We have this hallway/laundry room/pantry off of the kitchen area which was in dire need of some organization. I talked a little about it in this post, including how we don’t know what the long term plan is for it.  To give you a bit of a refresher, here is a zoomed in part of the floor plan that shows what I’m talking about.

The “closet” shown is just a bump-out in this hallway, as it is a closet for the guest bedroom.  The washer and dryer sit next to it, and there’s a little (big?) hidden gem on the opposite side of wall behind two swinging doors, as seen below.

Long term do we want this to stay this way?  Do we want to make it wider, removing the shower in the adjacent bathroom and put in a mudroom-type area, pushing the closet doors back to make the hallway wider? The hallway is pretty cramped now and you really have to maneuver around the doors when opening them.  Some good cabinetry could really give us a lot more space in the hallway and maximize the storage space.  I’ll stare at pictures like these longingly until I figure it out…



Until we know what that plan is, I want to maximize the use of this space as much as possible.  Unfortunately, this hidden gem quickly became a dumping ground as soon as we moved in.

The yellow baskets joined our household back in our Maryland house, followed us to South Carolina, and I think I’m ready to part with them now.  I’m not as big on the yellow and grey thing as I used to be. The over-the-door organizer you see there was actually something we got off of our wedding registry for our Maryland house, and I absolutely loved it. It has served us well over about 7 years.  But after that much use and 2 moves, it started to fall apart and went from this:

To this:

… all in a few short months. One day I was grabbing some supplies out and closed the doors, and heard a huge CRASH.  Only to open the doors back up and find our food and bottom half of the shelving broken and all over the floor. 🙁

But sad stories lead to new opportunities.  And also a good reason for mommy to take a Saturday afternoon all to herself to finally go checkout the new Container Store that opened up nearby.  Can we talk about neat freak/organization nerd’s heaven??  That place was amazing, and I knew David wouldn’t appreciate it so I made a point in going all by myself.  Plus, I had a gift card from my awesome sister in law for Christmas burning a hole in my pocket!

The closet itself came with a pretty great shelving and drawer system already, so I was just looking to add more functionality to the doors for more food storage.  We’re big Costco and Amazon Prime shoppers, so we always have things in bulk.  I had been reading great things about the Elfa system and decided to check it out.  They offer this great door organizer that you can customize with an online tool to get everything to fit the dimensions that you need.

They should totally give me a sponsorship or something with this free advertising….

So I went to the store and picked up what I needed.  It was perfect timing because they were having their yearly 30% off Elfa sale too!  I got 2 doors systems, 6 large baskets, and 6 medium baskets.  We have hollow core doors, so I had to pick up the special anchors that they offer too, because I didn’t want to do another over the door unit and have it fall off in a couple of years.

David installed the anchors and the track for the baskets…

and then I got started on tackling this mess…

I’m definitely the organizer/tidy-er in this relationship.  David is more of the cleaner.  I feel like if I’m going to clean, I need to do it right from top to bottom or it’s just not worth doing.  But then I never feel like cleaning stuff top to bottom so it rarely happens. 🙂

Anyway, I emptied out the closet and started from scratch with the new baskets now installed, and ended up with this.

We’re really loving it, it makes a lot of the food we need much more accessible, so we’re not digging into the back of the shelves.  The shelves will be used more now for things we don’t need to get to so often.  And we can also store all of the bulk paper towels, toilet paper, and tissue boxes that we buy in here too, with some space to spare!  I feel like we can even add more baskets in the future if we want to.  The drawers hold dog supplies, light bulbs, batteries, and other cleaning/laundry supplies.

It may be a pretty narrow hallway and not the best layout, but this pantry now has a ton of functionality.