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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

92 Kitchen Pantry Update: Part 2

I am back with a real time live pantry update!  I am sure the suspense was really getting to you... wink wink.

But, I will say, we made some feel good exciting progress yesterday.  But as a reminder to where we left off with day one of the pantry takeover, we started out by:
  • Clearing everything out
  • Lining the wire shelves with foam board and pretty shelf liner


The next step in the process was to edit our current food inventory.  Here is what we started with:


It's always good every 6-12 months to dig through all of your food and say goodbye to those items you will never eat or that are expired.  Alfredo sauce from 2011 anyone?  Yeah, that was in our pile...

I edited down the types of packaging we were using, said farewell to expired items {which was only a few things}, and placed all of the remaining items in boxes and bags, back into their respective containers.


It made such a difference to pair things down and repackage things into our containers and ditch all of the bags and boxes.  We gained a third of our table space back just in that process alone.  To me, that also means we just gained back a third of our cabinet and pantry storage space as well!  Hurrah!

Now that we have purged things down and have a good idea of our inventory, we could start planning how we wanted things to go back.  My hubby is a visual guy, so he started by drawing a plan while I started making a shopping list:


I wanted the hubs to give his input on this project since he uses the kitchen just as much or more than anyone {he is the chef in this family}.  So, when planning out the storage, we chatted about our previous struggles, how we use our kitchen, and where things make the most sense to be stored.  Now that we have the stool, we plan on storing our snacks lower to prevent climbing.  We hope to add produce baskets in the snack section since we are huge apple, banana and clementine eaters, and they tend to take over our counters.  Less frequently used items will be placed up higher {although ice cream cones on a daily basis would be awesome!}, and daily breakfast essentials would be right at arms reach.

Once we had everything planned, decided the storage we need to invest in, and took inventory of what we already had, I started to make some labels for our favorite pantry containers.


Of course, you would assume that I would instantly go to my Silhouette and start cutting fancy pants labels, and believe you me, I thought about it.  But, I also thought I would show you how easy it is to make pantry labels at home, even if you don't wish to invest in an electronic cutting tool.  All you need is a simple craft punch and some vinyl.


I used the punch to quickly create decorative labels for the sides of the canisters.  The vinyl has a peel off back, just like a sticker.



 So within seconds I had labels!


Chalkboard labels can be made in the same fashion by either painting chalkboard paint onto cardstock and punching them out, or by purchasing chalkboard contact paper.  But I learned that chalk pens work equally as well on colored vinyl as they do the chalkboard labels {writing on and wiping off with ease}, so I went with some color!


I can clearly see the contents of the containers, but I like the idea of the label so I can add the date on the container to know when they were purchased.  That way, we can keep track of freshness.

Next and final steps will be to find the perfect produce storage and to put everything back into the pantry and cupboard and call it donzo!

What are your favorite methods for labeling pantry goods?


92 comments:

  1. I love that your husband drew out a diagram! I wish I could plan ahead like that, but I just need to get in there and see where things fit best. I'm also completely jealous that your husband is the cook in the family! My husband is slowly learning :)

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  2. I am loving all of your pantry makeover ideas. This is so inspiring! Two questions: Is the vinyl specific to the Silhouette, or are there other vinyl options? Also, does the chalk pen wipe off of the vinyl so you can reuse the labels?

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    1. Hi Julie!

      I do use some Silhouette vinyl, but you can also get it at most craft stores and online. http://www.expressionsvinyl.com/ is a great source for inexpensive vinyl options.

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. Ooops, and yes! The chalk marker wipes off perfectly with a damp cloth or sponge. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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    3. What size of marker did you use? The 1mm or 6 mm

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    4. What size of marker did you use? The 1mm or 6 mm

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    5. Hi Julie,

      I don't see on my marker what size exactly, but I have both a broad tip and a fine tip. They both write nicely, but I am guessing you would want a finer tip for writing on labels.

      xo!
      Jen

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  3. Where do you buy the foam board? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Foam board can be purchased almost anywhere, dollar store, Target, Walmart and most craft stores. I covered mine with pretty drawer liner for added durability.

      xo!
      Jen

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  4. Love the labels! Where do you buy the vinyl?

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    1. I use some Silhouette vinyl, but you can also get it at most craft stores and online. http://www.expressionsvinyl.com/ is a great source for inexpensive vinyl options.

      xo!
      Jen

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  5. What a wonderful solution! I don't have a Silhouette (even though I'm DYING to get one), and never thought about using craft puncher. I think I have one somewhere... Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing Erin! I don't want to invest the money, and especially the space, for a machine like that. Hole punch sounds like a great option!

      {lamourcheznous.wordpress.com}

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  6. Lovely as always Jen, and where did you get the vinyl and marker?? :-) Thanks!!

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    1. Hi Nadia!

      I do use some Silhouette vinyl, but you can also get it at most craft stores and online. http://www.expressionsvinyl.com/ is a great source for inexpensive vinyl options. The chalk marker is also from a craft store, but I have seen them on amazon as well: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007YJTJSY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007YJTJSY&linkCode=as2&tag=iheaorga-20

      xo!
      Jen

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  7. I just finished my pantry makeover, but I had a $0 budget. I love the idea of lining the wire shelves and hope to have the funds to use that idea soon.

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  8. Pretty! Does the chalk pen come off of the label, or do you have to cut&stick a new label when the contents change?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly!

      Yes, the chalk marker wipes off perfectly with a damp cloth or sponge. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  9. That's so smart using the craft punches straight on the vinyl! I didn't know that it would work so well. The ideas are already running through my head!

    In fact, I have a project that has been sitting on a shelf for forever waiting until I mixed up some chalkboard paint, but if the chalkboard pens really wipe off the vinyl just as well, then I'm going to finish them off right away!

    Thanks!

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  10. Hi Jen~

    I was just curious, where did you purchased the pretty shelf liner?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Katie!

      I find my shelf liner at TJ Maxx, Marshalls & HomeGoods. It is part of the Macbeth collection. There are also a bunch of fabulous options on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009SB4BIO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009SB4BIO&linkCode=as2&tag=iheaorga-20

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  11. I love a cute label! This just made it even easier! Thanks for sharing :)

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  12. Would the vinyl you used be similar to shelf/drawer liner? The type I have has a peel of back and sticks like a sticker, similar to what you described with the vinyl. I bought it at Home Goods and love it, now I'm wondering if I can use it as labels.....

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    1. Hi there!

      I just tested it on mine and although hard to see with all the pattern, it still wrote on, dried and wiped off easily.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  13. Was wondering about your "favorite pantry containers". I clicked on the hyperlink that brought me to The Container Store website, and I was reading the reviews and some of the reviews said that the largest size was large enough to hold a 5lb bag of flour or sugar, and other reviews said it was not. So, I thought I would ask a more reliable source...you! So, do you have any of the largest size (52oz)? And if so, are they big enough for a whole bag of flour or sugar? Love your blog and all of your creative ideas! :)

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    1. I honestly can't say for sure if it will, since we store our flour and sugar in different Tupperware in the spice cabinet. They look so close in size, that it's hard to know for sure. Sorry!

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. Thanks for replying so quickly! Maybe I can call the store and see if they will know. Thanks again! Can't wait for more updates on the pantry!

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  14. I've been going through all my kitchen cabinets one by one in my effort for greater organization. Great inspiration. Thanks

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  15. I love your blog so much!! I was super excited when you started the kitchen challenge. I am moving in a few weeks and have been dying to overhaul my kitchen, but figured I'd wait till we're in the new space. I will be losing some cupboard space, but gaining a pantry. I love all your ideas. Keep 'em coming!!! Thank you!!! Plus, I can't wait to line all my drawers and cupboards now too!! Ah the inspiration.

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  16. Hi Jen: Our house was built with two narrow pantry type cabinets on each side of the fridge. Both sides have pull out shelves and actually i don't love them. I lose space on either side, and i can't stack things like canned goods. I feel like a regular pantry holds so much more and has much more flexibility.
    Anyway... where do you keep your napkins? I have 3 kids and if the napkins aren't within reach they will use their sleeves. :) But i don't want to keep them on the table all the time.

    thanks!

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    Replies
    1. We keep our napkins in the sideboard right behind our kitchen table. That way, when we are eating, we can just reach behind us, grab some out and pass them around the table.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  17. Ohhh this is such a nice post!!! I love the labels. I need some of those. :)
    Claudia
    http://claudiapersi.blogspot.ca/

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  18. That foam board on the shelves is a wonderful idea! I'm putting this on my "to do" list :) I also want one of those craft punches.

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  19. I love me a good pantry makeover... ours is looking pretty good, but you've inspired me to upgrade our wire shelving to something a little more solid.

    On a semi-related note, I see that you store your bread in the pantry. Everything I've ever read says not to store bread in the fridge, but when I move it to the counter/pantry it gets moldy so quickly! Yet it never gets moldy in the fridge. I just don't get it! Any words of wisdom for me?

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    1. Not sure on that one. I had never heard that about bread and the fridge before. We have always kept ours in our pantry, but we go through so much milk and bread so quickly, neither ever has a chance to go bad on us :) Maybe google around for solutions?

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. Be sure you are not storing the bread next to the frig, by the dishwasher or coffee maker. You should keep it in a cool (or non-temp changing), dry place. Years ago we kept bread on the counter above the dishwasher and it molded quickly because of the wet heat of cleaning dishes.

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    3. Oooh, thank you Jenni! I usually have it next to the fridge, so maybe that is my problem.

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  20. AMAZING IDEA!!! I'm gonna try that in my pantry!! TFS!

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  21. I love the inventiveness behind labeling this! Such great ideas!

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  22. Love it! Those chalk markers are great. I have been using them to label the containers and the lids of our leftovers before we put them in the fridge. That way I always know how old the leftovers are! Super simple solution and it washes right off both the glass and plastic containers I use. Using them on vinyl adds a whole bunch of new ideas! yay! Thanks.

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  23. i really like the pad of paper you used for your list cute where did you find it? Oh and i love the kitchen also :)

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  24. Love your simple, but cute label idea! My favorite labels are the ones I cut with my Cricut (although wish I had the Silhouette).

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  25. What great ideas. I don't have A Sillouhette, probably not going to get 1 for a while. The paper punch idea is so smart!! Thanks. Hope you don't mind that I'm pinning this.

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  26. I am obsessed with how you did the labels, I have to try it out!

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  27. love this label idea. I have always thought to do just that but never have- bad habits! thanks for sharing this. xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

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  28. Vinyl stickers and a chalk pen. What a great idea! Thanks for the links.

    I too, am wondering about the size of the containers you use. Yes, it definitely needs to fit 5lb bags of sugar and flour. Also, my kids go through cereal like crazy, so I often buy 5 boxes at a time when their favorites are on sale. Being able to combine two or more boxes into one container is really useful. Thanks.

    I love your blog, but it's making my family think I have a labeling "disease" :-)

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    Replies
    1. I honestly can't say for sure if it will hold the 5 lb bags, since we store our flour and sugar in different Tupperware in the spice cabinet. They look so close in size, that it's hard to know for sure. Sorry! As far as the cereal containers, just check the ounces on the containers vs. the cereal box size you typically purchase. We can typically fit two bags of cereal in one container at a time, depending on the box size.

      xo,
      Jen

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  29. Hi Jen! So very cool:) I love the cheery foam board! In case anyone uses woven baskets in their kitchens (like me), I have found that using "badge Holders" makes labeling pretty simple. If you want to see an example of what I'm talking about (because it's sort of hard to explain and get the "visuals") you can look at an example here: http://yourhappystuff.com/blog/2013/1/22/weekend-project-2-points

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    Replies
    1. Such a great idea Deana! And your organizing turned out swoon worthy! Thanks so much for sharing!!

      xo,
      Jen

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  30. This gets better and better! I was wondering if those containers keep your food fresh for a long time? I was this close to get the POP containers (by OXO) which are super tight and are supposed to keep food longer but they are a little pricy... Would love to know what your experience has been with yours! Thanks!!
    xo,
    Marcela

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    Replies
    1. We have been extremely happy with the freshness factor and the containers themselves {we purchased them back in June of last year, and they have held up great!} I was also considering the OXO, but as much as love organizing and clear containers, they were quite a bit more expensive than these so I just couldn't pull the trigger. These come in great stackable sizes, which was a huge plus for us as well.

      xo!
      Jen

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  31. It's gonna be the prettiest pantry ever. Ours is organized and perfectly functional for us, but now I'm tempted to dress it up pretty too!

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  32. Smart cookie with the punch. I often don't go to by silhouette as I am tool lazy to deal with it! LOVE this.

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  33. Most projects in my house are awaiting labels while I go back and forth with how to create them. So learning about this lovely sticky vinyl is rocking my world right now. I just might have to clear out a drawer in the craft area for vinyl and punches! Ooh and chalk pens. Thanks for the tips. Where did your pantry containers come from?

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    Replies
    1. So exciting!

      The containers are from the Container Store: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/kitchen/foodStorage/canisters?productId=10029789&N=74062

      xo,
      Jen

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  34. Hello! As I JUST this weekend started something similar in my pantry (chalkboard labels from michaels tho- wish I had waited two more days- I'd rather colour labels and didn't know!). ANYWAY- the labels are not sticking on my Tupperware modular mates very well-- anyone have ideas on how to help them stick better?!??

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  35. First, thanks for posting this in bite-sized steps! I am super intimidated to tackle most things because of how scary bloggers make the before/after (one post for something that probably took weeks). They all move on to some other uber-intimidating project and I'm still head-spinning from the one from weeks/months prior!!! So THANKS for doing this!

    Second, do you have any advice for those of us with gigantic commitment issues??? I can't see things in the end the way that you and your hubs can, so I can't do the commitment to dedicated containers/labels/drawer dividers, etc. (not just the money but also the time and effort... 4 yr old + 2 yr old + pregnant = managing time really carefully). Right now, my bathroom drawers have a hodge-podge of old food storage containers to "divide" things because I can't see the organized spaces staying the way they are for long enough to justify the commitment to prettier results. I find that my initial choices for planning are almost always changed! Any wisdom for us beginners?

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    Replies
    1. It's important not to stress the little things and be ok with things being organized enough to save time, but not perfect. :) Sure, I love to go the extra mile to make things pretty, but it's not the necessity of being organized {it just helps me want to maintain things and gives me a reason to craft and paint}. Second, try one small project at a time. Look at inspirational photos so you can visualize the end result you are trying to achieve. Once you do it a few times, it might catch on and you may be more excited to try a bigger project. Lastly, try and get the family on board and to help with the projects. If they give their input and participate in the organizing, they may also be more willing to keep up on maintaining the end result.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  36. I love your pantry update so far!! Just wondering- where did you buy your craft punch? I've been hunting but can only find little ones for confetti/scrapbooking, and I would love to do this too :) Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I believe Michaels or Joann. Potentially Archivers. They all have great punch options and I know I have purchased from each store at one time or another. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  37. Where do you find the pretty contact paper? I have been looking for some to cover clipboards, etc.

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    Replies
    1. I find my shelf liner at TJ Maxx, Marshalls & HomeGoods. It is part of the Macbeth collection. There are also a bunch of fabulous options on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009SB4BIO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009SB4BIO&linkCode=as2&tag=iheaorga-20

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  38. I love the look of the labels, but am curious as to how well they hold in the washer (if you do put them through the dishwasher). Although most of the time I just shake out the crumbs out of the containers, occasionally I like to throw them in the dishwasher. Would these labels hold up okay?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting this question, Katrina. Just like you, I was wondering about the ability to wash the containers and how the vinyl labels would hold up.

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    2. I'm curious about how the vinyl holds up while washing too! :)

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    3. We hand wash our food containers, and the vinyl held up great! Although, I have only tested once since these labels are newer. I read on another blog that the blogger used vinyl on her coffee mugs and ran them through the dishwasher for a year and never had problems with the vinyl wearing off. She did also mentioned she used a heavier duty indoor/outdoor vinyl, so that may help with the durability over time.

      xo!
      Jen

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  39. Hi.thanks for all the info. I am going to try this I think BC I don't have a labeler. I have two questions please....1) with the vinyl contact paper peel off plastic?
    2) what handheld label maker do you recommended? I keep going around and around about them?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jean!

      Yes, that is the beauty of the vinyl. It stays put until you no longer want it, and then it removes without leaving any residue.

      I use this label maker: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005J7Y6GS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005J7Y6GS&linkCode=as2&tag=iheaorga-20

      I combine it with the clear tape {since I like the streamlined look it offers}. The label maker offers many font sizes and types. It is also very user friendly.

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. Thank you so much! :)

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  40. I saw that the containers you use is the same as the one under your sink to hold your dish washing pods. Which size is that one? The small, med, or large?

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    Replies
    1. The one under our sink is the large size.

      xo!
      Jen

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  41. Love your post. Where can I find chalk ink pen that you used?

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  42. Beautiful and inspiring! Your kitchen challenge has motivated me to get going on organizing those spaces that I just keep avoiding! In fact, I got started today and linked back to your site on my post about it:) Thanks so much!!

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  43. Love the new look with the shelf liners, great idea!
    xo
    Morgan

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  44. Where can i get pretty shelf liner in Canada? I cant find nice stuff anywhere

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  45. i love the clear containers with blue lids! I was wondering what usually fits in the small and med size, im trying to decide how many of each size i would need , so curious what you put in the different sizes, thanks! Also wondering where your cereal containers are from, thanks!

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  46. Where did you find your chalk marker? I've been looking for a good one but can't find one. Thanks!

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  47. Hi Jen. I love it! In the picture that only has half of the dining table covered there are some plastic containers in front of the turquoise ones, they look like smaller versions of a cereal container. Do you have a link for those?

    Also, for those asking if the turquoise containers Jen has will fit a full 5lb bag of flour. I just converted pounds to ounces. 5lbs of sugar equals 80 ounces, the largest size of the turquoise container is only 52 ounces. So it is too small to hold the full bag.

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  48. Love the labels. Tried to order your super cute yellow and white contact paper last week and was informed it's out of stock :( Oh well. Your pantry looks great and yes, taking a food inventory makes a huge difference. Since I've started doing that it helps with my grocery planning and meal planning and helps our budget = winning!

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  49. Just saw your comment above about shelf liner -- will have to check at our Marshalls/Homegoods/TJ Maxx!! Thank you!

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  50. Hello!

    I would like to know where you got your containers.

    Also are your labels the same as mactac?

    Have a Joyful Day :~D
    Charlie

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  51. The chalk ink looks like a great product- I find it difficult to write neatly or "fancy" with regular chalk on a small area.

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  52. Love the idea of using a punch with the vinyl!! What size punch is that?

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  53. New to working with Vinyl, does it peel off and re-stick? I was hoping to use this idea with my food storage in the fridge for when I make my 8 month olds foods.

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    Replies
    1. It does seem to lose its stick after being peeled off once or twice. But you can always remove them without any residue of being there if you are worried about them being permanent.

      xo!
      Jen

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  54. I like using the chalkboard vinyl and chakboard markers, too. I might have to invest in one of those punches. Last year I purchased a cheapo pair of decorative pattern scissors, which didn't last long before becoming dull.

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  55. I just love everything that you post. I am a very unorganized person. I have one of those panty closets that you open up and the shelves roll outward. This thing is a mess! I have never found a good way to organize it. It is the junkiest thing you have ever seen! By the way, I would never let you even peek. Can you think of any solutions for this crazy mess of mine?

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  56. i never thought of using a decorative punch for labels until i saw this! thanks so much for the idea - pics of my punched labels here - http://abimakes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/laminated-graph-paper-labels.html

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  57. I am swooning over your bread labels... Are they a file you have/are willing to share? I have popped back to your posts every time I update my kitchen (or other) organization. While I have some good stuff going on, those would tie it all together in terms of color, etc. while still being a bit different than everything else I have going on.

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