If you like organized spaces or a good before and after project, then this post is for you. I considered my pantry pretty organized, but I was ready for an update and a brighter pantry. I knew the first thing I needed to do was repaint. The shelves were scratched, the walls were stained, and I knew some new white paint would brighten things up. I probably should’ve sanded the shelves or something legitimately DIY, but I simply smothered on some paint over the imperfections and all. In the picture below, you can see the top shelf with NEW paint and the bottom shelf as it was BEFORE.
After I painted, came the organizing. Having everything out of the pantry helped me see what we had, what I needed to discard, and what I needed to keep and organize better. I went with the Better Homes and Gardens food storage containers found at Walmart. They were the most affordable containers I found and have a flip tight secure latch so your food stays fresh.
I used the 18.6 cups size for cereal. These stay on our top shelf. I also put Kodiak Cakes (my favorite pancake mix) in that container also (there is a chocolate mix in a plastic bag inside there also). I also keep extra food up there behind the containers. There is some Life cereal (Costco size) in the far left with an extra bag of chips on top. And there’s cereal I use seldom for a specific recipe behind the cereal containers. I used some chalkboard labels from the craft store (Walmart has some too) and a chalk marker to label all my containers. I used the 11.5 cup size container for the Bisquick.
Underneath the top shelf is my baking shelf. This was always a pretty organized shelf. The biggest change was adding that wood crate and putting all my small baking things in there (baking powder, cornstarch, extra chocolate chips, candy pieces used for baking, extra salt, chocolate bark, etc). How I’ve organized the shelf from left to right: Bread flour in the back left with the All Purpose flour in front of it (both in 16 cup size containers). Next to that in the middle is powdered sugar and regular sugar in front of that (both in 10 cup containers). And on the right is chocolate chips in the back and brown sugar in front of those (both in 10 cup containers). I keep some sweets in between the baking items and the crate. My friend Kristen made this vinyl art for me to apply to my crate. I love it.
Under the baking shelf I have a ton of storage for commonly used items. The two front containers are 4.5 cups size. The medium size containers behind them and next to them are 7.5 cups size. I’m not sure the exact size of the tall, skinny containers. They are perfect for pasta/spaghetti. On the very right I have my one of my favorite additions to the pantry. It’s actually the top to the white containers on the bottom shelf you’ll see in a bit. I used it to store all my liquidy/sticky containers. Some of the things I have on there are: syrup, balsamic vinegar, oils, vanilla, honey, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar. If they leak or spill I just have to clean the tray. I also keep some random stuff in between there if I need to like a box of oatmeal and extra pasta in the back. Some of the food I have in those containers are: oatmeal, Goldfish, crackers, rice, granola, and beans.
I’m sorry this picture below turned out so blurry. This is our canned goods shelf. I also store snacks, drink mixes, and extra bottles of stuff to the right. I already had this can organizer from The Container Store. That part is pretty self explanatory. I keep some Jell-O, as well as the juice box (if it doesn’t fit on floor), on this shelf. I keep all the snacks I can fit in that snack container for the boys. This is just a plastic shoe box I had (from Container Store). Right now it has apple sauce squeezies, granola bars, Nutrigrain bars, and peanut butter crackers (which my boys don’t eat anymore????). In the drink mixes box is Crystal light, Mio, hot cocoa mix. Some unopened extras are on the side.
Under the canned goods shelf are what keep this pantry looking organized. The trick to corralling all those random items. I bought 3 white plastic bins from Target. One to hold our bread, english muffins, rice cakes. And two to hold random packaged goods. This is what made my old pantry look cluttered. So I love corralling them all into these bins so I just have to pull them out to grab anything.
And lastly, on the floor I have had these two white crates (from Target I believe). We keep chips in the left crate. And lunch boxes, alcohol, and random extra items (ketchup back there). I’ll also keep anything big on the floor in front of the crates (protein bars seen here), but I don’t like keeping anything there if I don’t have to.
Now let’s look at some before and afters of each section:
I also added some clear shelf liners to the shelves to protect them. That was tough cutting out, but it really does protect it. I love the after and my pantry stays much more organized now with a system. I don’t have all my receipts for the items bought, but the BHG food storage containers cost me less than $10.00 each (the big ones), the smaller ones costs about $6.00-7.00 each. The crate costs about $16 at Target. And the white bins (3) costs $7.99 each. Totally worth it for me and I’m enjoying an organized pantry.