I love our large pantry, I really do. But if you are anything like me, then every time you try to organize your pantry it is a pretty spectacular failure. Not this time, though. I think I finally got it right. And just so you know, I am not exaggerating. The pantry was HORRIBLE. Eight people are currently living in our house. And this is what the pantry looked like.
Um, not cool. It was impossible to find anything and with all of those open bags and boxes, food would spill everywhere and/or go stale very quickly. Plus it was difficult to see what we already had, so I often found myself coming home from the store having bought yet another bottle of ketchup when we already had four.
Even so, this pantry is one of my favorite parts of our house. While we were building I asked our builder to relocate the laundry room to our master bedroom closet specifically so that I could turn this closet (which was originally supposed to house a washer and dryer) into a huge pantry.
The eight people living in our home obviously all eat several times per day, so this is probably the most high-traffic area in our house. I needed to give the pantry the love and attention it deserves.
It took four trash bags, some shopping, and a lot of elbow grease, but now it is SO MUCH BETTER.
aaah. SO much better.
I’m going to put Amazon affiliate links throughout this post to help you find the products I used. After two trips to Target, a few trips to Michaels for the chalk board labels and chalk marker, and about five and a half hours of being up to my eyeballs in expired salad dressing, there is finally at least one area of the house that is officially organized.
I’m in love with the way it almost looks like its own little general store now.
Here’s how it looks with the door closed. I bought the Grocery sign at HomeGoods about a year ago.
This project has always seemed incredibly overwhelming, but eventually I got tired of seeing how cute other people’s pantries looked on Pinterest and decided to suck it up and tackle my own.
I started by going through each shelf and throwing away expired food. Then I made a pile of things that were still good but we had entirely too many of. (For example, we had four bottles of mustard, plus several more in the refrigerator. I kept two, then put some in the pile.)
Once I saw what was left, I made a list of categories. Then I went to the store and bought containers for each. My categories were things like:
- gluten free
- Canned Fruit
- Canned Tomato Products
- Canned vegetables
- Kid snacks
You get the idea and your categories might be different. I tried to utilize bins we had around the house as much as possible, then I went shopping and bought some more.
I also bought several OXO containers. You can find them on Amazon through my affiliate link here. They are pricey, but I really love them. They are easy for the kids to use and I can see exactly what we have and how much is left. (You wouldn’t believe how many bags of almost-but-not-quite-gone fish crackers went into the making of that one container.)
No more assuming we have plenty of something, only to discover that all three of the boxes on the shelves are actually empty. Now that we can see what we have, I think it will save us money in the long run because of not buying duplicates. Plus, it has already made putting lunch together for the kids much easier since I can see what the options are.
We already had a snack bin for the kids for their “anytime” snacks, but I transferred them to a much larger container. That white tub in the corner is full of things like granola bars, trail mix packets, peanut butter crackers, and individual raisin packets. I find it much easier to have a bin the kids can reach right into than to have tons of boxes scattered around the shelves.
Since buying so many bins and containers was really starting to hike up the budget, I ended up putting lots of things in mason jars we already owned and using more chalkboard labels to tie the look together. I love the way it turned out!
I’m about 97% finished. There are still a few very small things left to do, like filling the cereal containers with cereal. But I finally feel like I can still breathe when I open the doors.
If you are hoping to get your pantry organized, don’t forget to pin this post to your Pinterest page!
If you liked this post, you might also like my post about how we installed our own DIY brick backsplash wall.