Using the PROCESS to organize your pantry

Hi, I’m Laurie from Handy Man, Crafty Woman.  Thanks so much to Laura from Org Junkie for having us guest post on her awesome blog.

I love how Laura uses her PROCESS technique when she tackles her organizing projects.  A few months ago, I organized our pantry.  It’s a great space, but it had started to get messy.  I applied Laura’s PROCESS technique to the job:

Plan your project

Remove items; sort and purge

Organize and purge excess

Containerize; find storage solutions

Evaluate your plan

Solve/simplify anything that isn’t working for you

Smile, and enjoy your hard work!

The plan: I decided that I needed to develop a new system of storage, since items were getting lost in the back of the pantry.  I planned to use several storage containers we already owned.  I purchased two can organizers and a small lazy susan, which cost less than $20 total from Lowe’s.

Next, I removed all of the items from the pantry, and put them on the kitchen table so I could see everything.  I sorted through and made a “keep”, “toss” and “donate” pile.  We’re pretty diligent about not letting food expire, so I only tossed a couple of things.

I then organized the remaining items.  I grouped similar items together. I put the items we were going to keep back into the pantry, and I made a small pile to donate.

I used plastic containers, baskets and wire shelves that we owned to containerize things in a more organized way.  I put some spices on our new lazy susan, and put the cans back on the new can organizer.

I then evaluated the pantry: Can I see things more easily? Yes.  Can I reach things more easily? Yes. (This is very important, because I’m a shortie!)

I decided to simplify our pantry even more by moving some excess food and supplies to storage racks in our basement.  This gave me more room in the pantry so it was easier to see what I had, and what I needed to buy.

Last, the pantry did make me smile, since this project took less than 30 minutes to complete, and it looks so much better!

Note from Laura:  You did a great job Laurie!  Thanks for sharing how easy it can be to organize a space following a few simple PROCESS steps.

Anyone else working on a pantry this week?

PS:  Download my free printable bookmark that lists the PROCESS steps for you on the back to help you remember them (reduce zoom to 100%).

Filed under: Gallery, Guest Bloggers, Kitchen


32 Responses to Using the PROCESS to organize your pantry

  1. 2
    Danielle says

    we have a large pantry and I find it very hard to organize. I see what I want to do with it if we ever do a remodel but now it is just a place where I store pots and canned veggies from the garden

  2. 3
    Amanda says

    Hey, great to see you guest posting over here! I love your ideas and the P.R.O.C.E.S.S., this is a life lesson for sure. We are moving in a month to a larger home with a great pantry, I can’t wait to make it look pretty.

  3. 4
    Karen says

    Looks great, Laurie!

    We live in a small townhome and don’t have a formal pantry. Most of our pantry items have been squished into a kitchen cabinet — until I had the idea of putting a canvas hanging shoe organizer (you know the kind with multiple pockets) on the inside of our laundry closet door (which is adjacent to the kitchen). It’s sturdy enough to place many cans and sauce bottles in. Boxes of dry pasta/noodles slide in easily. There’s even room for my son’s craft supplies toward the top. I should post a pic. It’s really worked out great!

  4. 5
    The Bearded Iris says

    I am LOVING those can “risers.” Great job!

    I did my pantry in early January, before I discovered Org Junkie and THE Process. I should probably redo it now that I have a little more of a clue.

  5. 6
    Stacy says

    in the middle of spring cleaning right now BUT i plan to retackle my pantry maybe next weekend since i got this really neat idea at 3am this morning on how to make it more functional for ME.

    btw my pantry is my laundry & utility room(with sump hole & pump) as well in only 10×8 room. plus it is the only reachable/everyday functional storage area in our trilevel.

    will post pics on my blog when i get there

  6. 7
    Toni W says

    I have a small kitchen with very little cabinets. I have turned a closet into a pantry with a shelving unit. I ran out of space & added a shelving unit to another closet. My daughter keeps these both so organized.
    I do love the risers! I’ll have to look for those when I go out next.

  7. 8
    Mia says

    I really need to clean out my pantry. Maybe I’ll get to that today. 🙂

  8. 9
    Vanessa says

    I need to try this. My pantry is in need of an overhaul!

  9. 10
    Marcia says

    We don’t have a pantry, but we do keep “extras” in the basement (with an index card on the door of the can cabinet indicating what is down there). Thanks for the great ideas — I need to work on the “staples” cabinet.

    • 10.1
      Kim says

      We have a large kitchen pantry but it serves too many purposes…Baking, canned foods, boxed foods, pots and pans and crafts for kids…ugh its a mess and drives me mad

  10. 11
    Shannon says

    I am working on my pantry as well (last week and this week) and it is taking me waaaay longer than 30 minutes! I must be doing something wrong!!

    • 11.1
      Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

      LOL! well, the pantry is the size of a broom closet! 😉 If I had one of those huge, walk in pantries, it would probably take way longer!!

  11. 12
    Andrea says

    I’m loving those door baskets! I’m going to look around for those.
    ps-..always love to peek in someone else’s pantry 🙂

  12. 16
    Sharisse says

    Love it!! We moved 8 months ago and our pantry is a decent size and I do have the can risers like you. I have to say I have been pretty good about upkeeping the pantry maybe once a week when putting away groceries, I’ll do a little fixing here and there. The pantry has a bifold door on it but I’m thinking about changing it to a regular door like your so we can use the back of the door for even more storage. The pantry has the white wire shelves that were here when we moved and I absolutely hate it. I did buy clear liners to put on them but it’s still ugly. I want to find some type of system with solid shelves like yours but I want the shelves to be adjustable as needed. I have a lazy susan like yours too, mine is kept in a kitchen cabinet next to the stove for all of our seasonings & spices.

  13. 17
    Lisa says

    I’m not well organized–except in my pantry and frige! Being organized here saves MONEY. I can open the pantry door and without even counting can tell if we need certain items. When money is tight [like now with $3.50 gallon gas and a 140 miles round trip daily] this is a huge help. I mostly have the canned goods by type, pastas in one place, dried beans/grains in a basket, powdered milk and flours in another spot, extra BBQ sauce and salad dressing and [a teen age essential] Ramen noodles have their own basket as does koolaid!

    • 17.1
      Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

      Yes, we’ve started to stock up a LOT more on food (extra storage in basement). It does save extra trips and money; plus, it makes us feel better since we have terrible weather and extended power outages at times. 🙁

  14. 18
    Martha (MM) says

    Great to see the PROCESS in process – great guest post! 🙂

  15. 19
    the don't keep pile says

    Oh how I hope to have a pantry in my next home! I really, really love the can organizers. I think that having some of these in my cabinets would make it easier to see what I’ve got. Right now, I have cans and cans of stuff pushed all the way to the back of the cabinet, and who knows what’s in there? Not me. I think having some of these will help as I start down the road to organizing my home.

  16. 20
    Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

    I organized my pantry last summer with the help of my kids (and blogged about it too). I never knew that what I did had a name–PROCESS! 🙂 But it totally works. Ours was motivated by a nasty little bug problem and containerizing everything really helped with that and knowing where things were. Since I live close to several grocery stores, I don’t need to stock up on items as much as I used to. The sales cycle around often enough that I’ve got that down which not only helps me see what I’ve got but also cuts down on food waste.

  17. 21
    Shawnee says

    I love this idea. Thanks for sharing this great post.

  18. 22
    Mike says

    This is great advice, we just moved from a 4,000 square foot house to a loft downtown. We only have a quarter of the space we previously had. We are going to use the PROCESS that Laura provides to pack all of our stuff into the new place. Thanks for providing such great solutions.

  19. 23
    mom in rome says

    Great ideas…

    new happy follower!!!

  20. 24
    Dmarie says

    I haven’t worked on my pantry in too long. thanks for the inspiration!

  21. 25
    Merly says

    Going to organize my pantry this week. Love your website. Love the PROCESS.
    I started following your blog since late March. I didn’t know where to start and thanks to your blog. My house is getting there. Kudos for you!!!

  22. 26
    Jamie says

    Wow Laura! Thanks for the recommendation!
    I have been a very lazy person and dont bother to spend a lot of time organising the house. You have given me a great idea to declutter it after years of procrastination!

  23. 28
    MoneyAfterGrad says

    Great PROCESS, love it. I need to go through my pantry ! Maybe that will be my task for today.

  24. 29
    Colleen Kranz says

    Looks great – what a difference! Love how you can easily see everything at a glance and it’s visually appealing too!


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