Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Organizing the Pantry

Most visitors will never visit your pantry, so organizing a pantry is solely for the benefit of you and your family.  It doesn't have to look fancy and it doesn't have to be extravagant.  It simply has to suit your needs and assist you in finding your ingredients in a systematic and foolproof way.

I tackled my pantry today!  Actually, my pantry is both a pantry and a laundry room.  This was both an organization project and a cleaning project.  Here's what I did!

clean slate
Pull out everything and start with at least one bare slate.  I decided to pull out every item that was on the floor and moved them into my kitchen.  I also began by sweeping the floors to have a clean surface.  Clearing and cleaning the main area in which you will work really helps the project become attainable and keeps you inspired to keep on.  If you are constantly tripping on objects and cannot see the end goal, the project will never get completed.

spot clean
Tackle the areas that you normally never think to bother with in your pantry.  If you have a trash can you may decide to do what I did.  I decided to wipe down the wall where the trash can sits and scrub it with a Mr. Clean magic eraser.  My wall looked so much better!  Also, you can wipe down racks, go around the base boards, and clean air vents.

steam the sucker!
Nothing is better at sanitizing a floor than a good and hot steamer.  I used my Haan steamer and got my floors sanitized and sparkling!'

organize the goods
I stood on a towel (floors were still wet) and began to organize the canned goods as well as my many, many bottles of oil, vinegar, and dressing.  I have four plastic baskets on my pantry shelves, because when we first moved into our house we realized how impractical the wire shelving was for storing bottles and cans.  The baskets allow us to minimize avalanches and allow us to section our ingredients.  I have a bean, veggie, and fruit can basket.  I have a baking ingredients basket.  I have a soup, packet, and jello basket, and finally, I have a tomato goods and pasta basket.  Sure, I have some items hiding in each that don't fit in each category, but it helps having sections.  On the next shelf up, we have all of our bigger bottles and bigger boxes.  The main thing is have a plan and manage your plan.

extra storage
My husband loves to bake, so all of our flours do not fit on the main pantry shelf.  I bought this three tier shelf from Target three years ago and it houses our sugar, flours, large stockpot, rice cooker, breakfast items, and snacks.  What a great investment!!!

crossing the t's and dotting the i's
Leave no stone unturned.  When I'm working through my pantry, I make sure to wipe down the trash can.  Each area of your home is filled with details, how many do you notice around your home?  Trust me, even if house guests do not notice your pantry, they will absolutely notice a dirty, splotched trash can.  Also, since my trash can is hidden in my pantry, I keep my recycling in a paper bag beside my trash can.  This way, I just pick up the paper bag and set it in the outdoor bin, no need for dumping!

together again
I kept on my project until completion.  After the floors dried, I was able to load the extra pantry room items back into the pantry room.  My pantry/laundry room hasn't looked so good in a long while!!! Sparkle sparkle, shine shine. Yeah, that looks nice!


  1. Way to go on the pantry! I keep meaning to reorganize mine, and the cabinets, and the closets, etc.... I've decided to take 10 minutes everyday to declutter and clean someting. A filing cabinet, a shelf, anything. Today I cleaned out the old coupons and papers from my little bin in the kitchen. Tomorrow, who knows.

  2. Good job! We're trying to be more mindful of eating items before they expire and have to be thrown away.

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