How to Create an Organized Pantry.

It seemed as though I was constantly cleaning out and (re)organizing my pantry!  It seemed an endless task, as it seems to be the catchall for the entire house.  I knew that I needed to have a different game plan with this last pantry organization.

First, my pantry has to function for many different uses.  It is a place for some of my pots and pans, obviously my grocery items as well as my storage for household items such as paper towels and toilet paper.  It is also serves as my snack and beverage storage center.

Second, I decided to make use of storage containers, which helped tremendously, as everything has a place now.  I went with a practical, low cost approach (spending less than $100) for all of my storage items.

Third, I knew that de-cluttering my pantry was pivotal.  I found that I had extra unused space in some of my lower kitchen cabinets, which is what I utilized when storing some of my small appliances that had been in the pantry  This freed up space in my pantry, which is used more as a “kitchen command” area in my home.

There is a process to organizing, and at first it seems a hopeless task, but the reward is worth the effort.

Here are five steps to help you organize your pantry.

  1. De-clutter to create an organized pantry.
    • Remove everything out of your pantry (yes everything!).
    • Organize into ‘like’ piles.
    • Decide what needs to stay in pantry and what can be stored elsewhere.
    • If you haven’t used something in a full year, donate it.
  2. Formulate a Plan.
    • Decide on what small appliances you need for easy use, and which ones can be stored away.
    • Decide on what categories should be stored in the pantry.
    • Measure the shelves and the space.
    • Determine the overall look of what you like (and your budget).
    • Visualize configuration ideas and if you struggle with this utilize Pinterest 😉
      • Do you want plastic storage containers for cereals, rice, noodles etc?
      • Do you want basket, cloth, or plastic containers, etc?
      • Do you want labeling for your product bins?
  3. Go Shopping.  I prefer to go to the store as I am a visual person.  However, you can shop online at many great sites like Target, Wal-mart, Amazon, The Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.
  4. Make your organized pantry pretty.  Even if you decide to use plastic storage you can configure your pantry in an appealing fashion.
    • Clear containers for what you want to show off.
    • Opaque or solid containers for what you want to hide.
    • You can pretty up your shelves with contact paper if you choose to as well.
  5. Bringing it all together.
    • Put kid’s items where they are easily accessible.
    • Place snacks and drinks within easy reach.
    • If you store medications in your pantry, place those items in a secured container on a high shelf.
    • Place your frequently used items within reach and your lesser used items higher.
    • Place bulky and heavier items on lower shelves.

Here are my before and after pics:

As a side note, hanging my pans and pots in my pantry was simple to do.  I first decided how many boards I would need based from how many pots and pans that I had.  I then took 1×3 pine boards, cut them to the desired length and found my studs (using stud finder) and secured to wall (with screws).  I then painted up the boards the same as the wall color.  I then got 2 packages of simple black hooks, that I then secured to the boards.  Whala!  Instant storage! And so easy!

It bears mentioning that once you organize, take the extra few seconds to always put the items back where they belong.  This should be easier now that everything has a place!  Get out the habit of throwing items randomly in the pantry and the problem of having to re-organize should be a problem of the past.  Breaking a bad habit is hard but once broken, it becomes easy to make tidy habits, well a habit.

You can really make your pantry your own creation.  It can be beautiful and still be very functional.

Here are some other pantry organizational ideas.



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