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5 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Pantry Space

5 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Pantry Space

Adequate pantry space is an issue that sometimes frustrates many home cooks. And if you don’t have enough space to hold all your supplies, your pantry can sometimes get disorganized and you may not always find the ingredients you need on hand when you’re about to cook.

Recently, I was in a friend’s kitchen and I was inspired by her own open pantry organization. Because of limited space, she had turned an Ikea Expedit shelf into extra pantry storage. She had artfully organized her canning surplus, large pots and pans, and more. It was a simple, attractive, and affordable solution! From there, I started to think of other ways that people who are low on kitchen storage could maximize their space. Prepare to expand your storeroom with these great ideas.

white Ikea shelf with cans and jars

    1. The Magic of Pull-out Racks

    Installing pull-out racks in nooks and crannies is a great way to get more storage. If there is a narrow space between a wall and an appliance or furniture, mount a rail on the wall where you can install a pull-out shelf for canned goods or condiments. Cans and bottles tend to take up a lot of space and storing them in unusual places is a clever way to make your pantry space-efficient.

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    Maximize a cubby hole’s vertical space by adding rails to the inside walls and using old trays that you can pull in and out of the shelf.

    Basket drawers in a light green cupboard

      If you think that attaching rails is too much work, you can simply place baskets inside cabinets. These baskets keep your supplies organized and they’re easy to pull out as well!

      2. Space-saving Wall Additions

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      Light blue spice rack with hooks on the side for hanging utensils

        Your storage spaces don’t have to stay on a single side of the room. Survey the area and look for walls where you can mount cabinets and shelves. Just make sure that the wall area you are aiming to use is accessible. Place it on a higher spot if you want it out of reach of your kids.

        White open shelves with jars and cooking utensils atop kitchen sink

          If you still have some space above your wall cabinets, stack shelves atop them as well. When you build up storage space, you’re making use of all the available surfaces you have in your pantry! Use open shelving as much as possible to utilize even the smallest of spaces, but make sure that all your supplies are organized.

          Another clever wall addition is recessed wall shelves. Unlike wall-mounted shelves, these storage spaces are less of an obstruction in a kitchen’s open space. If you want to give your pantry a stylish touch, display clear wine glasses or water goblets and highlight them with LED pin lights.

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          3. A New Purpose for Shelf Tops 

          Store rarely used items in places you wouldn’t normally access on regular days. The shelf top is a good place where you can keep extra utensils or plates, or your stash of baking supplies.

          Jars on shelf top with hooks for cooking utensils

            No matter how high your cupboard is, you can always find a use for the top. If this area is easily noticeable, display beautiful porcelain pitchers or nice-looking containers like mason jars when storing ingredients to add value to your home design.

            4. A Way Out of a Tight Corner

            Corners are often the most overlooked spaces in any home. And while they can be great areas to display home décor, they are even more remarkable when used efficiently.

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            Take your organizing skills a notch higher by occupying these angular spots with corner cupboards. These storage spaces also lessen the awkward sight of extra wall space when cabinets are shorter than the wall’s length.

            You can also use other available areas in your home like the cupboard under the stairs. Evaluate if the items you’re keeping in it can be disposed of or given away, then utilize it as extra space for food storage. Install shelves in it, or place an old rolling kitchen tray stocked with goods inside the cupboard!

            5. Hooked and Organized Cupboard Doors

            Hooks on doors make wonders. Commonly done on bedroom doors, this space-saving tactic can be used to help you organize and hang anything on your cupboard door, from tongs and can openers to small pans and chopping boards. By utilizing the back of cabinet doors, you can minimize unsightly kitchen clutter, at the same time make the most of your pantry space.

            With any of these space-saving ideas, you can start making room for more kitchen items in the future. Don’t be afraid to think up of clever ideas to make the most of your pantry space!

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            Last Updated on October 15, 2018

            Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

            Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

            “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

            While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

            1. Dehydration

            If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

            If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

            You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

            2. Lack Of Exercise

            A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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            Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

            3. A Poor Diet

            The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

            An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

            Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

            4. Skipping Breakfast

            Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

            Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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            Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

            Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

            5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

            We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

            TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

            Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

            Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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            6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

            Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

            Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

            If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

            7. Depression

            Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

            Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

            Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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            8. Hypothyroidism

            If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

            Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

            9. Anemia

            People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

            However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

            While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

            10. Cancer

            While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

            Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

            Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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