Pantry Project

Ever since we moved in our pantry (well, really our whole kitchen) has been an organizational disaster. The kitchen was scheduled for August as the “one room per month” decluttering rule, but that didn’t happen for various reasons.
However, I recently (finally) tackled the pantry at least. When we unpacked, we just dumped everything into the shelves all willy-nilly, helter-skelter, mishmash, you get the point. It looked bad. And it was impossible to find things.
See what I mean? You didn’t believe me at first, but now you do.
So after thinking for a bit about how to organize the space better, I decided I needed more dividers and baskets. So off Jaye and I went to Goodwill. Jaye thought Goodwill was a great place to play. So much interesting weird crap to touch and pull off the shelf. I appreciated the total lack of organization on the shelf, so when Jaye pulled something out, it didn’t matter where you crammed it back.
Anyway, I picked up three plastic baskets in different bright shades. On this same trip, I found my thrift store frame makeover project; good trip. I took those puppies home for some spray paint. I just sprayed right on top of the dead grass. It already looked bad, so a little silver can’t hurt, right?
I used a metallic silver because that’s what I had leftover from Jaye’s party. I think it was definitely worth the extra effort to make all the baskets uniform and fresh and clean looking. No sad Goodwill pantry for me anymore.

Then I took everything out of the cabinet. This is the only way to do it. My way or the highway. Once my dining room table was covered, I started organizing and putting the food back in. I moved all our spices into an unused drawer elsewhere in the kitchen. This freed up a pantry drawer and tiered rack for all the canned goods. The canned goods used to be on the top shelf where you couldn’t see them, but now they are easy to survey and access.

I used my plastic baskets to corral similar ingredients. One holds Italian ingredients. The next one holds Asian ingredients. The third one contains snacks: clif bars, fruit leather, goldfish baggies.

I wasn’t able to categorize each pull out shelf by any particular food theme. They are ordered more by shape and size of container. But it’s still really easy to find what you are looking for, and our most common food themes (Asian and Italian) are in baskets together. Coffee and tea supplies are on one of the two harder to see drawers. The highest drawer is miscellaneous baking ingredients, which makes sense because those are items we don’t use as frequently, so they can be harder to see and get to.

Such an improvement. Why didn’t I do this ages ago? I think I’ve been cooking dinner at home more often now as well.


  1. Funny that you just linked this up. I’m planning on organizing my pantry today. Thanks for the ideas. Thanks for sharing this week at One Creative Weekend! Have a great weekend!

  2. Ah… I remember as a kid helping clean out moms pantry, it was definitely the pull everything out routine 🙂 I love how your end results look too.
    I found you via Creative Weekend.

  3. Well done! I LOVE Goodwill…you can always find so many “diamonds in the rough” and for so little money! You’ll definitely get a lot of use out of your “new” pantry!

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