Monday, June 30, 2014

Pantry organization

I love our pantry because it has plenty of storage space. We do not have a large kitchen. However, our large pantry makes up for the lack of square footage in the kitchen.  One corner of our pantry functions as a coat closet. Because there is so much space, it would be very easy to "junk it up" and not organize it at all. I didn't want to do that, so I tried to organize it as I was unpacking our kitchen. As always, if your system doesn't make sense, you aren't organized :) Our pantry boasted really nice built in wood shelves. However, I still chose to maximize the space by using shelf risers. They are inexpensive and can be purchased almost anywhere. I also used simple white Rubbermaid baskets so they could be wiped clean with a damp rag. Clear canisters are also a must so I can see when I'm running low on pasta, cereal and baking goods. Since I want everything to have a place and always be returned to its proper place, I used some free editable labels from Better Homes and Gardens. There are a plethora of free printable labels available on Pinterest, too. 

My cookbook collection and some lesser used appliances are housed on the top shelf.

 My tote bags are stored in a wooden crate on the bottom, along with drink can boxes, my white vinegar jug, and a step stool since I'm a little on the short side :)

Everything else is organized as according to what it is. For instance, there is a bin for entertaining goodies. It holds a box of soda crackers, kosher salt, plastic drinkware and silverware, saucers, toothpicks and pretzels. If we get "surprise company," I can pull out that basket and act like I was prepared for it :)

Canned goods and "dinner items" are stored together. Veggies are one one shelf, fruits on the other shelf. Meal ingredients such as broths and stuffing are also stored with the fruits. The dried peas and dried beans are stored in spring lock canisters I picked up from the Dollar Tree. 

The bottom shelf on the left side holds pet foods and produce bins. 

Moving on to the right side: The second shelf houses water cups, a beverage bin for K-cups and single serve coffee packs, a canister for iced tea bags, and a tea pitcher. 

The shelf immediately under houses our food storage items (wax paper, Ziplock bags, freezer bags, and aluminum foil) and quick lunch items, such as raisins, cracker packs, single serve fruit cans, tuna cans, and anything else you can quickly toss into a lunch box. One basket is entirely devoted to food items for the kiddo. She knows which basket it is and can reach it :)

Next, we have a shelf just for breakfast items. There are, of course, clear containers to keep cereal fresher longer, but also to help me know when to re-stock. The plastic bin holds cereal bars, Pop-tarts, oatmeal packs and our loaf of bread. The peanut butter and Nutella got stored here as well so they'd be with the bread. 

The top shelf on the far right houses salad goodies, such as croutons and dried cranberries, and a separate bin for snack items (chips, pretzels, rice cakes, etc). 

Baking goods go on the far right second shelf (yes, I know I'm missing some labels. I am in the process of getting all new labels). 

The next shelf houses our pastas. Once again, the containers are clear so I can tell when they're running low. 

Wait, so what is that row on the bottom with all the blue baskets? Well, I'm glad you asked. 

There is a basket for each day of the week and one for the weekend. We usually eat out on Sundays. Each week as I am planning meals, I try to pre-prepare and save myself some time by putting the ingredients for each night's meal into the bins. When that evening comes, all I have to do is grab the bin and whatever meats/perishable food item I need from the fridge, and start cooking. It really is a time saver. 

This concludes the pantry tour. I hope you've enjoyed it. 

Where to shop:
Baskets          Wooden Crates         Canisters             Jars 

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