Pantry Re- Organization

I just knew that I was going to be tackling our pantry yet again when I saw that January's Pinterest Challenge was all about getting organized.

See our pantry is huge and while I am always trying to keep it in "shape" somehow it's a total mess each year once Christmas passes us by.  Partly I think it's due to the extra foods/ snacks my boys get from ALL our family members... partly the rest of the month of December is so busy that I'm happy to just throw stuff in there to get it out of the way... and partly our needs really do change that much in a year.



The foods we're eating now aren't anything like what we were buying a year ago.

Each year I find I need less and less room for our schooling & art supplies as the boys age out of many of the "fun" hands-on subjects and just want a series of easy to use textbooks.

I find all household organization works for me for a year or so at a time until I feel the need to make changes.  Only problem is when I search Pinterest for pantry organization ideas I am left drooling over systems I know would not work for us-- even for a year!

I love this pin, and this one, and this one... but it's not practical for me to put all our food in clear glass or plastic containers.

There is no way I am opening up cereal boxes, bags of flour, etc. each week when I do groceries just to dump them in a container.. plus I always wonder how that really works.  Do you just not buy another box of cereal or bag of flour until every last drop is gone?  I'd want to wash the containers now and then and make sure we're using up old inventory before adding new but I couldn't possibly wait until we actually ran out of those items to buy new ones...

So I kept on digging and looking for solutions that would work for us.  I finally settled on this pin.  I loved that nothing was taken out of it's original packaging yet the pantry looked organized.

I went to Amazon and ordered enough of this shelf liner to line all the shelves, two packages of these bins, and two sets of these larger soft sided bins for non-food items.  (I later had to one more package of each set of bins).

Then we emptied everything out of the pantry.  I washed down all the shelves, brackets, and walls.  Then we put the shelves back in where they belonged.




I laid out the shelf liner and trimmed where necessary.  I was so happy to have plenty of small pieces left over to line the spice rack on the wall too!




Once I had the pantry itself all cleaned I turned to grouping our food items together.  It took me a bit of rearranging to fit everything into the bins I wanted and to make categories that would make sense to us all.  I knew that in order for this pantry to stay organized the family had to be on board with keeping it this way too!

Obviously your categories would not be the same as mine but here are the different groups I made:
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins/ Tissues
  • Paper & Party goods
  • Light bulbs
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Hand/dish soap
  • Pest control & Asstd. chemicals
  • Pasta
  • Rice/ grains
  • Quick kids 
  • Crackers
  • Snacks
  •  Cereal/ granola
  • Canned goods/ spreads
  • Flour
  • Cooking supplies
  • Baking supplies
  • Coffee/ Tea/ Hot Cocoa
  •  Nuts/ Dried Fruits/ Croutons
  • Sprinkles/ Candy Melts/ Morsels
My original plan was to use these soft sided cases all around the top shelf but I decided I didn't want cleaning supplies that could leak in cloth bins so I swapped some of them out with the plastic bins instead and used the cloth bins for the two side shelves and all the paper goods.




Once I had all the food and supplies back in the pantry and I had everything the way I wanted it; I made up labels for the bins using some of my scrapbook paper and decorative punches.  I tied them onto each bin using a matching ribbon.



While I was sorting food, the boys were sorting through the schooling and art supplies.  We got rid of a lot of supplies and tried to re-gift most of it off to other family and friends.  We arranged what was left back into the cabinet.


What a difference!



It's been almost two weeks now and so far this system is working GREAT!

I smile each and every time I open the door now.  I love how organized it all looks and yet it's so simple to just grab what we need out of a bin and put it back when we're done. 

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Comments

  1. What a transformation. Great job it looks amazing.

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  2. I love an organized pantry. And the tags on everything!

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    1. I love the addition of the tags; not only does it help all my guys remember what goes where but they add a nice pop of color.

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  3. It looks fantastic! You did a great job! Makes me giddy. Haha.

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    1. Me too! I seriously can not help smiling each time I open the door.

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  4. Too funny, I’m taking a break from… You guessed it… Organizing the kitchen! The pantry is halfway done but I keep moving on to other cabinets, LOL! This looks great!

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    1. Thank you! We're slowly working on all the cabinets in the house with a huge focus on the kitchen.

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  5. Your pantry looks fabulous! Now you can com and do mine for me! :-)

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  6. Oh how I wish I had a large pantry! Mine is small, definitely not a walk in but I do need to get some baskets to organize. Maybe this weekend I'll get out and buy something that will work. I love an organized home!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. Me too! Being organized makes me feel so happy and free.

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  7. Your pantry looks great! The bins and baskets are perfect for it. It's great to have such a large space and that your family is working with you to keep it so well organized!

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    1. I was so happy to see that none of them are having a hard time with it; sometimes a new system works great for me but they find it to be so much wok to keep it up.

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  8. Ahhh your pantry is goals! It looks so good. I love the way you organized it and appreciate the honest before pic too! Great work!

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  9. Looks amazing! The baskets and labels are so cute!

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  10. This is an amazing transformation! The cute tags are a great idea so you don't have to take down the bins and look in them. I love it!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the tags allow us to only take down a bin we need!

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  11. What a great idea. Love how organised and tidy it looks now. Thanks for linking up to The Wednesday Blog Hop. Hope you can join me tomorrow :)

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  12. As I was reading your post, I was thinking that I could just as well have written, because I have had the same thoughts about bringing things home just to empty them into another container...or the impracticality of using clear containers! And it seems like I reorganize our pantry about once a year, because it just doesn't seem to stay that way! Thank you for the inspiration!

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  13. Can you organize my pantry, pleeeeeeease?!? I keep organizing mine, but it gets messy again in no time. Yours looks great. The thought of removing everything from the pantry itself seems overwhelming. Lol. I love your bins. I definitely could use bins in mine, especially a snack bin for the kiddos.

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    1. This is the first time I have ever removed everything before starting... and that's kind of a lie since I had the boys do it! It did make a difference in really seeing what I had though.

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  14. High five on the plastic bin business!! I just don't see the benefit of emptying things from one container into another. I was nodding my head in agreement with everything you said.
    Your pantry is Pinterest perfect. Hope you pinned it to share with the world. And hope it serves you well. Followed your link for the shelf liner and will be ordering some as soon as I can get my shelves measured.

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    1. That shelf liner made such a difference; I had no idea that product existed until I began digging around to try and come up with a solution for dealing with the wire shelving. I am slowly adding it to every closet and shelf in the house.

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  15. I use baskets in my pantry too and it makes keeping organized so much easier. Your pantry looks great and I bet it makes you smile when you look at it. BTW - I line the bottom of my plastic baskets with heavy duty foil to keep any liquids from bottles, like oils and soy, from getting all over the bottom.

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    1. That is a great idea to line the baskets themselves.

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  16. I love it! I do not have much in my pantry but I did buy a few bins at Target this past summer for the extra snacks, the ones the kids are not supposed to get into until I put them on the shelf and one for the lunch boxes. I still need to get a couple for the canned goods and pasta. I agree with you and those clear containers: it looks so pretty but not sure how practical for my family.
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    1. I still try to hide the snacks I don't want them getting into but I have to admit it's not nearly as easy now that's it all neatly organized.

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  17. It looks great and not overwhelming. I always wish for a pantry space and am so jealous of those that have them!

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    1. Ours was supposed to be about 1/2 the size it is but our builder pointed out to me a few different ways we could reorganize the kitchen for this pantry and I jumped at the chance.

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  18. Your pantry looks great! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ's.

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  19. Wow! Those baskets make all the difference in the world.

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  20. This is such a good idea. I really need to get my pantry organized again. The baskets you got really do make a difference in our nice it looks. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

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