We are still working on our kitchens here in Week Two. I have three easy tips for you to help you get your pantry organized and keep it that way! The first thing you need to do before you can really clean and organize your pantry is to take absolutely everything out. This can be an overwhelming task so give yourself plenty of time to do it. Use your kitchen table to put it all on. Use your vacuum attachment to clean all the shelves and corners of the floor. Check expiration dates on everything. You will be so surprised at how much you still have in there that is out of date. I do this a few times a year and I am always surprised.
1. USE CONTAINERS AND BASKETS
There are so many great options out there for "containerizing" your pantry. I found these great linen-lined baskets on Wal-Mart's website this past summer for a great price. They are from their Better Homes and Gardens line, have a little chalkboard on them and have held up really well. The best part - they were only $7 each! Use them to separate different categories of food.
I have recently discovered the Elfa storage systems at the container store and I am in LOVE!! This particular set I chose attaches to the back of your door with no screws - it's simple and easy and very secure. It saves so much space in your pantry to have these extra baskets on the door where there was just wasted space.
2. LABEL EVERYTHING
I have tried just having baskets without labels, and it just doesn't work quite as well as when you label it. Everyone knows where everything belongs if you label it. It's as simple as that. It does still tend to get disorganized after a while, especially after you have kids help unload the groceries. But it just takes a few minutes to get everything back where it should be when there are clear labels.
I've had these Snapware sets from Target for several years now to store baking supplies and more. They have worked out really well and are very inexpensive. You can also find them sold as singles in Wegmans grocery store. I like to take food out of their original packaging when it's a matter of long-term storage and keeping things fresh. Just make sure you jot down the expiration dates on a piece of scotch tape and stick it to the back or bottom of your containers. It's also easier to see what you may be running low on before heading to the grocery store.
3. USE YOUR FLOOR SPACE
I keep all my canned goods, water bottles, paper towel supply, wine bottles, and baskets of onions and potatoes on the floor in containers.
I recently discovered these all purpose bins from the Container Store, that look like magazine storage. They are the perfect size for holding canned goods - and save a HUGE amount of space. I used to have almost an entire shelf in my pantry devoted to cans and now they are all contained in just three inexpensive holders and only take up a corner of the pantry floor.
I keep my apron hanging on a simple nail right inside the pantry so it's quick and easy to grab when I need it.
A popular spot inside our pantry is our friends and family growth chart. We have tracked how much our kids have grown on here ever since we moved in. We even track the growth of lots of growing friends as well! But the best part is seeing how tall of our "grown-up" friends are. Plus it's a fun way to see and remember all of our friends who have come through our home and whom we consider as part of our family. It's always a fun conversation piece.
Happy Pantry Organizing! Follow me on Instagram here and post your pictures using the hashtag #organizeeverything You can follow along and catch up on all the organizing in the links below. It's not too late!
MAIN LIVING AREAS - WEEK ONE
ORGANIZING THE KITCHEN - WEEK TWO