An Organized Pantry for Less

You don’t have to have a glamourous high end pantry to have one that makes sense and works for your life. Uber organized pantries with clear containers and cutesy labels can be impractical if you live with other people or plan to buy anything except what’s committed to the “special jars”. Ideally, we’d all love to have THAT super chic pantry, but realistically that doesn’t have to be your pantry goals to have a space that works. I strive to help women declutter and make sense of their spaces without spending a lot of money on organization, often using items that already exist within the home. Here are a few tips to organize your pantry keeping products in their original packaging: 

  1. Chunk items by categories, spacing larger items in between groups of smaller items.  Essentially you’re using your bigger items to create borders between your smaller items. Little things can get shuffled around too easily, so if you keep your granola bars on one side of your cereal boxes and your bags of chips on the other side, you’ll be able to see what’s left for the next grocery list.
  2. Have all items with branded ends facing out. Logos facing out. Most boxes have a branded side and a nutritional facts side. This is an old trick I learned from my step-dad when I would got to work with him stocking and sorting grocery store shelves.
  3. Avoid hiding items behind items unless you have multiples of the same thing from BOFOs (Buy One, Forget Ones) like me. Shoot for one front layer and place like-items behind with the first to expire in front. Make it make sense. You don’t want to be opening cans that expire a year from now if you have ones that expire next month.
  4. Use cubbies for loose singles. Instead of keeping 4 half empty boxes with various small snacks, have a dedicated cubby to collect these and discard frequently if not eaten. 

Below I’ve posted a before and after of my own pantry space, which is a set of metal shelves in my laundry room. The space drives me crazy honestly. My kids pull snacks from here daily and it’s often a mess. There’s no better way to lose food that to store it haphazardly. I have several BOFOs in the after pics that I wasn’t aware of in the first pic (the cereals, the oats, the pancake mix, and the syrup).

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