RSS Feed

Category Archives: Week 17 & 18: Pantry

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!

Thrifty Tip Thursday – A Borrowed Pantry Tip


Burlap and Denim re-used Costco popcorn containers to store grains and snacks. The result is a very organized pantry without the extra expense of containers.  I’m collecting my large plastic containers to use similarly. Click the link to view the rest of a very organized pantry.

Pantries to Strive For

Last week of insanity! Last week of soccer, Wednesday night church club, concerts, etc. Then life will calm a bit and I can get back to some organizing. In the mean time, while I’m trying to attack my pantry one baby-step at a time, I thought I would post some pantries I would like to emulate.

This pantry slide-show/article from Better Homes and Gardens is my nominee for most helpful. The slide-show details how to divide your pantry into zones for quick storage and use. Their suggested zones aren’t a perfect fit for my families needs, but zoning is definitely an idea I will be putting to use.  I also want to get one of those under-the-shelf-bread-storage-thingies (I’m pretty sure that is the official title).

This pantry from Burlap and Denim is full or clever storage ideas.  I love her use of baskets for her root vegetables. They actually look decorative stored in this manner. Another favorite feature is her re-use of her Costco popcorn containers to store snacks and grains.

From Lil Blue Boo come these hanging metal storage bins on the pantry wall. I have such a wall that could use some of these. Visit the link for a step-by-step tutorial for creating this look.

The wall of this pretty pantry from Amber Lane Living was created by Mod Podge-ing fabric to contact paper, then placing on the wall. Amazing! It would require a little more time than I am willing to dedicate to this project, but I’m hanging on to the idea for the future. 🙂 I also love all the glass/plastic storage containers. It gives the pantry a very uniform and polished look.

I will never have anything that looks remotely close to this, but I thought this picture posted on Buscut was too gorgeous not to share. I love the look of home-canning. To quote my sister’s comment on Pinterest, “If your cupboard looks like this one day, you are officially superwoman.” Any superwomen out there with pantries like this?

I want a decorative pantry door like this posted on Designer Dad. Sigh. Someday! 🙂

Last, thank you to Julie Loves Home for sharing her pantry makeover with me. Click the link to see her organization process from beginning to its lovely end. I love the large metal bins on the floor. I have some serious work to do!



Organizing My Pantry – 30 Minutes at a Time

I have a rather large pantry and I’m still in a very busy season, so to make the organizing task more manageable I’ve decided to break it into small pieces. Tonight my husband is out of town, so I rented Season One of Downton Abbey, and attacked my basket of table linens. It was full and over-flowing; well past time to sort through, downsize and organize.  That is precisely what I did. There were table clothes that I never used, so they were placed in the donation pile. There were also a few things that didn’t belong in the basket and needed to be placed elsewhere.  I refolded, placed them according to size, labeled and placed them back on the shelf. A simple 30 minute project.  Behold, the “after” pictures.


Much better and the pantry is one step closer to being organized..