Pantry Organization

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  • Pantry organization storage ideas, tips and tricks to get your space organized in the new year.

    One of the things that sold me on our new house was the kitchen (post coming soon)! I also loved the fact that it had a walk in pantry. I’ve never had a pantry before, usually I just stored everything in cupboards, under the bed or coat closets (which you can definitely make pretty and functional too).

    I knew with this pantry that I wanted to keep things organized and make sure every item had it’s own container. I’m going to take you through the steps of how to organize your own space and make it work for you.

    organized pantry shelves

    How to organize a pantry

    1. Take measurements. Be sure to measure the size of your pantry so that you can maximize the entire space and find containers that will work for the shelves.
    2. Remove all items. Remove everything from the pantry and wipe it down so that you can start with a clean slate.
    3. Group items into sections. Group all pantry items into sections, i.e. baking supplies, snacks, canned goods, etc.
    4. Start pitching. Get rid of anything that has expired. This is also a good time to pitch anything you know you won’t use and that is just taking up space. The goal is to have a functioning pantry with items your family will eat. Remove packaging before adding items to the container, recycle the big boxes if possible.
    5. Add items to storage containers. One section at a time, start adding the items into your pantry storage containers. Try to find containers around the same size as your items. You can group multiple items in one container. For example I put all my sauces in one container.
    6. Organize containers in pantry. Place storage containers in your pantry. You want to organize these based on what’s most convenient for your family (i.e. snacks on the bottom shelf for your littles, things you don’t want them to get up top).
    7. Make sure everything has a place. Even if you’re storing your food in a cupboard, you want to make sure it has a place.
    8. Add labels. Once you have everything in place, now you can label the containers. This has made it super easy to keep our pantry stay organized. I loved using my white sharpie to write on the labels.
    9. Write the expiration dates. Use a white sharpie to write the expiration date and instructions on the bottom of the container. It will wash off with water and a scrubbie. You could also cut out the nutrition label and tape it to the bottom if desired.
    10. Store extra’s up top. Have a bin for extra’s that don’t fit in the containers. Then when it’s running low, you can easily refill.

    pantry storage containers

    Pantry storage containers

    • Clear containers: For my clear containers, I used these BHG food storage containers from Walmart. They work great and are the cheapest that I was able to find without losing quality. These are great for things like pretzels, crackers, nuts, pasta, etc.
    • Cereal containers: For my cereal containers, I did splurge and get the OXO cereal dispensers. I didn’t love that my kids couldn’t hold the bigger containers, so these smaller ones are perfect.
    • White bins: I found the white bins from IKEA. They are the Kuggis box (the majority of them are the 10″ and the ones up top are the 14×21″. I love these because you can’t see through them and they are super easy to wipe down.
    • White buckets: For bulk items, I used food safe containers with a gamma seal lid. I have the 3.5 gallon size (because that fits best in my pantry), but if you want to hold a 25 pound of flour then you’ll need a 5 gallon bucket. Again, just make sure it is food safe. You can find these at Home Depot, Lowes and some stores like Winco.
    • Jars: I used these Ball glass jars with white storage lids to store nuts and seeds. They are the perfect size to fit a whole bag and keep them nice and fresh. I found these later, or I probably would have added more to my pantry. They are so pretty!
    • Can organizers: I’ve had these organizers for several years. In my last house I had a book shelf in a closet and stacked them in there. It worked!
    • Turn tables: turn tables also make a great addition to store things like honey, spices and sauces.
    • Baskets: baskets are also a cute and functional container. Just make sure not to put loose food in them, only packaged items.

    Pantry labels

    I used these chalkboard labels from Michaels on the white bins. Then on the clear containers I wrote directly on them using this white sharpie. It makes it look like a chalk pen, but it won’t come off. I also used that sharpie on my containers. It will come off the containers with water and a scrubbie.

    Most craft stores have all kinds of labels in different colors and sizes. We even have some of the basic pantry organization labels available as a free printable. I love these cursive labels that you can buy with the items written out as well.

    pantry chalk board labels

    How I labeled my bins:

    Several of you requested for the names I put on the bins, so I thought I would update this list.

    White bins:

    • Pasta
    • Sauces
    • Condiments
    • Salad toppings
    • Stock cans
    • Produce
    • Nut butter
    • Bread
    • Breakast
    • Mac & Cheese
    • Snacks
    • Dried fruit
    • Apple sauce
    • Baking
    • Vitamins
    • Chips
    • Extra (this is a big bin I keep up top with extra food that didn’t fit)
    • Paper goods

    Clear containers:

    • Noodles
    • Rice
    • Cocoa powder
    • Flour
    • Oats
    • Powder sugar
    • Chocolate chips
    • Marshmallows
    • Chia seed / flax seed
    • Granola
    • Cereal
    • Pretzels, etc.

    pantry shelves with bins

     

    More ways to organize:

    Check out my Pinterest board for even more inspiration.

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