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Thrifty Tip Thursday – Use What You Have . . . And Some Pantry Progress (finally)!

My project for the last month or so has been my pantry.  So much for one project per week . . . that’s life! 🙂 I am pleased to announce that I have finally made some progress on that pantry. Huzzah! Here is my terrible, awful, no-good before picture.

Yesterday, I pulled everything out on the food side and sorted according to zones I wished to create in my pantry (as per this Better Homes and Gardens article/slide-show).  I came up with the following zones for my pantry: Baking Supplies, Dry Goods, Snacks, Breakfast Foods, Lunch Foods, Instant Meals/Sides, Condiments, Canned Vegetables, Soup, Small Canned Goods, Other Canned Goods.  I then decided where to place each zone according to use and accessibility.  For example, I wanted the breakfast foods and healthy snacks (cereal, oatmeal, granola bars) to be at a height and location my kids can easily reach, the baking supplies where I can quickly reach, and the junk food snacks as high as possible so my kids cannot easily get to them.  I then used the Better Homes and Gardens printable labels to label shelves and containers, and placed everything back.  I’m not done tweaking things. I have already found two shelf areas I need to switch because of accessibility.  I also need to work on the non-food side of my pantry.  If all goes well, I will accomplish that tonight.  Here is the part-way-through picture.

This brings me to my thrifty tip.  Whenever I begin an organizing project, I start by looking at a multitude of pictures to see what others have done, taking note of ideas I want to incorporate. I’ll be honest, I usually want to go out and buy all kinds of pretty baskets and containers to emulate those magazine-layout-perfect pictures. However, I have committed to being a good steward of our finances and to stick to our budget.  Therefore, I do the next best thing (which sometimes is pretty far from the “best thing”, but worth it in the end) and shop at home.  If you are like me, you have a lot that can be put to use in your own closets and pantries.  For example, I had this little shelf just sitting in a closet not being used:

Now it holds small canned goods.

The basket below was used to hold waaaaaayyyyy too many coloring books. I went through the coloring books, recycled a lot, and placed the others in another basket that was holding just color crayons.

Add a label and it is the perfect home for holding my soups.

I needed a couple small containers for holding my running gels and seasoning packets.

Adding labels to a couple Ziploc containers worked perfectly.

I also re-purposed some Costco pretzel containers for some of my dry goods.

Maybe it’s not magazine perfect, but it’s on the way to being organized and it didn’t cost me a dime!

About easygoingorganizer

I am wife to the world's nicest man, mother to four lively/intelligent/beautiful children, daughter to two incredible parents, sister to four amazing siblings, aunt to nine fun-loving nephews and two sweet nieces, friend, teacher turned homeschooler, runner and aspiring organizing maven. Most importantly, I am a woman of faith and unapologetically blend my faith and my God into all that I do because it is ". . . in Him we live and move and exist . . ." (Acts 17:28).

8 responses »

  1. Great post! Glad you found the From Scratch Club article I wrote (hopefully it’s helpful for you and your readers!). Your tips for organizing your pantry are really great… I think I have FINALLY figured out a system for our house (which will probably change when my kids are a little bigger). I love what you did with the pretzel containers, too. Very clever and a great way to recycle/reuse (which I love!).

  2. Your project looks great! Sometimes “magazine-perfect” spaces are nice too look at, but not very functional! This looks real world magazine perfect to me! Great job!

  3. Oo it’s looking so nice! Haven’t seen you around in the blog in a while! Hope all is well! 🙂

  4. Pingback: School Room Finished | Easy-Going Organizer

  5. Hi, after reading this awesome post i am too cheerful to share
    my knowledge here with mates.


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