I’ve organized the pantry several times since being in this home and it’s never been as well organized as it is today. Eventually, I would like to have a professional closet organization company help me out with this area of the house because the current shelves the builder put in really aren’t meant to hold much weight. They’re already starting to bow in the centers so I’ve had to try and switch our heavier items to the far sides of the shelves while putting lighter items towards the center. Unfortunately, that’s not in our budget at the moment so I’m making due with what we have. I invested in plastic food storage containers by the brand Flip-Tite. I found the first container at TJ Maxx but they only had one container. I liked it alot better than the Oxo Pop containers because when you hold the container by the lid it stays in tact. If you try to hold a Pop container by the lid the lid will slowly slip away from the container indicating an inferior seal. I found alot more of the Flip-Tite containers on Amazon.com and later found even more containers by that brand at Home Goods.
I also bought a few wicker baskets from Target for the pantry makeover. I’ve had them for awhile now and I’ve switched out the items in the baskets many times trying to get the right mix of pretty and function. These baskets work, however I wish they were taller so when filled you didn’t see items sticking out of them. Anyway here are the before pictures. (These pics were actually taken about a year ago. I don’t have a more recent before picture.) Click on any of the photos to view them larger.
The first thing I did was take all of my beans, soup, bouillon cubes, soup stocks, and canned tomatoes and moved those to an empty cupboard I had after my kitchen cabinet reorganization. Then, I moved all of the alcohol and infrequently used kitchen appliances to the basement. I took all of my drink mixes out of their cylindrical containers and put them all in a large Zip-lock bag to save space. Many of my dry goods like sugars, flours, quinoa etc were put into the Flip-Tite containers and labeled with removable sticky labels by Post-It. Once that was complete I grouped all of my like items on the kitchen counter and determined which groups of items would fit best in the baskets I had. Finally, I took black card stock from my scrapbook collection and a round circle punch that you can buy at any craft store and punched out circles. I then labeled them with a silver paint pen I had on hand to create labels for my baskets and hung them from the handles with green ribbon I already had.
It looks SOOOOO much better in my opinion. I have one large basket that holds almost all of my baking supplies (marshmallows, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, caramel drizzle, raisins etc. I have another basket labeled “Baking Mix” which has pancake mix, cake mix and muffin mix. I have a basket labeled “Dressing/Marinade” that has salad dressings, sauces etc. I put my bags of croutons next to that on the right and to the left of that basket I have some packets of salad dressing seasonings. The basket “Pasta/Sides” has pre-made sides like flavored rice packs, flavored noodles etc. The basket “Pasta” has dried pasta in it, all different types. Next to it are some noodles that came in a bag that I put into a Flip-Tite container, and to the right of it I have a pack of Ramen noodles that my husband likes to have for a quick snack at night. My “Snack” basket is a little overfilled and not exactly practical. I will have to figure something else out for that but right now it has some bags of chips, some sunflower seed snacks, nutrition bars, etc. To the right of that are boxed cereals and oatmeal. And get this…there’s NOTHING on the floor in my pantry anymore!!!! YAYYYY! That was a big goal of mine because both of my dogs shed and their hair would float under the door and I couldn’t vacuum easily with all of that stuff in the way.
I used to buy too much food in bulk which frequently wasn’t used before expiration and just takes up too much space. So it’s now a new mission of mine to only buy the food I would eat within a 1-2 week period so I don’t accumulate more than I need. Also, I’m trying to eat out of my freezer and pantry and ONLY buy a few ingredients I need here or there to complete a meal. This will hopefully encourage me to use up some ingredients I already have and not spend money I don’t need to when I have TONS of food in my house. I hope you like what I’ve done 🙂