I'm all about organization. For some reason, when things have it's place, I feel at ease and at peace. Like. I can conquer the world. But no for real, that is how I feel, like I can do anything when I'm in my office and I don't have stuff lying around. I hate the feeling of not knowing where a certain thing when I am looking for it. You know what I how it goes. When we first bought our house, we knew it was going to be a house that we were going to be in for awhile, so I wanted to make sure that everything in the box went into a spot I wanted to be. Well that didn't work. I ended up stuffing everything in where it will be and saying to myself, I will get to it later.
But eventually, I did end up finding some time to get it all done. And that is the challenge: finding the time to start. But once you do, oh my, it is so much easier to maintain! The places I have organized are my closet, our linen closet, our pantry and our fridge. The main places that have stuff everywhere!!
The steps I am going to share are the steps I took to organize my pantry, but you can use the same concept anywhere!!
As you can see, we don't have a very big pantry. In fact it is the same size as our linen closet (which I have organized as well, that will be another post). Not much space compared to a walk in pantry. But, we have made it work with a little organization and since we have gone down to just basics, (that's another post about how we changed our eating habits) our small pantry is more than enough room for us! So I hope these tips can help you out!
1. The first thing I did was take EVERYTHING out of the pantry! This will allow you to be able to see foods and things that you don't want or need or are expired. I just made a 2 piles: Keep and Donate and whatever I couldn't donate I just threw away.
2. Now with your shelves empty and bare, you can really start to think how you would like things placed. I have only 4 deep shelves in my pantry, so the way I decided to group things was like this:
Bottom shelf: Canned Goods (mostly tomato sauce and tuna cans), noodles pasta, and any other boxed items (we don't have a lot of these things because we don't really purchase a lot of things in cans or boxes)
2nd Bottom shelf: Snacks such as chips and granola bars. We also have peanut butter and honey on this shelf. I picked this shelf because it easier for the kids to reach their snacks.
3rd shelf from the bottom: All my baking stuff!
Top shelf: Majority of our overflow stuff such as flour, sugar, olive oil and soy sauce.
That's basically what we carry in our pantry. As long as we have flour and sugar we are good. We make almost everything from scratch.
3. Now that you have assigned each shelf, now it's time to inventory what you currently have and what you will buy in the future. This is important so you will know how big the bins, baskets and jars that you will use for your items. You can purchase the your storage holders from any home goods store or even make some out boxes that you have laying around.
TIP: Use wire baskets or clear bins so your items can be easily seen. Utilize wire baskets that you can hang from the shelf so you can maximize the vertical space. They are great to store bread, packets, or anything small. I like to take my items out of the original packaging and place them in the bins like granola bars. I use glass jars to store oatmeal, flour, pretzels, sugar, etc. Place little adhesive hooks on the doors to hang things such as lunch boxes. You can also hang little clear bins for packets of seasonings and such. Putting a liner on the shelves can help clean up a breeze and keep things in place. Plus it looks better than plain shelves.
4. Enjoy your organized pantry! It will make life just a little bit easier, especially when cooking and even when figuring out your grocery list. Having an organized pantry can eliminate purchasing things that you already have which in turn saves you money.
I still have plans to either paint the inside of the pantry or put nice wall paper just to add some color. When I do, I will be sure to show you guys! Also we have a cold storage in our basement that I want to add shelves in to create a space for our overflow and stock items such as water, rice, paper towels and toilet paper. Got to be prepared when the zombies come!