Hi everyone! You may remember from my Paralysis By Perfectionism post, the lovely picture of my kitchen pantry closet. To say the least, it was a mess! Well, after a lot of hard work, it’s not a mess anymore! Today, I’m going to show you what I did, and share some tips for how to organize a pantry.
First, let me share the beautiful before picture of our kitchen pantry. This picture was not staged – this is what our pantry looked like the day I finally got up the nerve (and energy) to clean it out.
I love being organized, but I’m also an all or nothing type of person. Meaning if I can’t do something really well, then I don’t do it at all. Every time I would open the pantry closet door, I would think – I need to get this closet cleaned out. Then I would close the door again, and it never happened. I needed to be in the mood, and have the time to get the pantry organized the way I wanted it.
You can see that there is no rhyme or reason to what’s on each shelf. There are cleaning products next to Kleenex, which is next to food. It was a mess. Every time I would get groceries, things just got shoved anywhere I could find space on a shelf.
The thing is, I was buying more groceries than I needed because I couldn’t find anything in the closet.
Now I can open the pantry door, and know exactly what groceries I already have plenty of, and what I need to purchase.
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HOW TO ORGANIZE A PANTRY
*At the end of this post is a source list for all of the organizing products I used to organize our pantry.
So, let me share what I did to organize our pantry.
The first thing I did was to take everything out of the closet. This felt so good to do! I had so much in there that I didn’t remember having. I threw out some outdated things, and I moved all of the cleaning products to my new laundry room cabinets.
Our pantry was still painted with the builder’s paint from almost 19 years ago when our house was built. It was in pretty bad shape. So, while the pantry was empty, it was the perfect time to paint the walls the same green as our laundry room, which is right across the hall from the pantry. I love how the green walls turned out!
I also painted the shelves and applied a polycrylic finish coat to protect them.
Next, it was time to put everything back in the closet. But, before I did that, I tried to figure out what was the best way to organize the food that we normally store in the pantry.
The only organizing type item that I had from before were the multi-level shelves that you see in the left top corner. They’re great for storing jars and cans in a way that is easy to see each item.
I decided to buy some containers that would help me to organize the pantry, and make it easier to see at a glance what food I already had. I found these great Good Grips POP containers. They’re clear, so I can see what and how much is in each container, and they’re also airtight.
I did a short video showing how the POP containers work –
I did buy two other organizing items to help organize our pantry.
I bought a few small white plastic baskets that can hold packaged items like oatmeal packets or bags of potato chips. They’re also great for storing some messier items like a bottle of vegetable oil karo syrup. They’re made out of plastic, so they are easy to clean if there are any spills.
The other item I bought was an adjustable shelf for canned items. Now I can easily stack my canned items, and use up more of the vertical space in the pantry.
So, after getting all of my containers, and filling them, I put everything back on the shelves.
I tried to group similar items so that they were easy to find. For instance, I put all of the breakfast items together, all of the pasta, rice and sauces for meals together. It works for us, and of course, you can group your items however it makes sense to you.
The before and after – what a difference!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for how to organize a pantry! Do you have a pantry or closet that need organizing? Hopefully yours is not in as bad of shape as mine was!
Here’s what we changed in the kitchen (and the posts with further details):
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I’m joining these parties!