When we moved into our home, I knew the kitchen was a lot smaller than what we were used to in our last house. But I had big visions. Where our pantry is now, was just an oddly laid out broom closet that the previous owners had only used the corners of to store things. Because of that, they ended up storing most of their kitchen appliances where we now keep our kids toys in the family room.
Last year when we did a mini Reno of our kitchen, one of the big things we did was re-vamp the broom closet into an abundant amount of storage for all of our food. But I will be the first to admit that I am totally a hot mess when it comes to organization. I love it and appreciate it, but I have no idea where to begin and always stress that it’s going to cost too much money to start. The problem is that I have a husband who spend half of his working life in professional kitchens, so ‘mise en place’ (the art of your food having a specific home and prepared) was what kept him calm when it came to cooking
2020 is the year for our entire home having ‘Mise en place’ because with three kids in a 1600 square-foot home, the only way to be able to keep this place clean is to have a home for everything. The pantry was the place to start. With $180 worth of containers and baskets from Ikea, along with all of the other containers we had collected over the last seven years of being together, we got to work. Here are the 7 easy tips I learned from organizing our pantry.
7 Easy Tips for Organizing Your Pantry
- Start With a Game Plan
Before you go out and start buying things willy-nilly, take a look at your pantry and come up with a strategy. For us this meant figuring out what shelves would be what items. We broke things up which allowed us to know what to purchase. We also measured before we went anywhere and brought a measuring tape with us so that we knew if things would fit or not. That would save us time in the long run so that we wouldn’t have to return things because they weren’t the right dimensions.
2. Categorize Your Shelving
For us, we took a look at how many shelves that we had and what would be the best game plan to get the most out of each space. We had five shelves and six spaces to utilize. We broke them down into categories of bulk, cooking, baking, small baskets, larger baskets with items that were kids safe, and then the bottom floor area for our small appliances and table clothe etc.
3. Purchase Knowing Your Strategy You Have Just Created
So now that we have our layout created, we were able to buy smart utilizing the knowledge we just gained on the size of our pantry and what could realistically fit on each shelf.
4. Use What You Already Have and Pick Up Over Time
Yes we did this all in bulk, but if you are like us usually and have a budget to stick to, I recommend slowly purchasing your containers over a period of time so that it is more affordable for you. As long as you start the process of organizing, having everything on their appropriate shelves, you will know what to buy for next time.
5. Take Everything out of the Pantry and place into the shelf group on your kitchen floor
Knowing exactly what you have in the cupboard, is key for not only organizing but purging what you know you won’t use. Those purged items are usually great to donate to food banks and allows you a clean slate for what you really need in your cupboard. And, if you haven’t already purchased your containers, this is also a great time to make a list of what size containers and how many you will need to get the organization you want.
6. Square Containers are Best for small spaces
Although I am the first to admit, round containers are definitely the prettier option. Now that we have done our own pantry, I’ve seen firsthand that square glass containers are the perfect option for organizing your pantry if you are tight on space. Not only are you able to get more in Cross wise, but you are also able to stack them unlike round ones. Due to the fact that we had so many round containers already, we ended up dividing our shelves up with round being used for our baking items and square being used for our cooking and savoury items. But, if you are starting brand new with containers the IKEA 365+ Food Containers with Bamboo lids are PERFECT for a pantry.
7. Get A Label Make Or Buy Labels On Etsy
It might seem like a waste of money to some of you, but labelling your pantry is key to keeping it organized. We used the Brother P-Touch Cube to make all of ours, but you can get many different ones, or order custom ones off etsy. Labelling your pantry items helps keep you accountable for putting everything in its place, but is also fantastic for visually seeing what you need more of when stocking up at the grocery store. Once everything has been placed in jars and then had the appropriate label placed on them, I have never gone back to my messy ways. Usually, in a matter of days the whole place was a hot mess again.