Thursday, August 27, 2015

Organizing the Pantry

With work schedules, church activities and community service, things around the house sometimes fall through the cracks. My pantry was one of those neglected areas that has been crying out for some organization.


With every shopping trip this cupboard has been getting crazier until my husband began to complain that he couldn't find anything in there. Now you know it's serious when the man of the house takes notice!

I previously tried to organize things but as you probably can tell by the clear bins in the pictures. However the project was halted after I learned the high price of food storage containers.

This time I decided to reapply myself after finding some discounted containers from thrift stores, Target and Scratch and Dent as well as DIY-ing a few pieces.


I took everything out and wiped down all the shelves. Then I began weeding out what items should stay and what should go from the pantry. As you can see in the before picture, there were a lot of re-usable bags and tools in there. I decided to find another place for those items.

The next task was to eliminate as many boxed and packages as possible. The biggest box in the pantry was the box with our K-cup pods. I took all the pods out and put them in a basket I got from the thrift store. That basket now sits on the microwave next to the coffee machine.

I didn't eliminate all the boxes. For instance I don't have any containers to fit all of David's cereals. (Can you tell how much he likes boxed cereal?) But I got rid of just enough to get some extra space.

Then I began looking for food items such as flour, sugar, and rice that could be taken out of the packaging and put into containers.

I previously purchased clear bins for the flour and rice from Macy's with a gift card. Later I also bought jars at the Good Will in Fells Point. (See the entire thrift haul with the prices here)

The big "Treats" jar hides my cookies!

I also recycled the numerous jars of pasta sauce, peanut butter and pickles that my husband buys to clean up the pantry. 

(Picture of these jars painted and filled)

The spray painted tops and white paint give the are a neat, unified look. The chalkboard tags means the containers can easily be cleaned out to contain something new.

 Finally I determined which shelves to place the food items.

I lined the top shelf with wire baskets from Target's See Spot Save section for our junk food. When it comes to chips and other carbs, let's hope the saying out of sight, out of mind is true! I believe the baskets were $3 each.

On the two shelves that are eye level, I put the breakfast time items that my husband and I reach from every morning such as cereal and tea bags. (Yes, I drink coffee and tea!) I also stacked items that we typically reach for when we're making dinner such as pasta and sauce.

On the lower shelves are my baking items for those rare days I want to make pancakes or Dave wants to make tortillas

There are also potatoes (which should be kept in a fairly dark place to keep from turning poisonous), onions,  bread, Ziplock baggies and brown paper lunch sacks. The onions and potatoes baskets were purchased from Scratch and Dent for $8.

The paper towels fit snugly in the bottom shelf too!

This project took some time to complete but it is worth it when I can open up the pantry and quickly grab what I need.

Share your thoughts about this project or a link to your latest organization challenge in the comment section below! 

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