Grab it from the counter. Shove, shove, shove.
We've lived in this house about 10 months and it took almost that long for me to address the chaos.
Once the old shelving system was removed, the new shelves were built and installed. The holes patched. The edges, sanded. The process was smooth and the work went quickly. However, because the shelving took so many coats of paint, the pantry wasn't "move-in ready" for a solid 7 days. In the meantime, we lived like campers, digging through grocery bags and baskets for the components of anything resembling a meal. Free countertop for prepping was scarce. (For those of you who have lived through a remodel of any kind--I am in no way comparing our "hardship" to yours… I'm just noting that I had not planned on this delay and I literally could not have loaded those bags and baskets in a more nonsensical way.)
One of the benefits to waiting as long as I did to take on the pantry project was that I had seen a lot of ideas I wanted to incorporate. Painting the back of the shelves a brighter color was at the top of my list. The paint color is some leftover eggshell blue we used in two of the rooms upstairs and on the back staircase, connecting the kitchen to the upper hallway. The staircase takes a turn at the bottom floor and steps 1-3 face the kitchen on the same wall as the pantry. I also had a door-mounted shelf built to accommodate cans, spices, and smaller jars. This addition created a ton of extra space, leaving the shelves far less crowded. I even had room to execute one of Martha's clever ideas, placing our sticky, drippy, messier items (syrups, oils, and honey) in shallow pans.