Boy, do I have a fun post for you guys today! But wait, not just a post, a party! A party that involves, sprinkles, baking supplies, sweet bloggers, prizes, and cleaning – yes cleaning! Betsy over at JavaCupcake, and I have rounded up a few sweet bakers to share with you guys a behind the scenes look at how we keep our baking supplies neat and tidy! Well sort of, before we showed you guys our goodies, we went on a mission together to get all of our goodies in order! And today we’re all going to be sharing with you the before and afters! And of course…every party has to have prizes! One lucky reader will win $250.00 in store credits to The Container Store, Sweets & treats Boutique, Bella Cupcake Couture, and Country SweetArt Kitchen! Which is just about enough to kick off your own baking supply area! Hello sprinkle stash! Oh – and I’ll be giving away a little prize of my own.
Before we get to all of that fun stuff, can I tell you all about my space, well spaces really. As most of you know we’re military. And we’ve moved just about every 18-21 months in the last 8 years. Which translates to in 8 years of marriage I’ve had 8, yes 8 kitchens. We’ve had tiny little kitchens, kitchen/dining combos, and large spacious kitchens. I’ve learned to be not only organized but versatile. The thing is about being a decorative food blogger, is it takes up lots of space – more so then you would think. I have all the goodies you would expect any baker to have, plus the tools of a decorator, and photographer. It’s slightly insane. My biggest challenge is always transitioning to an organized space in the new house, making it work. So while I wish I was showing you pictures of my custom build kitchen complete with a oversized island and pull out sprinkle rack, that’s just not possible right now. Instead, I’ll be showing you my versatile and clean way of keeping my growing amounts of baking/blogging supplies in order from our military installation home!
Honestly, I can’t possibly keep my stuff to one area. From cake stands in the display cabinet, pans in the kitchen, and supplies in the pantry there’s just now way I could show it “all” to you. So for now, I’ve chose to show you the baking section of my pantry. Where I use to cram 90% of my blogging supplies in! When I started this project I had all these really cool ideas. Things that I was going to do and even a small budget to spend. But then I got to work, and in the end all I really needed was to rethink, and rearrange! Ready to see? Here goes…but first you have to promise your not going to call hoarders ok? Promise?
Here’s the “before” of it all. I’ve split the picture in two so you can see the top and bottom better. (sry this is a really hard angle to photograph!) We have been graciously blessed with a very long pantry in this house. I’ve taken over the very back to store my items. however since moving in 6 months ago this is the one area that I really haven’t ever touched. I purchased the different clear containers at Wal-Mart while we were still in New York. (they making moving these items SO easy!) But don’t let the containers fool you, although it seems as I already have it pretty organized here. This is when it’s clean, because of all the extra stuff in the way and poor placement, I’m the worst about putting stuff back where it goes. This space often goes from clean to disaster in a matter of hours!
One of my biggest issues was my stock of paper straws. See those large containers on the very top? That’s where I house all my extra Sweets & Treats Straws. Bad, bad idea. Every time I need straws from there (often) I find myself cheating death getting those bins down.
Another issue here is photography props. It’s no secret I’m always on the hunt for cute new props, but storing all of them is awful. I can’t ever seem to get them all back into the right space and it’s more like an avalanche just waiting to happen.
Oh my baking pans. Sure you occasionally need a bunt pan, or a whoppie pie pan…but where to put them in the mean time?! And see those bins off to the side? Random baking items that have been hanging out since we moved, with no real place to go. They use to hide in our island cupboard.
Ready to see how I changed it up?
Ta-da! Whew, seriously so much better. And look – do you guys see all that empty space, and even empty containers! Wahoo! I’ve been working out of this space for a few weeks now and it’s SO much better. I have a much easier time getting the items I need and putting them back how I’m suppose to.
The first thing I did, was go through everything and purge the items I really didn’t need. Second, I made a big decision to split up the items. With my spiffy new camera lens I’ve recently moved from shooting outdoors (near the kitchen) to right in the office! Which means each shoot I’ve been carrying everything upstairs and then back down, ugh. (note to future dream house office/studio directly off the kitchen) I’ll show you those items in a moment, for now let’s take a look at what sits on each “layer” in the pantry.
By far the worst space was the pans. I just couldn’t separate myself from any of my pans, but I knew I couldn’t keep them in their Jenga type system. After all, one day they were going to fall over and crush a small child! I found the perfect solution under my bed! An under the bed pull our container that we were no longer using – that even matched! I stored all of my extra pans in it, then placed the tall and very odd shaped pans on top in one of my extra containers. Then I grabbed another semi large bin which use to house straws and filled it with random tools that I often use, or haven’t had a chance to try out yet.
The shelf is where I keep a lot of the items needed for decorative baking. Cupcake liners separated by greaseproof and standard, mini liners, lollipop sticks, candy, chocolate melts, decorations, flavors, disco dust, gel colors, and so on. Not only was I able to remove several bins, check out the empty bins! Room for growth!
Since the bins are pulled to the front, I have plenty of room to store bigger items in the back. Here I have my cake boards and push pop holder hiding behind the cupcake liners!
The middle shelf containers edible items. To the left is my sprinkle collection. Believe it or not this was shot BEFORE I received my bulk sprinkle shipment…remember you promised not to call hoarders alright? I might have a little obsession with sprinkles, I dunno.
I keep all of my colored solid sprinkles up front organized by type. Then in the back I store less frequent mixes and holidays mixes organized by theme. If your wondering where I got the sprinkle containers, I purchased them at the Dollar Tree 5/$1.00. I searched for weeks online for a affordable container for sprinkles but nothing worked quiet as well. Placing my sprinkles in these containers not only saved a ton more space then dozens of bottles, it also allowed me to purchase and store sprinkles by the pound.
To the right of the sprinkles I keep baking supplies and ingredients. This stash changes all the time but there’s typically powdered sugar, cake mixes, and other items that I want to use in treats. This works not only for storage but as a great place to say “back off don’t use these items” to the kids!
Next up is the cookie cutter shelf. I have all of my cutters separated into different bins. Common cutter, shapes, letters, unique shapes and then holidays.
One of the things I thought I was going to do when I cleaned up this space was label the containers. Quickly I realized that was just silly! The see through bins make it easy to know exactly what your grabbing, and labeling them would limit my ability to “adjust” the containers within the space.
While I’m at it, I thought I’d show you two spaces in the kitchen where I keep my most used baking/decorating items.
First, my tool drawer. One thing I’ve realized over the past few years is it helps to pull out and keep on hand some of you most used items or you’ll find your self with random go to pieces all over the kitchen. For my a simple plastic utensil organizer did the trick! Right by the stove I keep decorating tools, common colors, tiny cutters, edible pens, most used tips, and so on! This really makes it so easy to get different items as I’m working on a project and even easier to put back right where it goes. The top tray even slides forward to reveal more storage!
Below is where I keep some of my other most used items. After cleaning up the pantry I had room to move other items in this space. I placed my circle cake pans on the shelf, and used a lid separator to keep my pans, boards, and racks neat and tidy. Beside them I keep my rolled up silicon mats as well as my rolling pins. On the inside wall I have three 3M Command Hooks keeping my Kitchen Aid Mixer attachments handy. Those hooks are one of the best things I’ve done!
Are you guys wondering where all my other stuff went? Surely i didn’t toss all those blog props right? NOPE! I made a huge decisions to move all of the “photography” and packaging type items into the office. Here’s where they live now!
Space, space, and more space! My husband and I actually built this storage area just weeks after moving in. We simply built a frame around store bought cabinets. Tons of space, they look great, but can be totally taken apart for our next relocation! Before it was housing crafts and fabric. But honestly, they weren’t used near as much as my photography/blogger items. So it only made sense to move the crafts to the room closet, and let the baking items take center stage!
Most of my blogging documents and important stuff as well as cookbooks now live in this bookcase! I love it. Super clean and functional. But let’s take a closer look inside the cabinets shall we?
First cabinet keeps a few crafty items still. I mean hey, glitter is the sprinkles to crafts right? We must keep them on hand. As well as a washi tape dispenser, obviously.
Next up is photography props! Bucks, and napkins, and spoons – oh my! I added a little shelf with a Dollar Tree storage shelf that use to live in one of the over flow bins.
In the next closet is packaging supplies. Bags, ribbons, washi tape, extra printable tags, paper straws, paper bags, and lots of twine hiding behind. It’s really nice to be able to open up this cabinet and pull out all the items I need at once.
And very last is my bulk supply cabinet. Most of you probably don’t know, but I have the honor of shooting products for the lovely Sweets & Treats Boutique. Which means, I get to keep on hand one of every, yes every item in her shop. Awesome right?! But where to put them? This has become the perfect solution! I can now access extra straws and treat bags without cheating death from above. And did you notice..they are all color coordinated! I have no problem finding exactly what I need now. Win!
And that is all for my baking spaces for now! So far I’m very happy with the outcome. By just moving things around and putting a higher priority on my “go to” items I’ve really made so much more space available as well as a working system that I can keep clean.One thing I didn’t share was where I placed all the holiday items. While I love my candy corn dish or heart bowl – I only use them a month or two out of the year. So I decided it was best to take on of my now empty bins and fill it up with strictly holiday items. Then we placed that bin in the closet for now. I’ll pull it out and rotate holiday items as needed.
Total clean out cost: $2.00 for two new packages of sprinkles containers!
I hope you guys had fun getting a rare behind the scenes look at MBC! Did you get any cool ideas to organize your space?
Make Bake Celebrate
Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons
Design Eat Repeat
Sugar Dish Me
One GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be chosen to win…
$100 Container Store Gift Card
$50 credit to Sweets & Treats Boutique
$50 credit to Bella Cupcake Couture
$50 credit to Country Kitchen Sweetart
For your chance to win the GRAND PRIZE, complete the entry form below!
Contest entries will be accepted until May 20, 2014 11:59pm EST.
Winner will be chosen Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
But what about all the items I don’t need any longer? How would you like them! I’ve filled a box with some fun unused baking items that I just won’t been needing – or had too many! Enter below for a chance to win my mystery baking box! Contest entries will be accepted until May 20, 2014 11:59pm EST.
Winner will be chosen Wednesday, May 21, 2014.