Simply Organized: The Kitchen Pantry

How do you feel about being disorganized? Does disorganization stop you from being productive? Does it overwhelm you? Do you have trouble finding things in your house, in your office, garage, bathroom,closet, pantry? I can tell you living in chaos overwhelms me.

In the last nine years, my life has become pretty disorganized, overwhelmingly in fact. In 2007, we took in 5 additional children (you can read about it here). I am not saying that it is the children’s fault I have become disorganized. Yet, five extra people in the house bring a lot of extra stuff, and there are more people to organize. Sure we arranged their schedules, which included chores, school drop off and pick up, lunches and even a bathroom schedule! Despite that, things around the house got a little bit jumbled, and I became so overwhelmed by it that I shut it out or at least I tried to shut it out. I finally  decided it was time to get back to being organized.

What spurred me on was a post from a friend on Facebook. It was about how to be organized. In that post, there was a link to a video of a woman organizing another woman’s kitchen pantry. Immediately I thought, “I need this!” My pantry has caused me so much stress for so many years. Although our three children caused some chaos in the pantry, eight children took it over the edge. As many times as I would go in and straighten it up, the kids would go in there and mess it up again. They had a hard time putting items back in the right space. Our pantry was an overwhelming mess!

After watching that video I was very excited to take this project on. I looked in the pantry and thought where do I start? My pantry is huge, and there is a lot of stuff in there.



I decided I better do some research. So I began looking at other bloggers who had organized their pantry. Then, I looked at pictures of pantries online. I started to formulate ideas of how I wanted my finished pantry to look. It took me about a month to figure out how to go about it. I knew I needed baskets and containers. What type?  Did I want wicker, metal, glass, or plastic baskets and containers? I could hear my Dads voice in my head, “don’t get plastic, you need to use glass containers.” My Dad was always educating his children of the dangers of different materials and plastic I know is not the best choice to store food items. 🙂  I have kids still at home, and they tend to break a lot of dishes. So I did have to compromise and use some plastic and some glass containers.

I went to a few stores to scout out what I needed. The Container Store ended up having everything I was looking for. I wanted my pantry to not only be organized but to be something nice to look at.  When the pantry door is open, which it is always open because the kids don’t seem to know how to close it, I want to feel calm when I walk by it; I want to feel good about it.



I bought rattan baskets, plastic containers for the flours and sugars and one glass container to add to the two I already had. To label my baskets and containers I used little chalkboards and chalkboard stickers with a chalkboard pen. ( I bought my labeling items on

I took a Saturday to clean out and fix up my pantry. I removed all the food and other items. I realized after removing everything, I had some cleaning and painting to do. I ended up repainting the entire pantry, shelves, and walls. I then organized all the food into sections so that it was easier to put it all back together. When I finished putting my pantry together, it gave me such a feeling of peace and calmness. I walk by it now, and I love it!

Here are pictures of my finished pantry:


I hope you enjoyed my blog, and I hope I inspired you to tackle something in your house that is disorganized. You won’t regret the work you put in. I would love to hear about your next project, please share in the comments.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
– Isabella Mary Beeton


Sometimes you need to push the RESET button!

Some of you may have thought I fell off the face of the earth…



No, I didn’t fall off the earth literally, but I did lose touch with a lot of things. It’s been a rough year to say the least. We all go through difficult times in our lives and dealing with them is unique to each individual. I didn’t deal as well as I thought I might or maybe how I thought I should. I think some of us put pressure on ourselves to rise above the challenges or pain, that’s what I was doing. I don’t recommend it.

The last two years I have put a lot of things off or put minimum effort into them. I have been wrapped up in the emotions that go along with having a parent fighting cancer. As I wrote in a previous blog, my Dad had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Smokers Lung Cancer in 2013. I spent that las two years trying to spend as much time as I could with him. Believe me, I don’t think it was enough. I wanted and needed more time. Not living in the same state made it difficult but not impossible. He lost his fight with cancer November 17th, 2015.

My Dad was an exceptionally strong individual; I had never seen him weaken in my life until that diagnosis. He let it get him down in the beginning, but then he rose to the challenge and was his feisty self again. That’s the Father I knew; he worked so hard at everything he did. He instilled in his children that strong work ethic. He taught me not to give in to fear or failure. When I went to him with my concerns, he always built me up. No matter the mistakes I made, he did not tear me down ever. He gave me advice when I asked for it and yes even when I didn’t ask for it. He was very opinionated. My Dad didn’t go for me just laying down and giving up. He didn’t agree with all my choices in life, but he respected them and supported me. He was my cheerleader even when he wasn’t feeling so great. We had some of our best conversations this last two years. I will miss those conversations. I will miss the many times when I would call him, and he would respond to my “hi Dad” with “hey baby Raina.” I can’t share enough how much I love my Father. He left a legacy of love, commitment, loyalty, integrity, dependability, strength, humor, friendship, and family.

So what does this have to do with a reset? I decided just this last Sunday, after attending our companies yearly kickoff event, I needed to get out of my fog and get back to the things I had set out to do. Get back to writing this blog. Get back to getting in shape. Get back to work! I know my Dad wouldn’t want me just to sit here mourning him and doing nothing. I know he believed in working hard and moving forward in life, and that’s what I am determined to do. I am by no means over grieving the loss of my Father. I know it will continue to hurt my heart. I will go through some very hard days yet to come. A friend of mine had lost her mom and after my Dad died we were having a conversation. Later she sent me a text message saying: “I admire your strength and grateful to have you as a friend.” When I read that, I didn’t feel like I had any strength. Maybe she saw something in me that I didn’t see.  I won’t feel that strength every day, and frankly, I haven’t felt strong until just recently.  A friend of mine said “it is like sitting on a three-legged chair…your sitting totally fine and then all of the sudden the chair falls out from under you! It comes out of nowhere, and sometimes it takes a minute to get back on your chair”. So I know I will have those kinds of days, but I am determined to be the best person I can be, be the daughter my Father was so proud of! I love you, Dad…

It is going to be a great year. I have goals, I have made a plan! I am going to stick with my pland and reach my goals! How about you, do you have a goal for this year? Have you made a plan? No matter what happened last year, you can make this year better! I look forward to connecting with all of you through this blog and on the social media sites, you can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
―Beverly Sills