Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pantry Makeover

Our pantry has always been an eyesore.  It's too small and too cluttered.  As many times as I have organized it, I've never found a permanent solution to keep things tidy.  It's hard to locate items because Jackson is constantly climbing the shelves and rearranging items so he can get his own snacks.  (Childproof locks do not work with our determined child!)  I spent several minutes looking for the vanilla extract, only to find it in the bin of cookie cutters.  This happens regularly.

My major goals were to:
  • place any snacks in an easy to reach location for Jackson. 
  • eliminate as many boxes as possible.
  • relocate items that are seldom used.
  • throw away all expired food.
  • group items in a logical way that we can sustain.
Danger Zone

I browsed Pinterest for ideas and tried to come up with a better organization system.  I wanted shelves that would hang over the door to better utilize the small space.  I couldn't find any at local stores.  I did, however, find an over the door shoe holder.  It took me three stores to find a shoe holder with clear pockets.  I also picked up some clear Rubbermaid rectangular containers for flour and sugar.

Jesse emptied out the pantry for me.  Here were all the food items:

Our bottom shelves were crammed with odd appliances, bags, and cookie cutters.  Jesse hung all the cloth bags on a hook in the laundry room and relocated our rarely used juicer to the garage.  I organized my large collection of 100+ cookie cutters.  We put all the aprons except one in a pile to donate to Goodwill.

I was able to place pasta, flour, sugar, etc in clear canisters.  All of the loose items such as tea bags, oatmeal packets, and fruit snacks found a new home in the shoe organizer. 

So much recycling!

I was surprised to discover how many spices we had, especially considering I only use about 4-5 in regular cooking.  Half of them were wedding gifts that had expired. Others were just bizarre spices that we never use such as English Prime Rib or Garden Salad Seasoning.

I'm in love with our new pantry.  I just keep staring at it with pride.  Here's the final breakdown:
-The top shelf has baking items.  As a general rule, the higher up, the less access I want Jackson to have.
-Next is produce, breads, and cereals. 
-The middle shelf has canned goods purposefully staggered so we can glance at what all we have on hand. 
-Next shelf includes spices and items that would be part of a recipe/require cooking such as wheat germ, milled flax, and panko. 
-Jesse insisted the griddle stay on a shelf and I didn't protest since he cooks us pancakes and bacon every Sunday morning.  Beside the griddle is a bin full of individual snacks that were too large to fit in the shoe holder.  That way they're still neatly concealed but Jackson can reach them if needed. 
-I have a clean bin with cookie cutters on the floor, along with our craft tablecloth.  We use cookie cutters several times a month for baking, play dough, tracing, and painting.
-Every other item is organized and easily accessible in the clear pockets over the door.


  1. You will find, that as the babies grow into hungry little people, that an organized pantry is a necessity!