Ways to Organize Your Pantry
A Pantry Can Get Messy Quickly
One thing I know I struggle with when it comes to organization is the pantry. Growing up we never had a pantry, everything was scattered throughout a series of cabinets in the kitchen. If you wanted to find the Oreos then you had to open a few cabinets before finding where they went when the groceries were getting put away. Nothing had an assigned place. It drove me batty.
Now I have my own home, pantry included! I was so excited....... Then I realized how small and difficult it was to actually use. My pantry is a tiny closet-like space with four 1 X 1 shelves on the left, a large shelf spanning the length of the space, and a wire shelf screwed into the wall a foot below the large shelf. Better than what I had but not ideal.
I, however, have a makeover plan for this little pantry. It will become such a nice little space with just a tiny bit of work.
Increase Shelving Space
The first thing that needs to happen to make a pantry more efficient is to increase the amount of shelving. There are various ways of doing this and it largely depends on the space you have available to you.
You could add a full metal shelf to the pantry or pick a smaller one, similar to something like what I've posted below. This may mean removing all current shelves, or just a section of shelves to make way for a complete rack to fit in. I personally would prefer to use a rolling cart so I can remove it and sweep the pantry floor.
Another option to try are those white wire racks you can have cut to the size you need at the hardware store. This is an easy way to ensure the units you are installing fit your desired area as you can have them cut to exact measurements. When hanging these, be sure to try and find studs in your wall to ensure they are properly supported. You can purchase a stud finder from any hardware store.
Once the racks are in place I would put cedar shelf liners on them. This will make it so that you aren't limited to what you can place on the shelves and keep things from falling through the wires. As a bonus, cedar will also help repel any pests thinking of settling into your pantry.
Lazy Susans- 'Round and 'round we go!
Another quick and easy addition to the pantry is a lazy susan or a turntable. Adding a few of these make it much easier to store items in your pantry and find anything you need quickly. Place small containers, cans, or spices on these to find everything you need without searching. A lazy susan can help keep those smaller items right where they are easy to spot. I was always digging for that can of baking powder I knew was SOMEWHERE in this pantry! With it now having a permanent home on a lazy susan, I can always find it right away! Remember to put similar items on the same lazy susan to be super organized! Spices on one and baking supplies on another.
Clearing the clutter
Now that shelving and a few lazy susans have been added and you have more space to work with, it's time to reduce the clutter of all those boxes. I hate having boxes of pasta stacked on each other, it makes it so hard to find the right pasta without unloading the whole lot of them. To remedy this all I need are some airtight tupperware containers. Empty several spaghetti boxes into one plastic container and you're simplifying your pantry and freeing up even more space! Do this with cereals, oatmeal, and rice as well.
One of the nice things about this system of storage is that the containers can be stacked without the threat of toppling over now. This ensures that your pantry can be kept tidy and not overwhelm you by the mere sight of it.
Label for quick identification!
Before considering the organization of your pantry complete, consider labeling the containers you have just added to your pantry. By using a label maker to label each container according to it's contents you make unloading your groceries and find the items later a much easier task.
As a cute alternative you can also use chalk board labels! These look adorable on baskets and as an added bonus you can erase the name of the item if you need to store something else in that basket/bin. You can even add purchase dates or use by dates to know you are rotating your pantry goods appropriately.
I like using labeled containers to store cereals, rice, sugar, flour, etc.