Pantry organization essentials

I’m about to get a walk in pantry!! One of the things I’m most excited about for our new house is a pantry with more space. We were in need of more space overall, but especially when it came to food storage. I’ve maxed out our current pantry on organization, so I’m looking forward to having more room for items, and also having more space that the boys can easily access to get their own meals. The following is both what I currently use and what I will be buying new and more of:

The two things I keep in mind with any pantry storage are:

  1. How well does it seal?
  2. How easy is it to clean?

Living in our area with mild winters, hot summers, and quite a bit of rain, ants can be a big issue, so we work hard to avoid them finding their way in to our food.

The big and small wire baskets are for storage of non food items like paper plates, napkins, cupcake liners, lunchboxes, etc.

All of my flour and sugar are stored in tightly sealed rectangle containers.

A big investment I’m making is cereal containers. This is to help prevent spills when the boys pour their own cereal, and also to prevent food from getting outside the bag and into just the cardboard container.

A lazy Susan for unopened ketchup, barbecue, and other sauces.

Labels! These are helpful to not only keep things organized, but also direct the boys towards items.

These three drawer containers are my favorite for storing snacks, breads, and tortillas.

Plastic wicker bins from Target for sorting foods into groups. We use them for separating pasta, rice, oats, and crackers. I read this blog post on having a dinner prep basket, which I think is a genius idea, so I’m definitely going to create that as well.

A handheld vacuum.  One of the things I added was an electrical outlet in the pantry, specifically to plug in our handheld vacuum. This is great for cleaning up quick messes and we have the boys use it on their table chairs to prevent tons of crumbs from building up.

I like the old school soda holders for storing cans and I separate them out by tomato products, veggies, beans, and fruits.

A container or two for granola mixes that the boys can easily access.

A small folding step stool to reach items.

My two main things that I’m excited about is the boys being able to more easily find and access items because it gives them more independence, and I’m also glad to be able to store more items at once.

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Pantry refresh

Several years ago, I overhauled and straightened up our pantry. However, as of late, it was in quite a bit of disarray:

I purchased just three new baskets and a clear can holder from Target, tossed all of the expired food, and did some serious re-arranging:

I also did some re-stocking of pantry items for back to school. Extra snacks, canned veggies, beans, pastas, and rice make it easier to figure out quick weekly meals and prep lunches. I also labeled the bottom drawers (which you can’t see in the picture), so the boys can quickly find items they use often and put things away.

And afterward is was back to work on our sails:

For the Cub Scout raingutter regatta!

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Pantry refresh

So about two years ago we added in the shoe organizer to the door of our pantry. However recently our pantry had gotten a bit out of control:

Pantry Refresh

Some of the major issues were that J could grab the foil containers (with the sharp edges), the boys couldn’t easily find their snacks, and it was unorganized.

I spent about 35 dollars at Target and purchased two red plastic bins, two soda can holders (I sprang for the lucite ones), and my biggest expenditure was an OXO snap top container for that huge container of goldfish you see in the picture. It was 17 dollars, but totally worth it.

So here is the after:

Pantry Refresh/Cupcakes and commentary

The other plastic containers and second drawer container were ones I found around our house. I also streamlined my husband’s lunch making process by putting his snacks and such together. I am going to buy one more soda can roller for tomato sauces. My favorite thing about organizing is grouping items together in bins so I can easily take them out and put them away and I don’t have to necessarily stack them in a certain order for them to stand upright. Is it strange that looking at the pantry now makes me really happy? HA!

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