This narrow little closet just wasn't helpful for storing cleaning supplies or food items, it was just too small! So why not make the best use of those miscellaneous spaces?
Now I can grab this kit or that kit, place it on the kitchen counter right nearby, and pull out whatever little item I need at that moment. Keeping things organized in this cabinet is a breeze! Let me show all the fantastic things I store in my all-purpose storage pantry.
Before & After
Before, these dirty little shelves sported a slightly sticky contact paper, and stained wood interior. All it needed was a little tlc, a coat of paint, some trim, and a little more organization than my plastic purple bins could contain. And that before was me keeping it "organized"! Ewww. Not to mention how eager I was to paint those nasty pink-yellow sponged exterior walls. Double ewww!
Pantry Storage Overview
Hmmm, rather than list the items I store in this all-purpose pantry, let me show you... now, there are a couple labels of things I hope to do in this pantry in the near future.
I created custom labels for my all purpose pantry, which you can print or download here and customize. Just print onto an 8.5 x 11" label and cut individual labels.
Trash Bag Storage
I don't know why, but I hate seeing a trash can out in the open in a kitchen, so I stash the can in in this slim storage space, along with the bags and disinfectant/air freshener. I like being able to grab everything I need after taking out the trash...it just makes sense to have it in close proximity to one another. I coupon, so I stock up on items, and I was hating the pile of boxes and the rolls of trash bags that was constantly rolling off the shelf. My solution? I decided to store them in a container, just like everything else! I simply scored the container with a sharp exacto knife until a deep enough groove allowed me to poke my way through. Set the trash bags inside your storage container in the same way they come when purchased, folded into one another...you want the next one to pull through with each bag.
Bandages & Tape
This is probably the primary use of this pantry. To fix all the little boo boo's and bigger emergencies. Our clearly clumsy family often finds ourselves rushing to the pantry to patch ourselves up. Keep a variety of bandages, wraps, tape, and band-aid types on hand.
It is super important to keep some basic size band-aids and neosporin close at hand in an open bin. Nothing is worst than digging through a container with a bloody finger! And having the trash can located just under...well it couldn't be more perfect!
*Yes, that is real blood on my finger. Either I'm really dedicated to showing you how things work on my blog, or I'm really clumsy and shredded my finger during a dinner prep break in the photo shoot, and so grabbed my camera before patching myself up...you decide. ;)
Medicine & Medical Tools
In our family we employ natural remedies before resorting to medication. But I do keep medicines on hand we have never used, just in case. Guests often find a need for it, and keeping a variety of over-the-counter medication helps curb those late night emergency runs to the drug store!
So I have three categories for how I store common medications as well as alternative natural options:
1. Pain Management: aspirin, ibuprofen, tylenol, childrens pain meds, etc.
2. Miscellaneous Medication: Allergy, gas, stomach acid, foot remedies, anti itch meds, etc.
3. Cold Care: Zinc throat lozenges, cough drops, nasal sprays, etc.
When it comes to colds and sore throats I often employ a compress to help with what ails us. So I also keep my sore throat neck compresses handy! They work by wetting the inner liner, and wrapping it around the neck, then adding the outside liner. Sounds crazy right? Well you wouldn't believe how well hydrotherapy methods work! I also like to keep an empty rice pack handy to warm and set on sore muscles and more.
In addition to medication, as well as natural remedies, it is important to remember to keep useful tools on hand. Even though my kids are no longer babies, we have discovered many times we needed to employ a bit of ingenuity, and the proper tools always help! Keep thermometers, various suction tools (worked great when my 5 year old decided to stick something up her nose (Really munchkin?? kids...), syringes, droppers & cups, tweezers, scrapers, and more! I also keep a second bin for breathing treatment tools...my youngest needed a nebulizer and later an inhaler a few years back and we keep it around just in case.
Vitamins & Supplements
The top shelf, just out of reach is the perfect place for vitamins and other supplements. Unfortunately, the top shelf isn't just out of the kids reach, it is juuuuust out of mine! Easily solved using a Rubbermaid brand pull-out shelf. I love this thing!
Well, as of this year it's official...blind runs in our genes. All 5 family members now have glasses *weepy face* . That makes keeping track of repair kits and cleaning tools vitally important. Plus, my husband (the most blind of all of us) needs to be able to fumble around and know that the repair kit will be where he feels for it.
Shoe Shine Kit
Why is it we can never find the specific shoe polish we need when we need it? Scuffs were always winning. *sigh* The answer is organization. Keep every color polish, extra laces, a shoe brush, heel repair materials, and occasionally I cut pieces of Mr. Clean magic eraser for those emergency scuffs!
My favorite part of this pantry is knowing exactly where all of these items are when we need them. No searching, no pulling our hair out, every family member knows just where these necessary items are in a pickle!
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