Even a Professional Organizer Needs Help!


Hi, I’m Betsy and I am a hoarder – of food. Although my family had joked about this for some time, I finally realized the extent of my “food” hoarding at a Simplicity Lunch and Learn last year. My refrigerator, freezer and pantry were stuffed to the brim with items I had bought and forgotten, just in case I ever needed them.


At the time, my daughter, a fellow Simplicity Organizer, staged an intervention to help me purge my pantry and create a list of meals to prepare to use up the extra food.  This solution worked for several months, but I continued to struggle with keeping it organized and pared down because my pantry shelves were too deep to see what I had. In addition, my husband had a desk in the pantry that was constantly out of order. As clutter became a magnet for more clutter, I lost my resolve.


I had struggled with this pantry space for the 15 years we have lived in our home and I knew the only way to conquer my problem was to combine organizing with a re-designed pantry space. The deep shelves made it too easy for me to hoard miscellaneous food items and that my husband needed a more structured desk to keep his space maintained. It was time for a pantry re-do.


After contacting three closet companies in Charlotte for estimates, I helped design a pantry with open shelving 14 inches deep so that I would be able to see each item clearly.  Where the previously deep shelves had been on the right, we designed a desktop at counter height, with bookshelves above and deep drawers below.  I was able to keep costs down and utilize the existing deep shelves in the corner, which are perfect for housing large entertaining items.

Pantry redo




Now, when I walk into the pantry I see food and beverages straight ahead, which encourages me to “shop” from my pantry instead of purchasing more food that I don’t need. My husband’s desktop is now fully outfitted with the shelves, drawers and counter space that he needs and is out of my immediate view.


My pantry now has 3 distinct functions: a food pantry, a place for entertaining items, and a communication center for my husband.  And if the next homeowner doesn’t need the communication center it can easily be converted into a coffee bar. While this design suits my needs perfectly, I’m always thinking of resale. My pantry went from a recipe for disaster to one of my favorite rooms in the house!



Pantry After

It can be very helpful to have an outsider’s perspective on paring down and rethinking how to use a particular space. If you have a nagging problem area in your home, we would love to help you come up with creative solutions within your budget to tackle those spaces!




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