I had been putting off organizing my pantry for months. One morning I looked around and thought “I’ve had it! Enough!” After some research and 2 trips to The Container Store, now my pantry just makes me happy. Here are some steps and tips that helped me accomplish my goal.
1. Clean it out. Take everything out in sections. Spread all over your kitchen to get a good view. For ex: put all canned goods together in one area, etc.
2. Check expiration dates. Pitch!!
3. Categorize and consolidate. For ex: I use a clear storage canister for my flour, and it was half full, and then I had a half full bag of flour taking up space….combine! Figure out what your family uses a lot- for ex I always have lots of packaged snacks, pasta, broth and breadcrumbs. The last 2 are prob weird categories and not everyone needs them, but I did!!
This also might be a good step when you determine what kinds of baskets or bins you want to use. I already had the white baskets, so those weren’t going anywhere. I love these bin clips that allowed me to use different bins but keep the look of the label the same. Use taller bins for taller items like oil and vinegar, and then the shorter baskets can be used for things like cans.
Decide what items you want to store in clear storage canisters. I use these OXO Good Grips POP Canisters. Consider using these for items like flour, sugar, pancake mix, cereal, pretzels, and candy.
Here are the categories I used:
– Breakfast (oatmeal, granola bars, etc)
– Can tomatoes
– Nuts/Dried Fruit
– Baking/Bulk (this is where I keep the bags of sugar, flour, etc thats extra as I store those things in the clear canisters)
4. Labels!! I used my label machine but you can label however you wish. Just keep it the same throughout.
5. Group back together. For ex: I chose to combine nuts with dried fruit (raisins) and honey/syrup with my spreads (peanut butter and jelly). Another ex is I first tried grouping rice with dried beans/grains, but then realized I have tons of rice and it needed its own basket.
6. Try to keep it uniform – the key to an organized pantry is a look that is CLEAN and easy on the eyes.
7. Educate! You’ve done all of this work and then your child OR husband just throws the bags of Goldfish in a corner of the pantry, never to be found again. Make sure everyone in the family knows where things go so that it STAYS that way.