If you’re following 34 Weeks of Clean Challenge this post is about how to Organize your Pantry.
Reorganizing the Pantry is a never ending job at home. If you use your pantry for the lovely bounty of resources that it is you know you will constantly need to clean it up and clean it out.
From spilled crumbs on the pantry floor to putting like things back together when your well meaning family gets things out of joint
I've needed to clean up my pantry act too because I've really let it get all out of sync.
I use our pantry hard! And so does my family. We keep snacks, drinks, appliances, baking supplies, spices, and bulk items in there. I wish I had room for cookbooks but alas it is all filled up.
I'm very happy it's a corner pantry because I need all that space. But truthfully I had not been utilizing it well and I let it get pretty untidy.
Even though I didn't want to do this big pantry project I dove in anyway.
Cleaning out the Pantry
I knew that the first thing I needed to do was empty the pantry. That's the first thing you do when cleaning a space. Empty it out and clean out the dust bunnies inside.
When cleaning out my pantry (oh I just hang my head and take deep breaths here, it's such a big job) I pull everything out and use my kitchen counters and dining table for space.
I then wipe down shelves and sweep the floor.
Organizing the Pantry
I think finding a place for everything in the pantry is key to keeping it organized. And when I say finding a place I mean the little this and thats need baskets and bins to keep them organized.
Buckets, bins, and baskets to help coral the items. And jars to hold dinner staples.
Here Are Some Places I Found Inspiration
- DIY Canned Food Storage: While I didn't do this since I actually don't have that many canned foods, I may try it some day. Thought it was cool.
- Pantry Baskets: I was really inspired by her black and white basket decor. So much so that I had hubby go out and buy spray paint. Never used it though and may not. I have darker baskets in there and that seems to be a nicer touch for my pantry.
- Tips for an Organized Pantry: This was a great post for many reasons. Not only for Nina's lovely, clean, white, drool worthy, organized pantry but because of the tips like these: Protect white paint, put felt pads on the bottoms of containers and baskets so they don't scratch the paint, pull out shelves which I plan to put SOMEWHERE in my kitchen, and all sorts of other helpful tips for organizing your pantry.
Here's what I did to clean up our pantry
1st: I emptied the whole thing. All of it. Onto the counter and the dining table. I really was getting discouraged at this point. I mean who has this much food?!! Well I do obviously. And I use it all (cackle here).
2nd: I started with what, to me, are the easiest items to organize, the papers and plastics. I cut the top off of a box I had lying around and used that to store various baggies. I had purchased one of those plastic organizers, they're pretty cheap, so I just tidied that up a bit.
3rd: I worked on the next easiest items. I put the pasta and rice mixes in matching baskets. These now need labels so that's another small project for another time.
4th: Next I put all the canned and bottled goods back on the shelf in a more organized manner. We actually purged a little here with some items we were not going to eat and were just past their pull date. Out they go! I don't keep many canned goods so these were easy to organize.
5th: Now here is where I kind of whined and didn't want to do anything. The spices. We like spices and get them from all sorts of places. Although we have a nice spice organizer my mother purchased us one year for a wedding anniversary gift we've been using the bottles from Penzy's spices. So what I ended up doing was just putting all the jars into two plastic containers. Even though we're not using the organizer we're keeping it because my mother would notice if I got rid of it. And besides I saw some good hacks for it on Pinterest.
6th. After that it was just a matter of tidying up the rest of the items. Vitamins, baking ingredients, some mixes I haven't used yet, pulled together some snack bins, and I think that was about it.
Next up I put new labels on my bulk bins. The black you can see on them the results of a failed chalk painting experiment. It peels off with a little work but I've been lazy about it. Did you know there is a paint for plastic? Well that's another post but there is so much I don't know about doing creative things in the home so one of my quests this year (besides health) is to venture forth a bit.
In the pantry I made labels for a few of the baskets and bins. It really helps the family if they know where they can find things.
So how about you? Did you tackle your pantry this week?
Don't forget you can pick up free printables for each week in the 34 Weeks of Clean Challenge here.