My Pantry is a mess. I use to organize it biweekly, but it just kept getting cluttered and messy I almost gave up.
I was browsing pinterest for inspiration and came across a blog that has changed my life. A bowl full of lemons. She is every organizers dream blog. I got so many amazing ideas from her posts, then I found out she wrote a book! I purchased the book here, and I started to create a dream pantry for myself.
Let’s Get Started
First you will need to measure your shelves, see how wide they are and the vertical space. This way you know what bins, containers, or storage tubs will fit in the area. Take those measurements with you shopping.
Now some of you may have it in the budget to purchase everything at once, some of you will be using what you already have. Do what works for you and your budget. I have stuff on hand and I did get some new stuff for the pantry.
**Please, Please, Please if you are going the dollar store route, look for food safe specific containers if you are pouring food into them. A lot of dollar store items are made in china and do contain trace amounts of harmful chemicals you don not want in your food. **
Items I have for my space:
Totes (These totes, are not food safe but will house extra bags, or boxes I want to keep together. )
Pull Everything Out
When I say pull everything out, I mean every last thing. Appliances, food, storage conatiners EVERYTHING.
Throw out old food, broken appliances, and donate things you don’t or won’t use. There is no sense in keeping it around.
Group Things Together
Now you will start to group things together. Where will things make most sense in placement. Some of your basic categories will be Baking, Bulk Items (snacks, rice, or dry goods), Canned Foods, Candy/Chocolate/Snacks, Packed Food, and pastas. You can even organize Breakfast Foods, Lunch Foods, Dinner Foods, and Snacks. Like I said do whatever works for you.
I learned from the book it is always best to contain canned foods. Racks or soup containers really help free up your space. If you have a small pantry use your door to shelve items. There are so many door racks available for you to buy that help save space. Like this one here and here.
Find a labeling system that works for you. Label the item and on the bottom label the expiration date if you are removing it from it’s packaging. That is an important piece of knowledge. You can make your own labels with tape and paper, or you can purchase them here, and here.
If you choose to make them with tape and paper. Print off your labels ex: Cereal. etc, Place a piece of packing tape over the label. (Make sure the font is the same size or smaller than the piece of tape). Use a scraper to run across the font, make sure you get the font do be completely adhered to the tape. Now place in a bowl of water for about a minute or so. Pull paper off of the tape and you should now have transferred the ink to the tape. Dry the tape, it should still be tacky, and place it on the appropriate bin. Tutorial here if that didn’t make any sense.
I also love these labels here.
Map it Out
Map out how you will place the items, what sections will be what, what shelves will contain what item.
Keep kid friendly items towards the bottom so they can help themselves to certain foods. Keep things you don’t want them to have up higher. We also like to make snack bins for Aria or whoever is over. Snacks are easily to grab and go, or easy for them to find without calling your name a million times. We also create a lunch box station for that very same reason. The more you plan things out in advance the easier it will make you life. Our lunch box station here.
Wipe down the shelves vacuum or sweep out the floor. This will help you keep a nice clean well organized area. I hate stepping into the pantry onto a pile of crumbs. We have wood floors so your feet find anything and everything on the floor. I try to clean my pantry shelves once a month or so, and I sweep the floors daily.
Put it all away
Now that everything is clean, it it’s proper groupings and labeled, put it away in the places it works best for your family. This part takes a while, but it is so worth it when you look back and see the before and after. It’s also nice to have a chalkboard inside your pantry so you can quickly write down what your running out of, and what you will need next trip to the store.
Please post pictures to my facebook here, if you do this. I love seeing how people organize their space. It helps everyone to see all the different ideas we all have.