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Pantry Organizing 101

I have had kitchen organization on my mind lately. Between two pantry organizing projects as well as giving my own pantry a bit of an upgrade, I have been thinking alot about important things like snack zones and where to find OXO Pop Top containers for the best price.

Whether you have a pantry closet or cupboard, there are some things you can do to make your kitchen pantry function as best as possible for your family.

We are lucky to have a deep pantry cupboard but it has presented me with some organizing challenges over the years. With some trial and error, I finally have a system that functions really well for our family of 5. There are some basic organizing guidelines that I follow when I tackle these types of projects and I thought I would share them with you today.

1. Create Zones

Keeping like items together is one of my top tips for maximizing efficiency in any room, but this is especially important in the kitchen.

In our deep pantry cupboard, I have organized each pull-out drawer into sections.

Top Shelf:

On the top shelf, we have 5 rows of pop-top conisters. From left to right, we have rice and pasta, gluten-free snacks, regular snacks and then 2 rows for breakfast items (cereal, granola, oatmeal, pancake mix).

Middle Shelf:

The middle shelf is divided into 3 sections - potatos and onions in baskets on one side, baskets containing dinner items and sauces and mixes in the baskets, and then our cans, jars and soups are at the back.

Bottom Shelf:

The bottom shelf is dedicated to all things baking -dry goods like sugars and powders, baking mixes, sprinkles and liquids (vanilla, food coloring, molasses and extracts).

2. Use the right products

I created this collage of my favorite kitchen organizing products on instagram.

There are some simple items you can use to help keep everything in order and shopping for products can be a really fun part of organizing. However, a big mistake I have made myself is to buy a product that you either don't need or doesn't fit where you intended it to. Make sure you take inventory of your food items and measure your cupboard and pantry shelves to avoid frustration.

One of my favorite organizing items are the OXO pop top containers you can see on my shelves. These containers look great and are easy to use. The best feature is that they are stackable which is a great way to maximize space.

Another favorite item are the white wire baskets from IKEA. These are useful for so many items, but as you can see I have two of them for potatoes and onions.

Last but not least, one of the most fun and useful items in the world of organizing is the lazy susan. Imagine my excitement when I spotted this double decker version at Homesense a few weeks ago! Two, count 'em two, levels of organization...mind blowing.

3. Decant your most used food items

Not everyone is on board with this, but I recommend doing this because it is the easiest way to see and use what you have. Before I started doing this, I had multiple bags of the same item open at the same time. Things used to be really disorganized in my pantry and I could never see or find anything so I would just buy more! I love being able to easily see what we have (or are running low on) with a quick glance in the pantry, it makes shopping so much easier and eliminates waste in our household.

4. Label

This is an often overlooked step, but the most important one in terms of maintaining order. Remove all doubt about what goes where and it will be so much easier to put things away! In our family this is a particularly important step because my daughter and I have a gluten intolerance so we have special crackers, cookies etc. I want to make sure it is really clear to Stella which cookies and snacks are gluten-free. For people with serious food allergies this is even more important!

5. Real Estate

Location location location - Yep, this even applies to organizing! The most easily accessible shelves should be home to your most often used items. Things that you reach for less can be placed on those higher shelves that you need to grab a chair to access. For example, in my pantry I have placed our turkey roasting pan, which we use 2-3 times a year, on our very top shelf, whereas our snacks, pasta and breakfast items that we reach for every day are front and center.

6. Have a space for backstock

There are a few new words in my vocabulary...the first is "Shacket" which is a trending item in the world of fashion - it's a jacket/shirt. My second new favorite word is "backstock" which refers to an excess of an item - products not yet consumed. I learned this word while binge watching "get organized" on Netflix. This is an essential part of home organizing, especially if you are a Costco shopper like me. No reasonable person has space in their pantry for that 3-pack box of fishy crackers or 50 granola bars. I decant one bag of fishies in our pop-top container and the other two bags go up into one of my backstock bins. Having a place for extra items really helps to keep my organizing efforts on track.

Well friends, I hope you have enjoyed taking this little tour of my pantry! After looking at all this food, you are probably hungry, lol. If you have any questions about how I have organized my deep pantry cupboard or about the products I have used, leave me a comment below or send me a message on instagram!

Thanks for reading!



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