Friday, March 28, 2008

You Must Think Outside the Box... Pantry Basics 2

Ok…you’ve just finished your monthly shopping and saved a ton of money. Now where are you going to put all this stuff?

Unfortunately, many kitchens have very little storage space. Oh let’s face it, MOST kitchens I’ve seen don’t have much space! Our family spent 13 years living in a small mobile home that had no pantry area at all and very few cabinets so I had to be quite inventive to find places to put my pantry items. It’s kind of funny now but we had stuff hidden everywhere! So you will have to learn to think outside the box…or in this case, the kitchen.
Just because it’s food items doesn’t necessarily mean it must be stored in the kitchen. Most beds are high enough to put a case of canned foods under them. Check each room and think of ways you can hide a case or two of canned goods or something there. Do you have a garage where you can put a few of those metal shelves or the metal cabinet similar to those used by teachers? If your husband is handy, he can build shelves and a cabinet out of inexpensive lumber. The garage is a great place to store extras.

In our mobile home we had a “bar” type counter that separated the living room from the kitchen/dining room. I put shelves under there and hung a nice little curtain. It worked great and provided a lot of storage area.
I have a “cedar chest” that we use for our coffee table in the living room but it houses my craft and scrap-booking supplies. I could very easily make that a food storage area if I needed it.
I’m currently working on a storage place for our winter blankets and quilts and to put material I‘ve purchased at discounted prices. I plan to get a few of the metal trash cans. I’ll fill them full of blankets and put a piece of plywood on them with a round table cloth. You know, the ones for the round “decorator tables.” This would be much sturdier than those flimsy tables and provide storage for my blankets. Of course, you can store other things in them including some of your pantry items.

One thing you’ll want to remember and write down is where you’ve stored what. It could be an interesting day if you have to FIND dinner.

Another thing, “pantry items” isn’t just for food. Think about paper products you use and other personal items like shampoo, deodorant, etc. So even if you don’t hide your canned peaches under the bed, you can use it for the extra rolls of toilet paper or paper towels!

If you have any questions, just let me know.

Have a great day!
Mavis D.


Mary L. Briggs said...

Hi Mavis,

Those are great tips! Storage is always such a problem in a small house~as ours is. I LOVE your tip about the two garbage cans and disguising them as tables!

You are so right,too, about writing down where you store things. I'm always opening a decorative tin that's been tucked on a back shelf and saying, "Oh, that's where I put _____!" Never mind that I've been looking for it for ages!

Have a great day!

Mavis D. said...

I'm going to try really hard to get some instructions and pictures up this week on exactly HOW to make those tables! Keep watching and reading!

Mavis D.