MISS MOOX + Organizing

Decorganizing Wednesday: Kitchen Pantry

I received a reader request to talk about organizing a kitchen pantry and since I have been organizing so many lately, I thought I would share my process as well as some tips.

Step One: Clear
As you clear everything out, throw away anything that has gone bad or is past its expiration date. If there is unopened, good food that you know you will never eat then donate to a local homeless shelter (or the like).

Step Two: Categorize
Clear off some counter space or table space for this step. As you are clearing everything out, try to group like items i.e. put all pastas in one spot and all snacks in another. This step will make the whole process a bizillion times easier.

Step Three: Clean
Wipe down all shelves, vacuum up crumbs, etc. so you can start with a blank canvas.

Step Four: Conceptualize
Think about your lifestyle and how you want to use your pantry. Do you cook a lot? Do you buy in bulk? Does it need to be kid friendly? This will help you know where to put things in your pantry. If you cook a lot, you might want spices and such easily accessible. If you buy in bulk, allow space for these types of purchases. If it needs to be kid friendly, put breakables up high and bins with kid's snacks down low.

Step Five: Contain
Choose the proper containers to house your food items. I like to take dried goods out of their box and store them in glass or plastic (BPA free) containers. This not only increases their lifespan but it looks better too! Just be sure to also snip off any box instructions you might need for cooking. I also like to use bins or baskets to contain all the things like bags of potato chips, snack bars and such.

Be sure to label all containers with clear label maker tape or create your own unique labels. One tip I have for making any space look neat is to limit the types of containers. For example, use all of the same glass containers and then all the same type of baskets. If you have six different style baskets and six different types of glass and/or plastic containers it can start to look cluttered real quick!
*I put this as Step Five but ideally you should buy/order many of these containers in various sizes before you start the organization process.

Once you have everything cleared out, organized by category and in the proper containers, you are ready to put everything back in the pantry. Be sure to keep like items together, allow space for new purchases and make sure all items are visible (put taller items in the back and shorter in the front and keep labels facing forward). If you have the space, you might want to keep a step stool in the pantry for those hard to reach items. This was an earlier post I did on some super organized pantries to wet your appetite and give you a push to get this project started!

If you are local and want help organizing your pantry, let me know! I can help your organize your current space and/or design a custom storage system for you (via California Closets). Give me a shout sidney@eclectic-idg.com.

And remember, if there is a subject you would like me to post about on Decorganizing Wednesday, please let me know!Leave a comment or shoot me an email at sidney@eclectic-idg.com.

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