Pantry Love

I didn't take a "before" photo when I started this pantry project because it didn't look cluttered and unorganized. This "after" photo was taken by the home owner, and after he posted it on FB, I figured he was pretty proud of the results.

If you have a nice large pantry like this, then organizing it isn't very hard, but I will give you tips that will work in any size pantry.

1. Look at the labels:
Most of the food in this pantry was expired. Most foods are still okay to eat after the "best by" date as the date is usually a conservative estimate but it's not a case of whether or not the food is still good. I want you to view food the way you would view any other objects in your house. If you bought a case of canned green beans from a case-lot sale, and those cans have sat dusty on your shelves because nobody in your family eats green beans, then chances are they are CLUTTER.

2. Prioritize: The appliance you only use twice a year, or the dishes you only use at Christmas should be put up high etc. Think of how often you have to get to something and keep things out of corners.

3. Top shelf and bottom shelf:
Too much on the top shelf will make it feel cluttered. If you need to put things on the top shelf, put them in matching, closed containers to get away from that "about to fall" visual. I don't really love the bottom shelf of pantries, but if you want to use them, I suggest bins so that you can pull them out from under the shelves for easier access and to keep your food off of the floor.

4. Zoning:
In this pantry the food, cleaning supplies, and appliances were all mixed together. Since the family usually goes into the pantry and turns left: I put all of the food on the left-hand shelves. Appliances and cleaning supplies are straight ahead, and other seasonal items are on the right side (since some of the right side is behind the door when it's open and therefore harder to get to)

Side note: There are all kinds of gadgets for holding food like "rolling can shelves". I configure most of the pantries I work on the same way that my mother's pantry was: Boxes on one shelf, cans on another. If you stack the cans on top of each other and in front of each other (the way they are at the grocery store), then they take up less room because the can is smaller upright than it is on its gadgets needed.


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I'm a stay-at-home mom of 3 who likes to organize, craft, & read (among other things)