Organizational Thursday: The Put-Together Pantry

5 years ago

About two years ago the hubby and I decided our chaotic, overly scheduled, disorganized life was in need of some major simplification. One of the ways we decided to do that was by meal planning. Since beginning our weekly meal planning, we’ve found that we don’t buy as much and that we don’t need as much. Now that we’ve got meal planning down to a science, it was time to organize other things, like the pantry! More often than not we find ourselves buying food that we already have stuffed in the back of the pantry.  In an effort to simplify and streamline our meal planning a pantry re-do was in order. Time for a change!

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We have a relatively small pantry with pull-out drawers, which makes organizing somewhat challenging. After devising a plan, it was time to put it into action. We figured that the easiest way to organize our pantry was to divide each drawer into a “section.” We decided that the top drawer would be for baked goods, second drawer for canned goods (mostly things used to cook dinner), third drawer for lunch supplies (tuna fish, canned pineapple, pretzels, animal cookies) and the fourth and final drawer would be for the kids' healthy snack bins. The kids know that if it’s in the snack bin, it's mommy-approved.

We bought clear bins for all of our dry foods with the idea that we’d be able to SEE what we have. When in doubt, always go clear. If you can’t see it, either 1) it won’t get used or 2) you’ll buy multiples because you’ll think you need it.  We also clearly labeled all of our bins. We have a son with food allergies so it’s VERY important that we have everything clearly marked. All of his foods were marked with a big GF, for gluten-free, and given a green dot. He knows if there’s a green dot, it’s a “green light” o.k.-to-eat food.

After reorganizing the pantry, we couldn’t believe how much extra space we had. I am SO thrilled with how it all came together. Truth be told, I REALLY don’t like messes and this was a messy project. I’m glad I stuck with it, though. I hope this little overhaul inspires you to clear out those bulky boxes, get those shelves cleaned off and get organized!

If you’re pumped and motivated to get your pantry re-do going, here are some tips.

1) De-clutter - Clean out those cabinets, toss expired or stale foods and clean off those shelves.

2) Divide and Conquer - Divide everything into sections. Like items with like items, all cereals together, all snack foods together - you get the idea. Devise a plan and get ready to put it into action.

3) Restock - Pull out those super cute containers and baskets you bought. It’s time to pretty up that pantry! Use baskets to store cereal, crackers or cookie boxes. Use metal containers for those sticky things like honey and maple syrup.

4) Enjoy - Take a step back and enjoy the beauty that is your newly organized pantry. Way to go!

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