Hi there beautiful people. I’m super excited to share a little project I did while I was visiting my sister in Ontario this past month. She recently moved into a new home and hadn’t set up any organizing systems yet. She was waiting for me! Isn’t she awesome. She knows how much I love doing these things. And I absolutely love organizing kitchens, especially pantries. Pantry organization is the stuff of my dreams! I love giving everything a place to call home. And for this pantry organization project we didn’t buy anything new. Everything we used came from around her home, saving us all kinds of money. Yes!
My sister’s pantry is the closet type. Not a walk-in but still pretty roomy with a lot of potential. Before starting any organizing project, ask yourself what that space needs to do for you. How hard does it need to work? Since my sister has a pretty small kitchen her pantry really needed to be maximized.
Her pantry needed to do the following:
-house all the food staples
-house her Costco sized toilet paper, paper towel and tissue boxes
-hold her vacuum, broom and mop
-have space for storing dog food
-make room to store all her food storage containers as there isn’t room in the kitchen cupboards
-have a space for storing the lunch bags for my sister and her girls when not in use.
No problem! I love a good challenge. Here’s how this entire process started. A good before picture makes my heart sing.
A few closer shots. No homes means everything just gets thrown in wherever. That’s how chaos ensues. It will get you if you aren’t careful!
Who can relate?
Next in the organizing PROCESS (if you are new here be sure to check out my system) is to remove everything from the space. This is where things start to get really messy. Don’t panic.
Hi Gracie dog! We blocked her off to keep her from being underfoot in the mess.
You’ll also want to consolidate like items with like. This can be extremely eye-opening. Check out my sister’s food storage container collection below. Once we combined it from all the spots it was stashed I couldn’t believe the stack.
At this point I texted a picture to my sister (she had to leave for an appointment) and told her that this was WAY too many storage containers for anyone to have. I piled it up on the floor and waited for her to come home to decide what she wanted to keep. The funny thing was that when my sister got home she looked at the pile and seemed sad. It took me a minute to realize that she thought this was my purge pile and I was getting rid of all of it. Ha! I think she was relieved when I showed her the empty bin I had set aside for her containers and told her she could keep whatever she’d like as long as it fit in the bin. Boundaries are your friend!
She did a great job consolidating!
Now it’s time to start the game of Tetris and figure out how to fit everything back inside.
I designated the top shelf for the overstock of tissues, toilet paper and paper towel so it wasn’t taking up prime real estate.
My sister also had a lot of packaged snacks taking up a lot of space. So I tossed the packaging and emptied the contents into one big snack basket. This saved a TON of space and makes it super easy for the kids to grab what they need without making a mess. You know how kids are. She had this great bin on hand that worked perfectly for this purpose.
We added a bin to the bottom of the pantry to contain the dog food and supplies. Containing them keeps them from spreading out and overtaking a space. Also see that Costco popcorn box? I cut the top of it and reused it to store all my sister’s empty grocery bags that she reuses. These previously didn’t have a home so this is a great inexpensive solution to keep them all in one place. Not seen in this picture but added later to the back is a bin for everyone’s lunch bags when not in use. Easy access for the kids is a win!
We added some chalkboard labels to identify where everything went so hopefully the kids would be on board with putting things back. A girl can dream, right?!
And we designated a bin for chips because our family loves our chips!
Isn’t the pantry lovely now? This picture below was taken pre-labels.
Ahh I love a good before and after picture especially of some pantry organization!
Also hang your brooms and mops up out of the way so they don’t take up floor space. A simple nail does the trick.
This little pantry organization project took me under two hours to complete. I think it turned out great and we met all the criteria we set out to accomplish without spending a dime! Now obviously my sister had some bins around the house that we could use but even if you don’t you can purchase inexpensive bins at the dollar store. Or even cardboard boxes do the trick as well. Organizing does not have to be expensive!
I hope these tips help you to get your own pantry organized. Have fun with it!
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