To organize a pantry, you need to have an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Here are some best ideas to organize your pantry.
Remember back in this post where I talked about how I had reorganized our pantry 6000 times?
Well, consider this 6001.
Usually I go on an organizing binge every January. It’s the “in” thing to do and it makes sense. It’s a great way to start off the new year. Plus, if you’re like me, it feels good to have everything clean, and in its place. However this January came along and I still had blinders on to tackle that pantry.
Most of my organizing tips have worked well and we’ve been able to maintain order. The kitchen cabinet under the sink is still tidy, tidy. Our linen closet too. Our refrigerator – well, kinda sorta. The pantry, on the other hand, stays organized for only a period of time, and then it resembles the effects of a micro burst, weather permitting.
The practices that I put in place were good in theory, but just couldn’t be maintained by our family of four. I truly needed to rethink the layout, and create flow, if you will, grouping like ingredients together and all that jazz.
After sitting there on a step stool and staring at the shelves, trying to rework a game plan, I realized that three things were the culprit of bad placement. Not only were they in inconvenient places, but took up too much room where they were.
As I started to remove everything from the pantry for a clean slate, I became both humbled and appalled. Forced me to take a deep dive into my grocery store excursions and need to scale back on a few things. And, most importantly, only buy what’s on my list.
This Pantry Reorg Taught Me A Few Things About Myself
I learned that I seem to have a thing for crackers. Like, gimme allllllllllll the crackers. Wheat ones, flakey ones, small ones, rice ones and ones baked with cheese. Everything but the kitchen sink crackers, and classic crackers. Forget Holly wants a cracker, it’s all about Brooke wants a cracker. I have now promised myself to not buy another cracker until all have been eaten. By the looks of it, I think we’re good until July.
Clearly, at the top of lockdown when others were hoarding toilet paper and paper towels, I was hoarding vinegars, particularly red wine, rice and balsamic flavors. In my own defense, I do use these said vinegars almost on a daily basis, primarily in salad dressings, but dang. My inventory here is good for a while. Hold off on buying any more vinegars.
I also learned that I was quick to blame everyone else for the pantry disarray, and not looking at myself. Rather than taking a quick look to weave through the mess for a specific ingredient, I just went ahead and bought new. Now, we have a lot of mustard that’ll take a while to go through. Not an economical practice nor cost effective. Poor management at best. No more mustard.
So, taking all of these issues into account, I needed to design a new layout where organization would be maintained. I needed to become pantry wise.
Best Ideas To Organize Your Pantry
I started by moving the microwave. We don’t use it much, but would miss it if we didn’t have one. Originally, we had to bend down to the bottom shelf, reach over the stuff on the floor, just to use the microwave. Dumb placement. Had to move up.
The baking sheets. All this time and all of the previous attempts at pantry reorgs, the sheets have been laying flat, in a stack. Same with the baking racks. Wicked inconvenient and risked a random rack or two landing on your head, and heaven forbid if I needed a baking sheet that was three sheets in. I’m shaking my head right now just thinking about it.
The microwave went up on a higher shelf, and the baking sheets and racks were placed in plate organizers for the best storage that is even space saving. More fits in a smaller area. I achieved my goals. And, Sean reconfigured the rope lights for a little fancy pantry action.
The crackers got their own designated area, and all other categories of ingredients got grouped together. For the spices and those inventoried vinegars, well, a few of these risers were added to make for smart storage and easy to view.
I’m not going to lie, this pantry reorganization took the better part of a week. But, the key to keeping this room organized, is from digging deep and weighing out how much or how little every thing is used; taken out and brought back in. Convenience is key, and let’s face it, organized and convenience should be synonyms. They work together, and I firmly feel that now that I have relocated the microwave, baking sheets and racks, along with grouping like things together, I just might be on track to a long term organized pantry.
Of course, my fingers are crossed, but this time; this 6001st try, I truly think I’m on to something.
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