Looking for simple ways to get organized in 2020? Oh, good. Let’s start in the kitchen. Here are some simple tips and ideas on how to organize a pantry cabinet.
I opened up the doors to this pantry and cleaned it out and moved everything around and now it’s organized and ready for the new year. Ready for some tips? Let’s GO.
Did you know that my word of the year is AUTHENTIC?
Merriam-Webster defines authentic like this:
Otherwise known as keeping it real.
You see, being perfect can be EXHAUSTING. Truly. All those i’s to dot and t’s to cross and worrying if your hair is too high and your make-up is too much and your counters aren’t clean. There is literally NO JOY to be found in that.
Instead? Why not celebrate ourselves? Why not be the unique, amazing, creative, slightly disorganized person we were meant to be? And in the spirit of keeping it real, I wrote this post on how to organize a pantry cabinet, starting with mine.
Are you ready to see the before?
Hold up your hand.
Promise we will still be friends before you look.
I think I need a minute before I go all authentic on my pantry cabinet.
WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?
Who has 7 boxes of Stove Top Stuffing?
This is the completely unfiltered view of the pantry before I got started.
And just in case you are still reading?
Here’s a view of the during.
After I cleared everything out.
How to Organize a Pantry Cabinet
Step 1: Clean
I took everything out of this cabinet (and the one next to it, too) and put it on the counter.
I had a big garbage can next to the pantry and threw a TON of expired and super sugary stuff away leftover from a variety of holiday parties.
And the best part?
IT FELT AMAZING.
I felt like I lost 10 pounds just getting rid of all the sugar and junk and TOTAL NONSENSE that was in that pantry.
Step 2: Get the shelves ready
Maybe it was the book on tape I was listening to when I did this (James Michener’s Chesapeake).
Maybe it was the symmetrical year that inspired me.
Maybe it was because my jeans already felt looser.
I decided the pantry shelves should be painted.
You could paint your shelves or you could just add some pretty shelf liner and call it a day.
Step 3: Find organizing containers
My best advice? Find an organizing system that works for you.
I cannot recommend this system enough. You can purchase the pieces individually or buy the entire set. There are literally dozens of super-affordable organizers that all work together.
They easily stack on top of each other and they are clear so you can see the food inside.
I used smaller containers like this 4.5 cup one for hot chocolate and dried fruit and nuts.
And larger ones like this 18.6 cup container for cereal and dog food and Bisquick.
And this 16 cup container for pasta and pretzels and sugar.
You can also buy an entire set of them (which is what I did for most of the containers).
They come in round containers, too, but I thought I could fit more in my pantry with the square ones.
The very best part of the container?
Is this flip-tight lid.
It has a rubber seal around the top and this handle that simply clicks into place and keeps everything extra fresh. I LOVE the click of the lid when you close it. That way I know that everything is sealed up tightly and it won’t go stale so quickly.
They feel so solid and so sturdy, too.
You can see how I stacked them here.
They are interchangeable and fit on top of each other.
They are different sizes and I grouped them together. They fit perfectly in the pantry and didn’t take up extra space.
Step 4: Fill containers and organize
Here’s how to organize a pantry cabinet in action.
I just took the items from the pantry and organized them into the containers. I love getting rid of all those plastic bags and other mismatched containers. That way when I’m almost out of something I don’t have two bags—one new one and one almost empty. I can combine them together in one container now.
It was such a relief to get rid of bags that were half-opened. We lose so many things because they go stale so quickly.
Step 5: organize by zones
I placed my organizers and food into the pantry in zones. Organizing your pantry into zones is one of the easiest ways to find everything. I know where my breakfast stuff is and where my baking stuff is and where to find all the spices. The shelves of my pantry are friends and the ones that are related are now close together.
Here are the zones I used to organize it:
- baking supplies
- quick meals
I placed all the containers in order and added the rest of the food into the zones. And now?
Want to see my pantry after?
DOESN’T IT LOOK AMAZING?
If you came over and saw this pantry, wouldn’t you want to be friends forever?
Here’s the before.
And here’s how to organize a pantry cabinet–the after.
Here’s a close-up of how the containers look on the shelves.
Isn’t it the best?
My family is slowly getting on board with all this organization. But they do seem a little overwhelmed right now. My son opened this up last night and just stared at it in consternation.
He literally had no idea what to do.
I pointed to his zone in the pantry.
The one that started with cereal. 🙂
PS You can see even more organizing ideas over on my Pinterest board here.
Affiliate links are also used on this post.