Butler's Pantry


I just want you to know.

In case you ever visit my house and get the mistaken impression that I’m organized…..

….I’m not.

For some reason….people think that everything in the house is color-coded and alphabetized and stacked and labeled and neatly put away into plastic bags that shrink down to the size of a napkin using a hairdryer.

I wish.

Well….okay….maybe I’m a little organized…..on a good day when the sun is shining and it’s a balmy 75 degrees….and I’ve just watched an episode of Hoarders.


Most of the time, though….not so much.

But somehow….some way….I got the erroneous reputation for being organized.

And I think it’s all due to the numbered baskets.

That’s the key, really.

Spray paint a number on anything and you look like you are one step away from cataloging your household with the dewy decimal system.



The problem is…..I have arrived at the foregone conclusion that my organizational system closely resembles Gilligan’s Island’s three-hour tour.


Remember Gilligan?

The skipper too?  The millionaire and his wife?  The professor and Mary Ann?


They were seven unforgettable castaways…..stuck on an island after a three-hour tour.  And they spent the better part of the next three years trying to get off.

But did anyone ever really want to leave the island?


I mean….seriously….the professor could build telephones out of Mrs. Howell’s diamond necklace and a few random coconuts and island vegetation….but somehow scientific genius deserted him when it came to building….ummm…..a raft?  And remember when NASA spotted the castaways and they were covered in glue and feathers and Mission Control thought they were from Mars….why didn’t the professor just develop an anti-chicken feather glue machine from Ginger’s eyebrow pencil and driftwood?

They all said they wanted to leave.

They acted like they wanted to leave.

But it was chicken feathers and glue every time.



Martian chicken feathers.

That’s a lot like me.

You see….I truly want to be organized.

I read books on about organization and pin cute ideas for organization and buy all sorts of organizational supplies and spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how wonderful it would be to be organized.  I even spray paint numbers on my baskets.


But in the end it never really happens.


Number Basket


And my dreams of numbered-basket organization……



…..end up looking like two sets of vacuum bags for vacuums that we don’t even own anymore…..

…..and a can of expired Armorall.



All is not lost, though.

Hope springs eternal…..because I just saw this and this on Pinterest.

And I’m sure that this time this organizing thing is going to work for me.


I know I’m going to be organized.

I know my numbered basket system will be the envy of the neighborhood.

I know it’s going to be a success, but just in case it doesn’t work out…..

…..I’ll be the blonde with the lipstick….

….rooming with Mary Ann 🙂

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  1. Image for Leo at Cottage at the Crossroads Leo at Cottage at the Crossroads

    Organizing things is a never ending process. Just when you think you've got that cluttered mess straightened up, another stack of something pops up where you least expect it. Now , where did I put that two sided tape? I enjoyed your post. Don't tell anybody but, I had a crush on Mary Ann.

  2. Image for aimee {sixteen fourteen} aimee {sixteen fourteen}

    Those baskets are adorable...and isn't organization just a little bit overrated anyway? Sometimes I look at all those complicated systems and charts and chalkboards that people have going on, and I think, "WOW, that looks very high maintenance!" Which is probably why I'm not organized either. ;-)

  3. Image for Danielle Danielle

    Yep...if I ever need motivation to clean my home I just click on a Hoarders episode and .... voila...I'm a cleaning whirlwind ;) Love the Gilligan's Island reference...again, you are a great writer....although I am not a crafty person, I so love to read your posts!!!

  4. Image for Laura Laura

    I think about organizing. I want to organize. I buy things to organize, So what is that big heap in the middle of the room? oh, it's the organizing stuff. SIGH!!!!! Please send some numbered baskets right over. My pile could them.

  5. Image for ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~ ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

    Hi Sweetie~ ~ ~ Anytime you post pictures of your kitchen I just go gaga. Love it. You are a genius designer, yes you are. The baskets are so cute. You really do look so organized. Bet you don't have a junk drawer in your kitchen or your house for that matter. Your kitchen floor would look amazing in my kitchen. Would you mind sharing the brand name? Did you install it your self? Thanks and have a wonderful day. ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  6. Image for jeanette from everton terrace jeanette from everton terrace

    Oh I was laughing out loud at "two sets of vacuum bags for vacuums that we don’t even own anymore" - HA HA, I know that situation all too well. Reminded me of eons ago, when I worked in corporate America - a woman told me she admired my clothing and how I always looked so fashionable and put together. I chuckled inside because I had to staple the hem on my pants that morning and my bra strap had snapped so there was a good old safety pin holding up the girls :) Yep, that's me SO put together. Looks can be quite deceiving.

  7. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    The key to organization is to make people believe you are organized..When you have cute numbered baskets on display...dead giveaway that you are organized....! Now how come you did not show us the basket that was full of chicken feathers?

  8. Image for Jaye @ Just Trying to Make Cents of it All Jaye @ Just Trying to Make Cents of it All

    Now you could have kept all that to yourself and none of us would have been the wiser! Love those baskets but I have to agree with Aimee - sometimes organization is highly overrated. It never fails that when I try to get organized, I end up putting stuff where I can't remember!!! Is that disorganization or senility? I'm going to be one of those old women who have to keep all their medication out on the kitchen table! On the other hand - love those baskets. Cute, cute, cute! I'll just accept them as a fabulous design statement. Who cares what you put in them?

  9. Image for Maury @ Life on Mars Maury @ Life on Mars

    Can I just tell you that I've been planning to organize my pantry for over a year? Yeah, the 2 by 3 foot closet that serves as my pantry. and yet... it never happens. There's always a more fun project to do.

  10. Image for ZoeAnn ZoeAnn

    I have come to believe that no one is ever organized… they might have those numbered baskets… but like KariAnne, they probably have old vacuum bags in their baskets as well!! I have started storing my PILES in baskets… at least no one sees my mess!

  11. Image for Gwen Gwen

    I don't be-leep you. Prove it. I double-dog-dare-you... I'll even put my hair in pigtails like Marianne and take a picture...

  12. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Ok I most say I am amazed... you NOT organized! Because when I see your house it looks organized and tidy and your house looks like it is right out of a magazine so I've come to the conclusion you are like my cousin. This is the cousin whose house could grace the pages of a magazine, who lives in one of those picture book neighborhoods, is a dear sweet girl, and in her "spare" time stages homes for the clients of a realty company so that they sell quicker. But do NOT, I repeat do NOT open some of her closets or cupboards!!! Yes mismatched contents... just like your vacuum cleaner bags to a vacuum that you no longer own! So know you are in great company!!! And once again for the record I don't think either one of you are TRULY not organized!! just slightly misguided... about the definition... Have a wonderful day!! I'm off to try and write a post or two before we lose electricity... again. But we sure are getting desperately needed rain! :)

  13. Image for Anne Anne

    I used to be organized but ever since I moved into this house, it's all gone to hell in a handbasket - and not even a cute basket with spray painted numbers on it... Love this room, hey where did you get the plate racks from? the ones on your shelves? I'd love to get a couple of those. Have a great day! xox

    1. Image for admin admin

      The plate racks are so cheap! I bought them at the Container Store. Make sure you get the tall ones.....then they almost look built it!

  14. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    I love that I can get a good laugh every day just by reading your posts! Absolutely LOVE it! Can you tell me where you got the baskets? Cause I have a can of spray paint but no cute baskets to paint numbers on! And please please don't say they are vintage and I can't get them anywhere!

  15. Image for Kimberly from Serendipity Refined Kimberly from Serendipity Refined

    Oh Girl! Really!? It's the NUMBERING that makes it seem organized!? That's all it takes?! That's it! I'm gonna grab some post it notes and start numbering stuff....like the piles of craft supplies in the dining room. or maybe my laundry baskets in the hope that my whites and darks will look more "intentional". Hey, do you think that I could substitute cardboard boxes and black trash bags for the cute wicker baskets and just spray paint the pretty numbers on those instead?! Cuz' that's probably more fitting for the "scale" of the mountain of stuff that I'm dealing . Truly, I love what you've done with "my room" and I WOULD like to know where you found your PERFECT baskets, please. xo

    1. Image for admin admin

      I bought the baskets at IKEA! That is the best place ever....in the history of ever....for baskets that look like they came over on the Mayflower.

  16. Image for missy george missy george

    My stepdaughter named her pigs Mary Ann and Ginger !! If I numbered stuff ,It seems it just gives me more stuff to keep track of and remember...My mind is too old to be that organized :) Cute baskets..

  17. Image for Susan Susan

    You and me, both. My husband called my system of organization "the pile-it system," accurately so. I know pretty much what's in each pile, and can mostly find things. It works, but it isn't particularly neat! Maybe I need numbered baskets!

  18. Image for Kelly Kelly

    You had us fooled all this time?! Wow! You're good! Ha! I love your numbered baskets. I think it is a great idea to add numbers or letters to baskets because it makes them look like European antique baskets. Who knew you could take a basket from the dollar store and transform it like that!

  19. Image for carmel carmel

    Reading your blog makes me ridiculously happy.......I envision that instead me reading your words - you're actually talking to me ........and we're sitting on your porch drinking coffee. - I'm not crazy though - you met me, so you know that right? And girl who doesn't have vacuum bags for vacuums they don't own? I'll bet Martha herself has them!

  20. Image for Diane | An Extraordinary Day Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    I smiled all the way through your post today!!! I'm thought to be quite organized. And basically I am organized...but not quite. There's a BIG difference. I have no number system, no Martha Stewart color coded, file folder for everything, no little bowls in my drawers with jewelry or first aid items, no shelves in the basement with canned goods or whatever alphabetically organized. Essentially my stuff isn't a jumble and if I remember where it is I can find it. That means I can call myself organized :D Have a great day!

  21. Image for Tammy Tammy

    So glad I read this! I have baskets in my laundry room with words taped to them to describe the contents - but I just think the numbers are so much cuter! Might give this a try :)

  22. Image for Kelly @ JAX does design Kelly @ JAX does design

    You know, now that I think about it, you're probably right about the castaways not really wanting to leave the island. I mean, really, who in their right mind would want to escape tropical nirvana and go back to the real world?! Although if they REALLY wanted to escape, I'm sure MacGyver could have helped them out ;-) Love your numbered baskets - whether or not they make you look better organized, they make your shelves look sexier :-)

  23. Image for joanne nixon joanne nixon

    your post made me laugh out loud.....if i did more of what i truly should be doing like organizing ... and less playing around, i would be more organized too....but as you say, hope springs eternal.....every day is a new day......love your pantry ..

  24. Image for Zefi Zefi

    I too try to organise. I go through phases where I pull things out of closets and cupboards and organise. It takes about one week (or less if my partner has anything to do with it) and its back to chaos. I keep trying though. When you live with the Imelda Marcos male equivalent, you really need organisation and storage for shoes and coats. sigh. z

  25. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    I like the number basket idea, I have a number of different containers but honestly the onle person who knows what is in the containers is me..............lol I am also not as organised as people seem to think I am.............and yes common sense tells me that you only post the good pictures of your home rocking the ones were everything is a mess you discard hell I doubt you take phots of a messy house I know I wouldn't...........lol

  26. Image for Karen Karen

    You crack me up! I too long to be organized. I buy cute containers and take a stab at it every now and then, but it's a never ending process. Oh well at least we have good looking baskets and things while we struggle. Love the numbers!

  27. Image for Peggy-PJH Designs Peggy-PJH Designs

    We should be best buds! I've always dreamed of being organized and I liked Gilligan's Island too! Of course they really didn't want to leave. Of course I try to be organized and like you I've read all the books listen to many organizational specialist on TV & the Internet so, like you, I am prepared and ready! Sigh :-( Its the doing I have problems with. Oh, well. Won't you come by my blog and share this delightful post? I know my readers would love it. Totally Transformed Tuesday https://pjhdesignsoneofakind.blogspot.com Ahem...you totally spent most of the morning organizing those shelves just for the post didn't you? lol

  28. Image for Jen (Arriving) Jen (Arriving)

    Did you used to wish you were MaryAnne or Ginger? :-) So need to get that on Netflix for the kids to watch. It's funny that you said the vac bags were for vacs you don't actually own anymore because my first thought was, 'people still use vacs with bags?'. :-) The baskets turned out really cute!

  29. Image for andrea cammarata andrea cammarata

    well my friend now that i have the theme song to Giligan's Island playing in my head : ) LOL!!! i don't think they ever wanted to leave either! ; ) You would NEVER know that you were not organized -- never ever ever!!!! but now we know but everything still LOOKS FABULOUS!!!! : ) you are truly unique and sure have FLAIR in everything you do that is for sure! : ) sending you tons and tons of hugs!!!!

  30. Image for anne anne

    HOLY MOLY a butlers pantry! And it looks gorgeous too!!!! Numbered baskets or no numbered baskets your pantry looks amazing.Honestly I could sleep in that room LOL!!!!! xx Anne

  31. Image for Becca Becca

    It didn't work. I don't believe you. Those lovely numbered baskets have me fully convinced you are the Martha Stewart of organization! xo Becca

  32. Image for Beverly Beverly

    I'm still trying to catch up on my reading. I was pretty much a waste during my birthday week. Too many things to do and not enough time. Girl, you know we all love, love, love your pantry. As long as something is pretty who cares if it is unorganized beneath the surface? But, I almost spit out my die Dr. Pepper when I read about vacuum cleaner bags for vacuums you no long have. I have some of those, too.

  33. Image for Becky G. Becky G.

    I know I'm a little late to the comment party, but I just found your blog through Hooked on Houses. Your farmhouse is AMAZING. I have a floor similar to the one in your butler's pantry in my kitchen ... I'd love to know the wall color you used!

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