Jul 23, 2014

Kitchen Pantry Organization

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Wow! First off I must say that I am so very embarrassed with how my pantry looked. I am being very real here. It is not like me at all to take a picture of probably the most disorganized place in my house and put it on the internet. For EVERYONE to see!
It does not always look that bad, but it has been pretty bad for about two months now. I know gasp if you must, because I cannot believe I let it get this bad. The day I finally tackled it my husband said, "This pantry is quite overwhelming." It had been on my to do list for a month by this time. So I thought, "If my husband is saying something then it must be pretty bad!" I tackled it right away. It did not take me too long either. However, I already had the organization items purchased. Like I said it was my plan to do a complete redo of the pantry a month ago.


The very first thing I did was take everything and sort them with like items: breakfast, snacks, canned foods, boxed foods, baking items. During this step I got rid of a lot of things that had gone stale or bad. This gave me an idea of how much space I needed for each "category" of food. After that I figured out where made sense to put the categories. For instance, you don't want items that you use all the time on the highest shelf. I knew I wanted snacks for my daughter on the bottom shelf so she should easily reach them. I also wanted breakfast items down there because they are easy items to be on the more shallow bottom shelf. The snacks for my daughter I put in one of the stack able storage containers.  It came in a 3 piece, but I couldn't stack 3 containers high so I had one extra. It worked perfectly for all the little grab n go snacks I have for her. This contained them all so I don't have a bunch of little items all over the place.

 I also love the storage solution for my bread.  It contains it perfectly and I can also fit cookies or anything else small.  I usually put either cookies or another Tupperware of some sort of treat I made.

Also, along the bottom I have my rice container and my cleaning supplies (brooms and mops).

On the next shelf I have all my baking items: flour, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and marshmallows. I am pretty low on food right now (waiting for a deal to come up), but I have plenty of room behind these items to store extra that does not fit in the containers. To the side of those items I have the stack able storage containers as mentioned above. In one I took out the big box of Easy Mac (got it at Sam's Club) and put them in a container. That way I can put something on top of it and I can still get Easy Macs without having to move anything. In the top container I have more snacks (Goldfish, sunflower seeds, and granola). In front of that I have room from 2 bags of chips (we ate them before I had time to take a picture...I guess I was too busy eating chips. *wink).  It is still very easy for me to get to the bins behind the bags of chips. It works best for me to have a maximum of 2 bags of chips in the pantry and sometimes I do not have any (like now...thank heavens.  Those things are deadly to me).  If I have a ton of chip bags then I notice my pantry gets cluttered faster. I have a storage room that I store any extras if I have more than what is in my pantry.

The next shelf up I have canned food on shelves. That way I can stack more cans and still see everything. There are all sorts of options when it comes to the little shelves, but here are a couple great options (16 inches or Expandable). Next to that I have a little container (similar). This container holds marinades, gravies, soup and dip mixes, and Kohl-aid mixes. I have more drink mixes to the right of that as well. 

 On the top shelf (with food on it) I put boxed foods and extras that I will be needing soon (pasta sauce and salad dressing). These work well on the shallow shelf as well. I also do not use these foods on a daily basis. I actually have one more shelf above this one, but I only put non food items up there that I rarely use. I have my cookie cutters, fondue set, and some serving dishes that I only pull out when I have parties.

I also had my husband install a bag holder for all of the grocery bags that I use as garbage liners.  It fit perfectly on the side of my pantry.

I am a perfectionist to the nth degree.  Therefore, I am sure I will rearrange this pantry again. When we first moved in there was not a pantry, but my amazing husband turned this closet that is right next to the kitchen into a pantry for me. It works perfectly. Although it is not massive it works well for our family. One day I might have a big pantry, but for now I am very happy with this one. I hope to one day paint the shelves white along with everything else, but that is at the bottom of the list since I have so many other projects taking up my time. One thing that does bother me is putting items in front of non matching items (like in the case of the chips in front of the storage containers).  I do not like having deep shelves and not utilizing the space, so when I can I put like items in front of the extras.  However, I can not do this everywhere in my pantry if I want to have all my pantry items in my pantry. I wish there was a system that had thinner shelves on a Ferris wheel type thing and you could push a button and it would move the shelves from front to back. That way you could utilize all the space, but not have things blocking the way of others. There might be something out there like that. If there is I wonder if it costs an arm and a leg to have. If one does not exist then I should start making one. It makes sense to me.

I have provided labels for your baking needs. I hope you can put them to good use. I am relieved that this project is off my to do list. However, the biggest thing with organization is to keep maintaining the space. Just like your car would be a disaster if you never cleaned it out; the pantry will be a mess if you never clean it. You use it every day. So give it some TLC every once in awhile. If you have to schedule the time then so be it, but make sure you squeeze it in somewhere so you stay on top of it.  Now I need to make sure to take my own advice. What are your secrets to a well organized pantry?
Check out all these pantry organization ideas.  There are lots of tips and tricks (especially for small spaces).


Unknown said...

Great job organizing your pantry. Mine is always a mess. I can never find anything. Thanks for the tips!
House on the Way

Shambray said...

Thank you. It was quite the feat. Now lets see if I can keep it that way!

Andy said...

Now that I've seen someone else do it, I think I'll be tackling the pantry tomorrow morning. Mine is an embarrassment. Like your before times ten.

Shambray said...

Hahaha. I really think the pantry is so hard to keep organized. Hopefully you can do yours soon! Visited your blog. Love it!

The House Enthusiast said...

I'm scared of the Pantry :-) Closets? No problem. However, you've inspired me!! Maybe that will be my weekend project. Maybe. Or, I could tackle the closets again. HAHA

Lauren @ Bless'er House said...

So much better! I just started working on my pantry organization too but it's nowhere close to ready for a reveal...I think I'm like you in that perfectionist department. I have to say I'm a bit jealous that you have solid shelves and not those wire builder grade ones where stuff falls over all the time like I have. Pain in the behind! You did a great job! :)

Shambray said...

Hahaha! I am the same way. I have a very hard time with the pantry!

Shambray said...

Oh man we should be best friends and share each other's thoughts about our perfectionist tendencies! My amazing husband put in the shelves! He is so wonderful. Good luck with yours! I'm sure it will be fantastic!

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