I finally did it! The pantry is organized, totally clean, and I LOVE it! I know it seems overwhelming to organize a pantry, especially if it was as messy as mine was! But WOW what a difference it makes! I've already noticed a difference in how I grocery shop - it's so much easier to know what I have on-hand already when it's organized.
Here's how I did it, and the tools that I used!
Step 1: clean it out! Yes, remove everything. You might be able to fit everything on your kitchen countertops or you might need to grab a few boxes or laundry baskets to hold pantry items during this step. I had flower vases, party supplies, food, my bag of bags (lol) and so many other things in my pantry that needed to go! My before picture makes me want to run away haha!
Step 2: Now that all of your items are out of the pantry, give a good wipe down! Yes, wipe down all the shelves (remember to start from the top!), sweep and mop the floor, and get it ready to load back in.
Step 3: Start going through items and group "like items." This is also a good time to check expiration dates, combine any items that are duplicates (I had *three* bags of brown sugar...why?!), and throw away anything old! Think about how you eat, what you snack on...what bothered you about your last pantry setup. Do you pack lunches and tend to stock the same items every week? We had so many things in our pantry that
Step 4: Load items into the pantry in their groups. Nope, no baskets or fancy containers yet. First, we need to make sure your new configuration will work for you! I re-shelved everything into what I thought would be good locations...I ended up moving things around a little bit based on the quantity of items I had or anticipated buying. This is why I didn't buy baskets or containers first - I didn't know what sizes I would need or how many I would want.
Step 5: Containers! I don't think everyone needs baskets or clear containers to display all of their items, but there are a few tools I would recommend that everyone make use of in their pantry to keep things neat and easily accessible: lazy susan, spice rack, canned goods rack, a canister set for dry goods.
My pantry is open to the kitchen so I wanted to take it a step further and unify the shelves a bit so it didn't look cluttered. I opted for baskets as opposed to clear containers because I don't need to display many individual items/snacks, and I wanted to hide all of the different color boxes, etc., so the baskets help unify things instead of put each item on display.
I used these baskets that came in a set of three - they worked really well and I think the price is so reasonable for the set. I bought this large basket to keep on the floor and hold paper towels and napkins.
I feel like my kitchen looks so much better now that my pantry is under control! I think you'll be shocked how much time organizing your pantry will save you in the long run (and probably money, too!). You can do it!
If you want to see the full transformation, here is the Reels video!