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21 Clever Pantry Storage Solutions

Every year in May, as the school year winds down and summer approaches, I start planning my summer projects. I think to myself, “It’ll just be me and the kids, with all this free time. Now I can finally get some things done around the house.” I start making lists that look something like this:

  • Paint baseboards
  • Clean out closets
  • Organize the pantry
  • Finish planting that one bare patch in the backyard
  • Do some fabulous thrift store furniture makeovers
  • Teach the kids to chew with their mouths closed

I brainstorm all the supplies and materials I’ll need, pin a bunch of inspiration to my Pinterest and Hometalk boards, and get excited about how much I’m going to get accomplished this summer.

Then I wake up halfway through June and realize, “What was I thinking? It’s just me and the kids, all day, everyday. How did I think I was going to get anything done?”

This is the reality of summer with kids. To all you homeschoolers out there, I tip my hat. How do you do this all year long? How do you get anything accomplished, other than the monumental and worthy task of educating your children?

I love my kids and want them to have great, happy, memorable summers. But that takes a lot of work, and at their ages, a lot of direct involvement from me. You’d think I’d have learned this by now, and planned a little more realistically. But no, I go on happily and optimistically making plans before the summer, and then throwing away my list halfway through, feeling a vague sense of failure that I haven’t accomplished everything (or anything) on my list.

This year, I’m going to do it differently. Sure, I already made and threw away the list. But this year I’m not going to feel bad about it. Instead I’m going to use my few free moments productively, by brainstorming projects and ideas for the fall. Then I’ll feel like I’m getting something accomplished, even while being available to my kids. After all, there should be no room for feelings of failure when you’re watching your kids collect roly-polies in the backyard or cheering on their olympic effort at gymnastics class.

That’s why I made a new Hometalk board dedicated to Pantry Solutions and Organization. You may remember a while ago I converted a coat closet into a pantry. I was pretty proud of myself for that one, but it turns out pantries don’t stay organized on their own. (Well, maybe mine would if I was the only one using it, but unfortunately, other family members want to eat too.) So it’s time to give it a refresh, and I love all the projects the Hometalkers have posted about their pantry solutions.

Pantry Solutions and Organizing tips from and Hometalk

So now I’m still an optimist, still happily making lists and feeling sure I’ll get everything done…once school starts. Problem is, once school starts, I don’t really want to spend my days painting baseboards, so my list looks a little more like this:

  • Organize the pantry
  • Do some fabulous thrift store furniture makeovers
  • Write a book
  • Learn gymnastics (Those little kids make it look like so much fun!)
  • Remember to pick my kids up from school every day (not sayin’ how this one made the list.)

Sounds do-able, right?

Check out to make your own inspiration boards and follow other folks’ boards. You’ll find some great information there, as well as lots of fun stuff to look at. Wishing you a happy and productive (at least with the important things) Summer!

Life With Lorelai

Wednesday 1st of July 2015

Ha! I love you rlists...especially picking up your kids from school each day. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - we're looking forward to what you have to share next week. :)

~Lorelai Life With Lorelai


Monday 6th of July 2015

Thanks Lorelai! I have lists for everything!

William Rusho

Saturday 27th of June 2015

I get a little jealous of reading your posts. You complete all these wonderful projects, as for me I am lucky if I get out of the bed on the weekends.


Monday 29th of June 2015

All the projects are just my way of escaping from the daily grind of mom-stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but I need a little creative outlet sometimes!


Friday 26th of June 2015

I have to agree that the pantry is ever evolving into something that I didn't start out with. It is always a good place to start. I have taken on a task of getting rid of things. My goal is to get rid of one thing a day. Not a hard thing to do everyone can participate.


Saturday 27th of June 2015

I love the idea of having everyone participate! I'm going to try that with my kids' closets too.

Susan Cooper/

Friday 26th of June 2015

Oh, Meredith, your list of things to do this summer made me laugh out loud (literally) when I got to the last bullet item. I think you bit off more than you could chew with that list. :) I do the same thing, think wow, I have all this time, make all these grand plans and bulleted lists of the things I'm going to get done.. Never seems to be enough time to cover all the items. :)


Saturday 27th of June 2015

Ha! Glad to give you a good laugh Susan, at least my list was good for something! Also, glad to know I'm not the only one who has this problem. :)


Friday 26th of June 2015

Keep writing those lists Meredith, at the very least they will keep the important stuff at the forefront and it will be a constant niggler to get that book started/finished. All the best and enjoy the summer.


Saturday 27th of June 2015

Thanks Tim! Without lists, I'd never get anything accomplished!


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook