How to Get an Organized Pantry. Once and For All.

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If I lived alone, I swear, I might not be the most organized person in the world, but I would have a tidy home in which I knew where everything was. My pantry is like a microcosm of the rest of my house. By that I mean it is not an organized pantry.

Oh, sure, I’ll clean it out and organize once every three months or so and assume that since I’M going to put everything back nice, then everyone else will, too. Right?

Ha, you know that’s not right! Here’s why. For everyone else, the pantry is to get a snack. For ME? The pantry is to figure out what in the world I’m going to throw together tonight for dinner and oh, while I’m here, do I have any chocolate chips?

So it’s a little more important to me than it is to them to know what exactly is happening in the pantry.

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Why You Want An Organized Pantry

Having an organized pantry is important, first and foremost, because you should always know how low your secret bag of chocolate chips is.

If you can’t FIND your secret bag of chocolate chips, how do you know when to buy more? Oh and also if you can’t find them, you can’t sneak a handful of them after dinner.

An Organized Pantry Will Help You NOT Blow Your Grocery Budget

You don’t need all of these chips! You have three bags at home!

When you can’t find stuff in your pantry, I guarantee you will buy things you don’t need. And you’ll forget to buy things you DO need.

Like Vanilla. I always think I have plenty of Vanilla and then I get home and I don’t have any Vanilla, I have 13 bottles of green food coloring that kind of look like Vanilla.

So if you’re looking to stay on a grocery budget, you’re going to want to have an organized pantry.

Your Meal Plan Will Come Together in A Snap

You know meal planning will make your life easier. But if it means digging through layers of cans and bags and packets of junk in your pantry, then you may abandon that meal plan all together.

That means you will eat more take out pizza because you don’t know what to make. More takeout pizza means you are going to probably gain weight. And gaining weight means you’re probably going to have to go to the gym.

It’s a snowball. Get your pantry organized or deal with 45 minutes a night on the elliptical.

But How Do You Get an Organized Pantry?

empty pantry shelves

You organize the pantry just like you organize everything else in the house.

  • You declutter first. Do you really want to keep your dog and cat food in the same pantry as the human food? Does an iron belong in the pantry? (These are two of the questions I have to ask myself).
  • Once you’ve purged, you take an inventory of what needs to be in the pantry. Canned goods? Cereal? Sauces? Pancake Mix? Probably all of that.
  • Figure out how you want to arrange it on the shelves and decide if you need to buy or make some type of organizing system. Like a Lazy Susan for condiments, maybe? Bins for snacks? Over the door organizer?
  • Put everything back in the pantry. And think of appropriate threats to the other humans in the house if they don’t put things back in their spots.

Pantry Organization Hacks to Consider

Once you’ve purged and you have an idea of what is going to go back in the pantry, you’re going to need some good hacks and ideas for keeping everything looking tidy.

These are some of my favorites.

Clear Containers Whenever Possible

If you’re going the route of emptying your cereal and pasta into other containers (and I’m not saying you have to) then you should definitely use clear containers.

These kits from Amazon are perfect.

clear containers for cereal with labels on them

These containers are airtight and they even come with the labels and the chalkboard pen! And a cute little colorful measuring cup set since you can never have enough those.

You could also use them for your sugar, flour, etc.

This works for individually wrapped snacks, too. A clear container or box to keep these things together means that you can easily see exactly what you have without moving everything around.

You can find all of the details for this gorgeous organized pantry at She Gave It A Go.

The Lazy Susan Effect

I don’t know who Susan is or why she’s been condemned to be called Lazy for the rest of eternity, but whoever this spinning contraption is named after, it should have been the Genius Susan.

Because a Lazy Susan in the pantry is a genius idea. How many bottles of every sauce ever do you have in your pantry? Imagine if you could just spin them around to find the right one?

There are lots of options for Lazy Susan’s for the pantry, but I like one’s like this one from Amazon because it’s got high sides and separate compartments:

clear plastic lazy susan with different snacks in it

Brilliant, isn’t it? Thanks, Susan, you Genius.

You can find the details on the genius Lazy Susan on Domino.

Don’t Forget the Door!

If your pantry has a door, then you just found a crap ton of extra storage space in your pantry.

over the door pantry shelving

I mean, just look at all of the STUFF you can put on the door of your pantry? And then you just close the door and all of that stuff is tucked away. This one from Amazon is great because it isn’t very wide and should fit well on the door.

If I had an over the door organizer like this, I would have no problem finding space for the dog food.

You can find the details for this tidy pantry on Timeless and Treasured.

Step It Up

If you don’t have adjustable shelves in your pantry then it is an excellent idea to invest in these steps for your cans.

That sounds weird and it’s probably not what they are called, but, if you find yourself always picking through a bunch of canned goods, you can get these little step shelves and solve that problem.

metal stands that help organize inside your cabinets

I like this multi step system from Amazon.

You can find all of the details on the steps for your cans at Stylish Revamp.

Label It

I think of labels as more than just a way to identify things. They are also a challenge to the person who is putting something away.

The label says “Peanut Butter”. The person putting away the peanut butter has a choice to make. Do I follow the labels rule? Or do I rebel against that wicked label and put it in the basket marked “Oatmeal” (which is actually just where I hide my chocolate chips).

Hopefully the peanut butter lover is obedient and puts it in the right spot.

Labels are perfect if you are going to use baskets like these that you can’t see through without x ray vision.

You can find all of the details of this stunning pantry makeover at Kelley Nan.

Don’t Forget About the Floor!

I know what you’re thinking, gross I don’t want to put food on the floor of the pantry.

Well, Better Homes & Garden did. And it looks amazing.

If you can find the right vessels for the stuff you’re going to put on the floor, then I say, utilize the floor space. Or else put the dog food down there, but still put it in a cute basket or something, ok?

Amazon has tons of basket options in every size and color you could need.

Bin There. And There. And There.

Bins in the pantry are brilliant. If EVERYTHING is in a bin, you can just grab a bin, peek inside and get what you want.

It keeps everything together and not hidden away only to be found 3 years after it’s expiration date.

clear plastic bins

This bin set from Amazon is great since it’s clear and it has easy to grab handles.

It also prevents you from knocking the spaghetti sauce can over while you’re grabbing the bag of marshmallows from the way back.

You can see all of the details of this super organized pantry on A Bowl Full of Lemons.

What a Tidy Pantry!

That’s what you want to hear, right? Your nosy neighbor comes over and just can’t help exclaiming how tidy the pantry is while she was snooping when you left the room.

Fun, right?

Well let’s get on with it then! An organized pantry.

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