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.
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!
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!