I am about to show you my pantry. My unorganized, overstuffed, embarrassing pantry. Please, no judging. 🙂
I only feel comfortable doing this because it doesn’t look like this anymore! I fixed it and I learned some great tricks along the way that I want to share with you. Maybe you already know all of these, but they were serious light bulbs for me!
Tip #1 Shelf Liner
First I took EVERYTHING out of my pantry and wiped it all down. This used to be a chore before I had shelf liner on all my shelves. When I recently moved, my sister came out and helped me put contact paper on all my shelves where food was involved and it was one of the best things I ever did! I don’t know why I didn’t know about this stuff before. I used to HATE trying to get spills off the rough pantry shelves…why are pantry shelves always so rough and hard to clean anyway? Well, no more – after you install this stuff (way easier to do with two people) it is so easy to wipe up spills and keep your shelves clean! Chose a pattern or color you love, after all you will see it EVERY day! I chose polka-dots…no surprise. 😉
Tip #2 Containers
Another trick I wish I had discovered ages ago…putting packaged goods that you buy a lot like this Quinoa…
into plastic or glass containers with air tight lids. It is so much easier to open, close, and measure from this container. To label this, I just cut it right from the bag and taped it on with packing tape.
Don’t forget the directions!
I would love to have all my food in these…click over and watch the short, fun video on them, you will want them too!
Tip #3 Handy Snacks
Your kids are going to raid the pantry, so make the healthy choice easy. I stole this idea from the grocery stores… presentation is everything. Put healthy snacks down on a shelf where they can reach them and make them look enticing.
I found these square plastic bowls in fun colors at Target in the dollar bins. Love those bins!
Tip #4 Arrange like items together
Instead of storing different shaped noodles all over the place, I grouped them all together and put them in a bin. Where are the cranberries? Easy, with all the other dried fruit in the dried fruit bin.
I also found these rectangle plastic containers at Target in the $2.50 bins.
Here is my baking supply bin.
Tip #5 Rarely used items on top shelf
Instead of using prime real estate with items you rarely use, get it up out of the way. I only make cookies a couple times a year, so now the cookie cutters and sprinkles are in their own plastic shoe box on the top shelf. It is see through so I know exactly what is inside. I didn’t have enough plastic shoe boxes, however, so I used empty boxes for some things. Carnation drink box = perfect napkin holder. I do need to label this somehow so that I am not the only one who knows where the napkins are hiding. I also love these plastic under shelf baskets. They help to make better use of your space.
BONUS! Tip #6 Buckets
I love these big buckets with gamma lids. The lids are air and water tight but easily twist open when you need to get in. They are genius for storing bulk dry ingredients. It is easy to refill your sugar and flour containers from these without making a mess. Just slide them out, twist the lid and refill! I made the mistake of thinking if big is good, bigger is better, but the biggest bucket wouldn’t fit in my pantry. So be sure and measure your space first. 😉
Here is a look at my pantry put back together. I can actually find where things are now. What a concept. While it is now functional, making it pretty is always a work in progress.
And the other side.