Beautiful Spring weather is upon us here in New Jersey…FINALLY! I love this time of year. Throwing the windows open to let the fresh air in after being cooped up all winter long is pure heaven. It also sends me into a cleaning and organizing frenzy!
The first thing on my list was to thoroughly clean and organize our kitchen pantry. I came up with a few key steps, that if followed, will give you the beautifully organized pantry you always dreamed of.
Pantry Organization “101”
- Clean Out-Remove everything from the pantry. Throw away all expired items. Clear off a large space to work on, such as a dining room table or kitchen island and lay everything out.
- Make it Pretty- Choose a fun color to paint the inside of your pantry….Or add a decorative stencil or wallpaper. This will automatically define the space and add a little pizzazz to an area that otherwise could be rather boring. Have fun with it!
- Secure Shelves– Most builder grade homes are fitted with wire shelves in the pantry and closets. If the shelves are scratched up add a quick coat of white spray paint to them. Measure and cut plywood to fit the top of the wire shelves and paint it white. This adds a solid surface, making it easier for smaller items to stand upright and makes the shelves much more attractive.
- Designate Storage Areas-Store items you use the most at eye level , and less used items up high or down low on the lowest shelf or on the floor. If you are looking at the shelves of my pantry and wondering where all of my canned goods are….well….they’re not here folks. What little canned goods we have are stored in a cabinet in our laundry room. Pretty much we only ever have a few cans of soup and crushed and pureed tomatoes. If you tend to purchase a lot of canned goods I would just store them in a couple of the woven baskets with handles.
- Remove Original Packaging-Store individually wrapped items such as granola bars, fruit snacks, and snack size chip bags in open bins or baskets. Transfer cereal and pasta to clear plastic containers. Do the same for your flour, sugar, brown sugar, and salt. I purchased my containers at Home Goods. The bottle that our syrup is stored in can be found anywhere. I have seen them at Home Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Target. The vinyl pantry labels came from The House of Smith’s vinyl shop. It looks like the shop is temporarily closed but check out Shelley’s blog anyway. It’s full of inspiration. Plus her pantry makeover is probably the most popular pantry in all of blog land. She is the one who started the “pretty pantry” trend. See her amazing pantry makeover here .
If you are interested in vinyl canister labels for your pantry check these out…
They are very similar to mine and come in countless options. You can find them here
The clear acrylic canisters that I used in my pantry were purchased years ago, but I did a little digging and found some great alternatives for you guys. I found this large canister online at Walmart. It’s a great deal at only $12.61. This would be a great size for your flour, sugar, dog biscuits, cookies, or any other bulkier items.
Here is the tall acrylic canister that is perfect for pasta, rice, cereal, etc., also found at Walmart online. They are a great deal at only $18.99 each.
We are big time users of pancake syrup in our house. I like to pour the syrup into a glass bottle in order to make it more attractive when it sits on both our pantry shelf and kitchen table. Check this one out…
This is the Korken Bottle with stopper from Ikea. It’s real similar to the one I use for our syrup and it’s only $3.49.
- Gather Baskets & Bins- All of the baskets and bins that I used for our pantry makeover were found in my home. A couple of them were leftover from gift baskets that were given to us years ago. In order to tie them all together in a cohesive color palette I spray painted them. There is no need to go out and spend a lot of money on all new matching baskets. Try to use what you have. I also used wire bins that you can see through for misc. items. This comes in handy when you need to see what you currently have and what you need to re-stock up on.
I found these brown woven baskets from World Market. They are very similar to the ones that I have and the best part is they are currently on sale for $11.99-$17.99. Grab them while you can!
Check out these wire baskets I found at Walmart. I kind of like them better then mine because they have the scoop front which makes grabbing items easier.
- Labels, Labels, and more Labels-Label everything! Once you spend the time labeling your bins, baskets, and canisters you are much more motivated to put everything back where you got it. I didn’t buy fancy labels. I just traced a glass, cut the circles out, tied them with fishing line to the baskets and taped them to the bins.
If my DIY labels are a little too rough around the edges for your taste, you can find tons of free printable labels all over Pinterest. I found these from Better Homes and Gardens. They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.
My biggest piece of advice for you would be to just roll up your sleeves and get started on your pantry! It can be a little overwhelming to do all at once. Start by getting rid of expired food items and slowly begin collecting your containers. First look around your house to see what you can use and then go from there…..before you know it you will be well on your way to having your own organized pretty pantry!