February 6, 2013

Pantry Organization

Since it is Organize Month here at Living Savvy, I thought maybe I should actually organize something in my house!  When I moved into this house I had HUGE plans for working on one room and finishing that room before I moved on to the next.  Doing every project that I wanted as soon as possible, and blogging about it the whole way!  Well... that is not exactly the reality!

Ever since I knew we were going to tear out our micro/hood and install a microwave in our pantry I knew it had to be organized because I would be taking up some space.  I am a pretty organized person... but I wanted to make my pantry pretty.  I wanted to paint the walls a color, and have all matching baskets and jars.  Well... I still haven't gotten around to doing that, but even still I have a pretty good system.  

Sorry, were you hoping for a painted/amazing pantry?  Well sorry... but I am going to share my basic tips for keeping a tidy pantry even when you buy WAY too many bulk items at Costco to fit them all in your pantry!

 Even though I have a good system in place, I still live with 3 other humans {and I include myself in this} that sometimes get to busy to put it back where they found it.  Every 2 weeks or so I like to go though and straighten things back out.

I am a huge fan of "seeing" what I have on hand.  I use shoe boxes to keep extra bulk items together, and I can see them.  I use stadium seating for syrups, honeys, and miscellaneous cooking items that don't really belong in the spice cabinet.  I use baskets {just what I had on had} to corral pastas and grains and items I don't put in clear jars.  I also like to arrange my food by occasion... meaning dinner/canned goods on one shelf.  Baking items, flour, sugar on one shelf, and snack items on one shelf.  That way there really is no confusion on where things go back... I am happy if they are at least put back on the right shelf.

Again in keeping with the "seeing" what I have I use clear jars to store foods that we go through often. That way I can see if we are getting low and add it to my grocery list before we run out.  I will do almost anything to avoid the no goldfish screams I will hear if I do!  {j/k.. the boys don't ever scream.}
I also like to take things out of their boxes.  I will take all of the Ritz out, keeping them in their bags, but leave them where I can see them.

Since my pantry has a super deep corner I decided a lazy susan would be best placed there so I could get to everything easily.  I have two large ones from Ikea where clear jars {from Ikea} are that hold the families favorite snacks, and one that holds my can goods and misc dinner items.  
Here is a tip about using jars:
Just because you have something in a jar does not mean that jar is permanently used for that one thing.  I don't label my jars because I can see what is in them so they can be washed and used for something else if I need it to be.  I also like to keep a couple empty so when I do tidy my pantry and I see the dried cranberries are getting low {and I don't plan to buy them for a while} I will transfer them to a smaller jar to free up the big one.  The big one might get the new favorite cracker or store all of the candy the boys got from a party they just went to.  Make sure your system is flexible, or if will fail you and you will not want to keep it up!

I also keep my tupperware in my pantry and I like to coral my lids in a basket.  When I tidy my pantry I will go through and trow out anything missing a lid or has reached its life.  Just like my pretty pantry I will have, one day, all glass tupperware!!

This is how my baking basket looked after the crazy holiday baking season...

{not a good pic}
I was able to consolidate, and toss items I probably would not use again.  I also keep these two tiered baskets for onions and garlic on top and potatoes on the bottom.

I think the back of the door is the most wasted space {besides way high up... and I will get to that another day..} in the pantry.  I like to meal plan for my week so it is nice to have a spot to write those meals down and any other notes the hubs might have about being out of something or items needed at the store.  I will share the super cool way I hung this super heave frosted glass "white" board in a hollow core door tomorrow!

So there you have the savvy secrets to keeping your pantry clutter free and organized!

Look familiar?
I don't know about you but I have too many tubs that look like this.
I'm Elyse from Shabby Sweet Tea and I decided to take action and organize my ribbon scraps!


Take a ribbon scrap piece, tuck it as far back into the clothespin as you can and close it.
Next, wind the ribbon around the outside of the pin and secure the end inside.

So much better!


Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

Love your ideas because I'm with you - I need to SEE everything. The lazy susan's are genius. How I wish I had a pantry!

Nann from Lady Nann's Table said...

Great job on your pantry. Such good ideas I want to use! Also loved Elyse's ideas on saving the ribbons pieces! I am definitely going to use her method!! What great ideas you both have. THANKYOU for sharing them!

Sheila @sZinteriors said...

Lots of great tips, Tiffany! I'm slowly moving my pantry over from things left in their bags to jars. What a difference that makes... and I totally agree, the backs of doors are the most wasted usable space!

Nancy said...

I want to raid your pantry! It looks great!
xo Nancy