My pantry has been a source of stress for a long time so I was determined last night to organize my pantry and I was not going to stop until it was DONE!
To my surprise, it only took me 2 hours to achieve my goal!
Now, I love Pinterest and gleaned a ton of ideas on how I could organize the pantry and make it look beautiful. But that will be a work in process. There are things I still want to do like add nice labels to the shelves and maybe put chalkboard stickers on mason jars to store items.
But my first and most important goal was to organize the contents of my pantry in a logical manner first. Then the beautifying process will be easier.
I started organizing my pantry at 8:25pm after the kids were all in bed and finished at exactly 10:25! I couldn't have planned that better! I promise this is the truth! I was surprised!
10 Tips To Plan Your Organized Pantry Overhaul
- Make sure the kids are in bed or away for a few hours (you need uninterrupted time to get this done!)
- Go through your house and collect extra baskets, shoe organizers, and anything not in use that you can utilize in the pantry
- As you pull contents out, check expiration dates and have the trash can right beside you
- When pulling spices out of the pantry, line them up in alphabetical order on the floor or counter
- Take all can goods out and stack together on counter in categories (beans, veggies, tomato products, soups, etc)
- Place all baking products in a separate section on the counter
- The key is to organize as you pull things OUT of the pantry. This will cut down the time spent later!
- Clean all shelves and sweep the floor when the pantry is empty
- Determine what shelves will house each category of items and place your baskets or organizing racks where it makes most sense
- Enjoy an organized pantry that makes you SMILE!
My Organized Pantry Step By Step
So this is what my pantry looked like before my pantry organization night! I couldn't find anything. One problem is that I let my two oldest daughters help me unload groceries and they just put things wherever there is space. I'm going to have to buckle down and make sure they know which shelf to place groceries on in the future.
Here is another “Before” picture that shows how organized the floor was! Ha!
So this is what it looked like in my kitchen after I took every single item out of the pantry. My husband about had a heart attack when he came walking through at this stage of the organizing project. I had to reassure him that I did have a plan and wouldn't leave it like this for too long. He quietly walked right back out of the kitchen and I didn't see him again until I was done. I think I scared him!
As I said before, an important thing to do is to organize items as you are pulling them out of the pantry. This was my oily section! All oils and vinegars were placed here.
All of my can goods were placed in groups such as tomato products, beans, vegetables, soups and seasonings. This also allowed me to see how much I had of each type of canned goods. I didn't have a whole lot of canned vegetables because I would rather buy them frozen.
As I pulled all of the spices out of the pantry, I put them in alphabetical order. I also grouped all of the peppers and salts together. Who knew I had so many different varieties!
The pantry was now empty and ready for a good cleaning. It really was embarrassing how many crumbs and how dirty the floor was. I will spare you the details!
Here are all the organizing racks and baskets I confiscated throughout the house. I also bought the white wire racks for canned goods especially for this project. I absolutely LOVE them.
I also wanted to utilize mason jars since I have so many lying around in my cabinets. They make great storage for items such as these animal crackers where the bags have been open and only half full.
Remember all of those plastic Walmart bags you saw on the pantry floor? Well every one of them fit in this handy plastic bag storage holder. A friend of the family made this for me probably 20 years ago. Since then, I have seen some awesome plastic bag holders like these. I have also seen tissue boxes being used to house plastic bags.
Don't you love my chip clips? Why spend money on the fancy ones when you can use clothespins or clips from old hangers? I had my husband cut off the clips from some plastic hangers in my closet and presto! I had some sturdy chip clips. I stored these in the green basket you see here that I bought at the Dollar Store.
I bought a hanging shoe organizer with clear plastic to house all of my spices. I also arranged them in alphabetical order just like you see them in the grocery store. Now it will be so easy to find and see what I have on hand. No more spending 10 minutes searching the pantry for spices that have been shoved to the back.
I also didn't realize how much my family must love cinnamon! I had 4 opened bottles!
I love my clean pantry floor! I put my most frequently used appliances such as my crockpot, blender, and griddle on the bottom shelf of the pantry.
The shelf above that are all of the items used while baking such as flour, sugar, colored icing, and honey.
I have this top shelf designated for breakfast items such as oatmeal, cereal, and pancake mixes and syrups.
The shelf below that are some can goods categorized with all tomato products together and broths right next to those.
Here is the left side of the pantry continuing on with canned goods. I have all soups and ready-made meats such as salmon and tuna together. This is basically the cooking shelf with all canned goods, oils, and seasonings.
You can tell I need to go to the grocery store. The pantry actually looks a little bare right now.
On this center shelf I placed all snack items such as our chips and animal crackers. Also all bread products and peanut butter used to make sandwiches.
Another tip is to place the wire shelves in the back corners to maximize your space. This way items will not be shoved behind those areas and get LOST!
I also love this shelf where I placed the green Dollar Store basket. Inside I have the chip clips, straws, and other condiments we collect from fast food restaurants such as barbecue sauce and soy sauce.
Here is the final product! After exactly 2 hours of hard work, the pantry is now organized in a logical and simple manner. I know exactly what I have on hand and will not be buying cinnamon for a LONG, LONG TIME!