Saturday, February 23, 2013

24 Organization: An Organized Pantry

One of the blogs I always read is iheartorganizing.  Something about seeing someone else obsessively label/organize things motivates me to be a little bit better about organization myself.  I've always been someone who likes to organize things.  I go through my closet every few months and sort by season/color.  I sort out my make-up drawer every few months too.  Notice how I say every few months?  My problem has always been sustaining.  It's easy to separate items into drawer organizers, but putting the item in the right organizer every time you open a drawer can be difficult.  Last month, when I put drawer organizers in my new desk I used my label maker to label what goes in each organizer.  This was an a-ha moment because over a month later, everything is still neat and organized.  There's something that happens in my mind when something is labeled that actually makes me not just toss something into a drawer.  

This month at iheartorganizing is kitchen month.  When I read this at the beginning of February, I immediately decided I would NOT be doing any organizing in our kitchen this month.  There's just TOO MUCH that needs to be set in order and organized to try to tackle it while still doing the way more fun job of finishing the nursery.

Then my mom reminded one day me that I need to make sure I have somewhere to store bottles, etc. in the kitchen.  I was able to ignore her then.  Last Saturday morning she sent me the photo of a pin she saw on Pinterest of an amazingly organized pantry.  That coupled with a trip to the dollar store to see their brightly colored bins was all I needed to cave and decide to reorganize our pantry.

I stocked up on cute, bright blue bins from the dollar store and decided I'd just take one shelf at a time one night a week and organize everything. That idea lasted until I finished the first shelf.  After seeing how good it looked, I became obsessed with labeling / organizing everything else.

Here's a before glimpse of our pantry.  Pretty awful.

One thing this view doesn't show is that we have way more spices than anyone could possibly ever need.  The picture below shows about 1/3 of them.

Also, most nights I open the pantry door and immediately say "We have no real food to eat".  How can a
pantry be this so with "nothing" to eat?

I already had white vinyl & dry erase markers on hand.  So in the spirit of free, I went with cutting out white labels for my blue $1 store bins after I had pulled everything out of the pantry and started organizing.

Once I started sorting things out, I found that we had two bins full of pasta.  So much for "nothing to eat", huh?!

I was able to quickly get the main food shelves sorted out and reorganized in one evening.  But I still had the top shelves and the floor, as well as the shelf with baking items that I had to put off a few days to finish organizing.  I ended up adding one shelf and moving all of my baking items to it.  Since we buy in bulk, I now have a shelf over our heads dedicated to other/overflow items.  So when I decide it's a good idea to buy a warehouse-size box of Oatmeal, I have somewhere to store all the excess where it's not in the way of daily items.  I was also able to add a shelf closer to the floor, so no more using upside down cardboard boxes to store items off the ground.

All the blue bins came from the $1 store, which is good because I ended up needing a lot of them to get everything organized.

Our dog food container sat on the floor.  It wasn't big enough to hold the 40lb bag of dog food that we've been buying, so that means a dog food container sat on the floor with a bag of dog food next to it.  I found this container on Amazon that although pricey ($30), fit into the space / blue color perfectly.  And the old bin with a hole in it has been around since 2005, so I didn't feel too bad upgrading.

And because everyone loves a good before and after comparison...

Now that everything's labeled and so easy to see, my husband thinks it's funny to keep moving the Pringles can into the other bins not marked "chips". The things boys get joy out of! 


  1. saw your comment on i heart organizing and had to take a peek. wow! what a beautiful pantry. great job!!

  2. What a great before and after! I found you through the House of Rose link party, and I'm so glad I did! :) I can definitely relate to this post, and organizing our pantry is quickly climbing to the top of my to do list. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Emily from

  3. Holy banana boats! It turned out amazing! I love all the color, brings a giant smile to my face!! <3 Kudos to you!!


  4. Stopping by from the iheart party. You did an excellent job!! And I love the blue--it's my absolute fave color :)

  5. LOVE it! The dollar store has great containers! It's amazing how great organizing can be. I totally get the feeling of starting a project and just HAVING to get it done because the results are so rockin'.

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  7. Wonderful job!! I just purchased similar bins at the Dollar Tree yesterday for bathroom closet shelves. Also picked up some ventilated and a bit larger for under the kitchen sink. Again, Wonderful job.

  8. Looks great! I love the ice blue color!

  9. You did such a great job! Love the blue :)


  10. This is so cheerful! I love the blue. What a great re-org! I linked up to i heart organizing, too :)

  11. I think bins make pantries look so much prettier. Nice work! Here's my pantry (with green bins)

  12. Saw this on Apartment Therapy. Looks WONDERFUL! I love those bins. Hoping my $Store has some.

    Oh, a clean pantry is thing of beauty. I may just be inspired enough to clean mine!

  13. Which dollar store did you get the bins at? I went to our dollar tree and didn't see anything cute or big enough....

    1. I am wondering the same thing. I am about to tackle this thanks to your awesome post!

    2. They are from the Dollar Tree, but I did this project in February so they may no longer carry. Also we have 2 Dollar Trees in town, and they were only at the bigger one.

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