7 Steps to an Organized Kitchen Pantry

If you can’t seem to find that can of peas that you are certain you bought last week, or you are met with an avalanche of chips and snacks every time you open your pantry doors, it’s probably time to get things organized.  These seven simple steps will take your pantry from frantic to fab in less time than you think!

7. First and foremost, take a deep breath and log off of Pinterest.  There are tons of beautifully organized pantry pictures online that just flat out aren’t realistic.  I made this mistake too.  Once I realized that none of the “before” pictures had tiny jelly fingerprints and Cheetos on the floor, I realized that they probably weren’t dealing with the Category 5 situation that I was.  Don’t get wrapped up in all of it.  Your pantry is going to look great, and it will have the added benefit of being functional.  (Meaning, an actual family with real food will be using it.)

6.  The next step is probably the scariest, but I’ll walk you through it. Brace yourself.  It’s time to empty ALL of the shelves.  Yes, everything.  It’s important to start fresh, with a blank slate.

5. As you take items off the shelves, organize them on the counter.  Think broad categories; breakfast items, snacks, drinks, pastas, etc.  This is also a great time to get rid of things that are expired or unwanted.  Not sure when you opened that bag of chips?  Eek.  Sounds like a great time to toss it.

4. Once the shelves are completely empty, pat yourself on the back.  You’re halfway done!  Then, go ahead and give the shelves a thorough wipe down with a wet rag to remove any dust or spilled crumbs.  (Or jelly fingerprints.)  After this, make sure you wipe the shelves again with a dry rag.  You don’t want to set any cardboard boxes on top of a wet shelf.  (Trust me, it makes a giant mess.)

3.Think organized.  Try and find smaller bins or tubs to help keep like-items together for functionality.  You are going to want to utilize the space you have in the best way possible.  An over-the-door rack is an excellent way to keep spices, seasoning packets, oils, and other frequently needed items easily accessible.  Shelf risers make it possible for you to maximize the depth of your shelves without sacrificing functionality.  You can stack canned goods 3 deep and still easily see the labels at a glance.

2. Put it all back together.  When doing this, it’s helpful to assign shelves according to purpose.  Items that you use most often should be eye level (most accessible,) while goods that aren’t used as frequently are perfect for harder to reach shelves.  Consider allocating a lower-level shelf for kid-friendly items.

1. Keep it simple.  All of your hard work has paid off.  You have a beautifully organized and functional kitchen pantry.  Now, how will you keep it that way?  My last (and favorite) tip is to label.  Even though it is obvious to you that shelf 2 is ONLY for breakfast items, slapping a “Breakfast” label on the shelf will help keep it that way.  Imagine a world where you never again have to hear the words, “Mom, where are the Cheerios?”

So, now that you have all of the tools to reclaim your kitchen pantry, you are one step closer to world domination… Okay, maybe just canned goods and boxed dinner domination.  (Same thing, really.)

What’s your favorite pantry organization tip?  Leave us a comment below.  We’d love to hear it!