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How to Take Control and Organize Your Pantry Like a Pro

Categories: Blog | Posted: September 29, 2019

Think quick – do you have brown rice in stock? How about macaroni noodles? After spending time finding a recipe, making a grocery list, and planning out your meal, the last thing you want is to reach for a staple and realize you’re out… or worse; you can’t find it in the chaotic mess that is your pantry. Don’t let this be your reality.

An unorganized pantry is the bane of every cook’s existence. And the problem is, it’s so easy to let it get out of control. It’s time to take back your pantry and learn how to organize it like a pro. Here are a few easy steps you can take right now to tame the chaos and create an HGTV-worthy pantry.

Get a Fresh Start!

Don’t just move everything from your old pantry into your new home’s pantry because you had it at the last house. When you’re packing check expiration dates and get rid of the out of date, open containers, and unwanted items. It is much easier to build your stores of staple items if you know exactly what is usable from the start.

Take Inventory and Keep it Updated

Sit down and make a list of all your pantry staples, whether it’s old-fashioned oats, tri-colored quinoa, or packets of ramen noodles (don’t pretend you’re above reliving your college days now and again). Whatever you use most, put it on the list. Keep track of what’s in your pantry and what you’re running out of, and add it to your grocery list every time you’re getting low.

Categorize Your Food

While all your pantry items are sitting out on your counter, start grouping food by categories. Grains, beans, baking ingredients, and so on. By doing this now, you can add these items to your pantry at once and keep them together, making it easy to find what you need when you need it.

Put it in a Box!

Store your food in containers or bins whenever possible. There are two benefits to this: first, irregular shaped items (packages of chocolate chips, fresh bags of dried rosemary) fit better in a container, and second, it will be easier to move items around to find what you need. Use clear containers to store grains, flour, and other dry ingredients to see what’s inside easily.

Hello, My Name Is…

Make it super simple to find what you need by labeling those bins or containers. You’ll be able to give your pantry a quick scan to locate whatever it is you’re looking for, and you can also take this opportunity to practice your calligraphy. Hand-written labels, printed stickers, or even chalkboard labels add a unique touch to an otherwise bland space.

Hang In There

If your pantry has drawers (or you’re using a wide cupboard to store pantry items), make use of the doors. Add a spice rack to the inside of the pantry or cupboard drawers, or attach a thin container to the door. Unless your pantry is extra narrow, doing this will allow you to use every single inch of the area.

Keep It Up!

There are probably a dozen chores you’d rather do than meticulously upkeep your pantry. It’s just so easy to shove a half-full bag of lentils or packet of taco seasoning into the depths of your pantry, but that’s how you got into this mess in the first place. Stop making excuses and take the time to keep your pantry under control. Regularly take inventory, clean out expired food items, and put things back where you found them. You’ll be so much happier if you get into this habit.

It may seem like a monstrous project right now, but start it out in steps. Even just removing outdated & half-used unwanted items before packing up your pantry, makes a big difference when getting your new pantry unpacked. So get started and organize the pantry of your dreams!

5 Things You Must Include in Your Dining Room

Categories: Blog | Posted: September 3, 2019

Formal dining rooms can be one of the most forgotten spaces in a new home. You may have grand ideas about the dinner parties you’ll throw, or the cherished moments of a family dinner, but lives get busy, and the dining room is all but abandoned until the holidays.

Much like any room in your home, the best way to bring energy to your new dining room is to elevate its design. Make the dining room an inviting place, with simple, elegant decorations that make the prospect of dinner downright exciting. Here are the five things you must include in your new dining room:

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Not all dining rooms are made equal. If your room is boxy, compact, or otherwise strangely shaped, adding a mirror is an elegant way to open up the space. Even better, a strategically placed mirror can reflect and amplify other design elements in the room. Before you hang, hold the mirror up to each wall to see which view reflects best. 

Bring Beauty to Every Spill

Does anything feel fancier than enjoying a delicious meal served on a beautiful tablecloth? Simple linen tablecloths add instant elegance and clean elements to your dining room. You’ll be amazed at how well a nice tablecloth elevates even the simplest plates and glasses. And tablecloths are generally safe to put in a washer so you can spill to your heart’s content.

Presenting Dinner on a Silver Platter

Okay, most of us probably don’t have real silver platters passed down to us by our great-great-grandmothers. However, it’s easy enough to purchase a few serving platters that pair nicely with whatever dish you’re serving. Plan on getting a cake stand, large oval serving platter, and a few various serving plates for side dishes or appetizers.

Let’s Toast the Host (or Hostess!)

Hand guests the perfect glasses at your next dinner party. Keep glasses on hand for the drinks you often serve, whether it’s wine, cocktails, or pints. You can mix and match styles as long as you don’t go overboard.

Set the Mood with Candles

Sharing dinner with a romantic partner or loved one always pairs well with the soft glow of candles. Keep long, tapered candles in simple holders, or use many tea lights to set the mood in the dining room. Just be sure they’re unscented!

Whether you’re a big entertainer or just appreciate a simple, beautiful dinner now and again, formal dining rooms are a great space to design with soft, elegant elements. Add different pieces – a vase with seasonal flowers or a bowl of fruit – to help the room change with the seasons. You’ll start to fall in love with sharing meals with your family and friends in this room.

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