Having an unorganized pantry was causing me stress. Every time I opened it, it bothered me. And, if your household is anything like mine, the door to the pantry gets opened A LOT, everyday! There was no better time than after the holidays and the start of a new year: I was going to get it organized, no matter what. 

I assessed the project for quite some time, researching, and shopping, but I didn’t want it to look mismatched and like I had just thrown things together. I wanted it legit, organized like a pro. We don’t have a very large pantry, so the most important thing was to utilize the space we have.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. Throw out items that havent been used in a LONG time (I saw things I hadn’t used for over a year) and decide which containers you can re-use and keep. 
  2. Remove any extra lids/small cooking appliances/water bottles etc. and see if you can find a great spot elsewhere in your kitchen (or basement if you don’t use the items often). I took out the small white plastic baskets I had because I preferred everything to match and wanted something different.
  3. Write down what sizes of containers/styles would be best for your space and how many you’ll need (you may not get it right the first time, but thank goodness for Amazon Prime) so you can order more or a different size and get it in two days! I was aware of the wasted space I’d have in the center corners, so I decided lazy susans would utilize that area best, for vitamins, spices & items we use a lot like the large coconut oil container and kids’ lunch containers. I also knew I wanted see-thru containers so I could tell how much of each item I had left and when I was getting low on an ingredient. Anything that can be stacked, do it!
  4. Get some chalkboard stickers and a chalkboard pen (I used fine point) to label your containers.
  5. Hug the UPS man when he delivers your boxes of items.
  6. Take everything out of the pantry and wipe the shelves down (this is a great time to install a liner for your shelves if you choose).
  7. Pour everything into your washed containers, put smaller cooking items in a basket of their own. I use a basket for baking/cookie decorating items/tuna packets, etc. I also use a separate basket for snacks, and a small rectangle wicker basket solely for my coffee pods.
  8. Put taller containers on the top shelf, items you use most frequently at eye-level, and appliances such as the slow cooker/mixer down below. I also knew I needed a place to store onions on one side and fruit on the other, so the wire baskets would stack great on top of one another. (You do have to be aware of what’s placed next to fruit/vegetables because gases emitted from each could ruin one another, something I didn’t know for the longest time!).
  9. Rearrange things a second/third time because you won’t get it the way you want it the first time.
  10. Stand back and revel in your clean and organized pantry (threaten the kids if they mess it up) jk…..

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Step 9. Rearrange things a second/third time because you won't get it the way you want it the first time.

Heather Sears

Heather Sears is a wife, a mother to 3 young children, and a work at home mom. She created A Well Paced Life blog in June 2017 because she wanted a business that she called her own. It is a lifestyle blog covering informative, helpful & motivating topics.  As an athlete and previous sales professional, she posts about all encompassing healthy topics such as f​​itness & exercise, clean recipes, and skincare, with a dose of travel & home.