Does everyone get as excited about cleaning out their pantry as I do? To be fair, I get excited about cleaning and re-organizing just about any space in my home! But, my pantry does hold a special place in my heart! I spend a lot of time in my kitchen and pantry. I joke that it’s my second office. It has to be organized if I am to be most efficient…and if you know me, I am all about efficiency!!
I do a clean out of my pantry at least twice a year, but this time was a major overhaul. I pulled out everything on every shelf, consolidated, re-organized, and re-prioritized all of the items. I pulled out items I never used and made room for what I did use. I spent about 6 hours total over two days – and it was soooo worth it! Here’s why:
1. It’s essential for quick and easy meal prep.
2. It saves you money. Never again will you buy a bag of flour just to come home and find another bag stuffed in the back corner. You can also readily see what you have, which makes meal planning easier and quicker. You can assess what you have to come up with meal ideas for the week.
3. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Once you put in the time, you just have to maintain it. As long as you purge what you don’t use, and organize everything as you add it, you’ll never have to spend hours organizing again.
Having an organized pantry is life changing! Read on below for how I organized mine.
How To Reorganize Your Pantry
1. Take inventory of each shelf. Empty it all on your counter one shelf at a time. Consolidate and organize. Take things out of packages. Store in baskets and bulk bins.
2. Label everything.
3. Organize onto your shelves once everything is labeled.
4. Place things you don’t use all the time out of reach. Make sure the things you access all the time are easily accessible. Sounds like a no brainer, right? I had my juicer on a shelf I needed a step ladder to reach… and I use this several times a week!
Oils and Vinegars
I organize liquid seasonings on small “Lazy Susans” that I purchased at the container store. That way, I can rotate them to get to what I need.
My cans are stacked on tiered shelves (also purchased from the Container Store). I try to organize them by type and keep beans together, soups, sauces, etc.
Baking, Pasta, and Grains
This was a process! I started by placing everything onto my counter one shelf at a time. I consolidated ingredients into jars, containers, etc. Once everything was contained, I used chalkboard labels to identify everything. For baking powder, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut, and other miscellaneous items, I placed them in baskets by type. The dried fruit went into one basket, and powders in another. I then placed everything back on each shelf – one for baking and one for pasta/grains.
I store all of our crackers, chips, cereal bars, cookies, and sweets on the top pantry shelf. I use several baskets to organize everything by type. Crackers and school snacks go in 1-2 baskets, with another for chips, cereal/protein bars, and another for cookies, and another for sweets.
My pantry also stores all of my china, platters, and appliances. I placed appliances on the bottom shelf and part of my top corner shelf so they are easy to get to and lift. The other side of my pantry shelves organize all of my platters and china. I used a similar process as to what I did for the food, where I cleared each shelf at a time.
I organized serving platters on one shelf and china on another. I have a shelf for my Shabbat stuff and another for Jag’s dog treats. Trays are stacked on a bottom shelf. I also have paper plates and utensils on a shelf, along with plastic boxes (from the Container Store) that hold surplus napkins, straws, bags, and utensils. These boxes are organized by type and stacked on top of each other.
Whew! That was a project, but so worth all of the work. I am flooded with happy thoughts and smile each time I walk into my pantry. Meal prep is easier and quicker because everything is easily accessible and easy to find.
How do you organize everything in your pantry?