Organizing the Pantry

Next on my list of things to organize in the kitchen was the pantry.  It was a mess!  Because we kept the trashcans against the walls, they had become splattered with pasta sauce & other questionable stains.  The wire shelves caused items to fall over on occasion, & the overall placement of our food wasn't working (i.e. I got tired of moving stools back to the island after the kids used them to reach their snacks!).  These before shots really don’t do the space justice!

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After removing everything from the pantry, including the shelves, I gave the walls a good scrub & then painted them with some leftover kitchen paint.  Once I got the shelves back in place, it was time to figure out the best placement for everything.

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I decided to put extra condiments, sauces, & additional loaves of bread on the top shelf, since those aren't things we use often during the day. 

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The next shelf contains boxed meal items & pasta. 

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The third shelf from the top (or second from the bottom) holds breakfast items, which are used on a daily basis.

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Finally, sandwich & snack items are on the bottom shelf.

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The new arrangement seems to be working well!  The kids have easy access to their snack items & can even get themselves breakfast if they choose!  The lesser used items are now on the top two shelves, allowing the lower shelves to be used for more frequently used items.

Since installing wood shelves in the pantry wasn't in the budget, I decided to corral the items that usually fall over into bins.  Having these items in bins makes them less likely to tip over, & gives easier access to those staples in the back of the pantry (especially the ones in the back of the top shelf).

I transferred a lot of our staple snacks into clear containers.  Doing this helps our snacks stay fresh & allows me to easily know when we are running low on something.

So far, the new system is working great!  I’m so happy to finally have the pantry organized in a way that will hopefully continue to work for us!  So, do you have any great tips for keeping a pantry organized?  I’d love to hear them!

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