ETA (9/3/08): The totes were purchased at Pottery Barn. Originally the "tote" link within this post directed you to the exact page on the Pottery Barn website. They have since sold out of all their totes so now the link only directs you to their home page. I have seen similar totes at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and even Wal-mart. I still use and LOVE this system for our pantry.
OK so my new system for my kitchen pantry is really working out! And isn't is CUTE! :o)
I finally labeled all of the totes--mostly for the other family members of the house. I pretty much remembered where everything was when I put it in the closet the first time. Here are some bonuses for this concept. Since you can't really see everything in the pantry you're less likely to start grabbing the junk! OK now I have to tell you, I started this idea from a LO that I saw in CK by Melette...only she'd used Longaberger Baskets HELLO! Not cheap! At first I thought that was the craziest thing I'd ever seen...what a WASTE of space. The baskets alone take up so much room! Well I'm here to say...that was way wrong! I had the problem of things toppling over and not being able to see what was 'behind' everything else. Well by putting it in a tote I can pull the tote forward (not all the way out unless I need to) but just forward...this allows me to see what's in the back that I wouldn't otherwise see. And it keeps everything from toppling over. what a perfect SIMPLE solution! so excited.
Then of course their CUTE...it has to be cute. I'm about the 'form' Nate's about the function....he likes the 'function' of the totes.
And in case anyone was wondering...I had to call the doctor's office and as I suspected...they were WRONG (see post below)
Connie--here's what's in my totes: Crunchy Stuff (chips, pretzals, etc.) Bread, Lunch Snacks (when I buy stuff for the kids lunches I pre-bag them in snack size baggies so that in the morning when everything is chaotic I can just grab several snacks all ready in bags--this was the #1 mess before the totes) Sandwich stuff, Hot Chocolate, Pasta, Mixes, Sauces and Mixes, Rice Cooker, Crock Pot, Mixes & Crackers, Cleaning Supplies, Rice & Potatoes, Bulk Snacks & Soy Sauce, Brownies, Cookies, & Bisquick.
These were the items that I had the most trouble with...meaning they didn't stay organized, toppled over etc. Things like canned goods are in a cupboard. They are organized by what they are...vegtable (what kind), creamed soups, kids soups, fruit etc. I actually have a picture of my 'before' and 'after' cabinets here. Now, I admit this tote system is not full proof. Often there are several categories of 'stuff' in one tote because I don't have enough of one category to fill the entire tote. Or for example, the 'Hot Chocolate' tote has hot chocolate mixes and marshmallows in it. The 'sandwich stuff' also has the maple syrup and the cooking oil in it--totally random, I know. But those two bottles are tall enough that I can see them in the totes if I need them. To create a 'baking' tote didn't work for me because as you can see I have things like sugar, flour, oats etc. in the Tupperware containers. But having the totes on the floor of my pantry is WONDERFUL...like I want to get on the floor to see what's been shoved to the back! Now, I just slide the tote out and I can see (and get to) what's down there!