I’ve been wanting to organize our pantry for a long time now and finally this weekend we started and got a huge chunk of it done. It’s not perfect yet and I still have a couple more things that I need to get done before I officially categorize it as finished, but I’m not sure when that will be, so I’m posting about an easy pantry organization update today.
I LOVE pantry organization videos on YouTube, in fact, they are some of my favorite kinds of videos to watch, after vegan recipe videos, that is. I have been watching a bunch of videos and scouring Pinterest for ideas for easy pantry organization ideas that also looks beautiful and are functional. So, today, I’m going to walk you through what I did to organize our pantry on a budget.
So this picture shows you how our pantry looked before we organized it. It was actually quite organized, in that we knew exactly where everything was. But, I wanted everything to look uniform and also wanted it to be visually appealing. A lot of the pantry items were stacked on top of each other, and everything was overly crowded. So, I thought it would be a good idea to build two more shelves to get some more working space. The original shelves were spread quite far apart, so I thought we could fit two more shelves. I measured the tallest item in our pantry and made sure that the shelves that we would build would accommodate this item.
I then took out every single item in the pantry and sorted them into cans, sauces, bulk items, teas, etc. and got rid of expired items and things we don’t use anymore. This was also the perfect time to wipe down and clean the pantry.
Next, we went to Home Depot and got a piece of wood cut to the size the shelves in our pantry were originally. This cost us $11 for 2 shelves! I then got Gursheel to install these shelves in the pantry. He did this by using the remaining pieces of wood and nailing them to the sides of the pantry and placing the shelf on top. Just looking at the empty pantry with the new shelves got me super excited that I went right away to Michaels to get some baskets in the dimensions I measured so that they fit perfectly into the pantry! I would have preferred lighter colored baskets, but these were the only ones I found that were the perfect width and height for our pantry. And I got them buy 1 get 1 free! Score!
I wanted to get clear, glass jars that would fit a lot of the bulk items in the pantry and I was able to find the perfect ones for 1-4 bucks at the Dollar Store (for the smaller ones) and IKEA (the larger ones) and spent under $100 for all the jars! I just took off all the labels, washed the containers with soap and water and dried them off completely before putting bulk items in them.
Finally, I bought this amazing white Sharpie Paint pen from Amazon to label all the jars for this easy pantry organization. I originally had bought these clear labels from Avery where you can print off a label. I tried this but I found that they would be too permanent, in that if I wanted to change out the jar for something else, I would have to peel off the label. This can get annoying because that glue gunk that remains always is so hard to get off. Although, I recently heard of Goo Gone which can help take that off pretty easily. Anyways, the Sharpie pen is amazing because first, it’s white and I love white everything. And second, it is easy to wipe off with a wet cloth if you want to re-name the jar or mess up when labeling the jar.
I’m so happy with how everything turned out in this easy pantry organization! Everything isn’t perfect yet, but I wanted to post what I have done so far today and then post a follow up complete Pantry organization blog post where I give a short tour of what we have in there. I want to create labels for the baskets as well. Right now, two of them contain cans and sauces, 1 contains our tea collection and the last one contains miscellaneous items. But, I definitely want to organize these further before I create labels for them. I also need to get a couple more of the smaller jars to store some other commonly used items, but I’m really hoping that this pantry organization causes us to eat healthier, whole foods and try to make as much as we can from scratch.
I filled up all the jars with nuts, seeds, grains, pasta’s and any other dried goods. For pasta’s and grains, I already know how to cook them, however, you can cut out the cooking instructions and tape them behind the jar as well. I tend to purchase the same items over and over so I know exactly how to cook them. I also use up all the items in my pantry with a couple of months so I don’t need to worry about the expiration dates either. I like to keep cans and sauces in the bins and these I can easily check the expiry date. I never refill items in the jars until they are completely finished. Then I take the entire jar to the bulk food store and get it filled up. This really helps me cut down on my plastic waste as well.
I can’t stop staring at the pantry now and when I compare the before and after pictures, I feel like I accomplished something. It’s always been my dream to have a pantry that is functional and beautiful. I really want to see what your guy’s pantry’s look like and if you try some of the tips I mentioned in this easy pantry organization update today, please send me pictures! And make sure to take before and after pictures so you can see what you’ve accomplished! It really is quite satisfying.
I’ll keep you posted and happy organizing!