Making the Most of Your Pantry ~ Organize Your Kitchen Frugally Day 28

Welcome to Day 28 of my month long series “How to Organize Your Kitchen Frugally in 31 Days”.  Every day during the month of October I will be sharing an organized space in my kitchen with you.  My goal is to inspire you and give you ideas on how you can organize your kitchen.

If you missed it, you may want to read why I’m embracing my outdated kitchen.  It might give you a little perspective on why the pictures of my kitchen organization won’t be “magazine worthy”, but helpful for real life organization.

How to Organize Your Kitchen Frugally

I can hardly believe there are only 3 days left in this series!!  Don’t forget – if you have been inspired by any of the posts in this series and organized a space in your kitchen, send me your pictures.  I’ll be featuring some of my favorites on the last day.  Also, if you have questions about anything I’ve covered or wonder about something I didn’t cover, feel free to ask.  I’ll be answering YOUR questions.  Send your pictures and/or questions to ginny {at} organizinghomelife {dot} com.

Yesterday I showed you how I cut back the shelves in my pantry and added wire racks to the side walls to maximize the storage space.  Today, I’m showing you how I organize the food items in my pantry.

How to Maximize the Space in Your Pantry

The pantry is one of the most difficult spaces to keep neat and organized in any kitchen – organizers’ kitchens included!  Why?  Because there is constant turnover. It isn’t easy to organize things that are coming and going on a regular basis.

I don’t get too OCD over my pantry because there are more important things in life to worry about than a perfect pantry.  I want my pantry to function well, meaning I want to see the foods I use so they don’t get wasted, but I’m not really very concerned with specific places for things.  I organize my pantry in general spaces.

Here is a big picture view of my pantry.

How to Organize a Pantry

I like to group things together as much as possible, but since the foods are always changing, sometimes I need to change which shelf I keep them on.

My dry pastas, flours, and sugars are stored in these containers.  Since those containers don’t change, they always stay on that shelf.  I found them at Walmart and are much cheaper than similar versions I’ve seen elsewhere.  They aren’t cheap, but I love how fresh they keep the food so I bought a few at a time until I had a set that accommodated my needs.

I love Becky’s idea of writing the cook time for the different pastas right on the label!

Organizing Pasta in the Pantry

I didn’t understand the idea of chalkboard labels when they first became popular because I grew up slapping erasers for my school teachers and remember the horrible chalk dust very well!  I couldn’t believe people would want that mess in their homes.  But that was before the invention of chalk markers!  These things are great!  The labels are erasable (with a damp paper towel), and removable so you can easily clean your containers or change the writing on the labels with no mess.  The chalk marker doesn’t smudge off like regular chalk either!  They are my favorite new way of labeling.  I found these chalkboard labels at Michaels but you can get similar ones on Amazon here.

Organizing the Pantry with Chalkboard Labels

On the side wire racks, I mostly keep canned foods.  I try to store fruits, soups, and baking supplies together as much as possible.  With four kids and a hubby using the pantry as much as me, things can get moved around.  That’s ok.  With this pantry set up, it’s easy to see everything and nothing gets buried.

Organizing the Side Walls of the Pantry with Wire Racks

You might notice that the wire racks overlap the shelves slightly.  I’m okay with that because it is only a little bit.  I try to keep things in the corners that I don’t need to take out often, or that I can still access easily.

I keep seasoning packets in small baskets on two shelves.  I don’t need to remove the whole basket, but it’s simple to grab a packet without having to move anything.

Pantry Organization

Since there are so many categories of foods stored in a pantry, I don’t use baskets to contain everything.  I just try to keep like things together as much as possible.  Again, when it’s easy to see and easy to reach, things just don’t get lost.

Pantry Organization ~ Making the Most of Your Space

It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but I like to keep chocolate chips, confectioner’s sugar, cupcake liners, and icing decorations together.  I keep them on the top shelves, since I don’t use them frequently.

Canned goods and other condiments are stored on lower shelves.

Organizing a Pantry with Wire Racks

I have a bin that stores the kids’ snack foods.  I deliberately put that on the lowest shelf so they can get to it easily.  I got it here on Amazon.

Kids' Snack Area

I found these stackable bins at Walmart a few years ago and I love them.  I haven’t seen them at my local Walmart for a long time, but here is a similar style on Amazon.

Onion and Potato Bins

Tomorrow I’ll be showing you the non-food items I store in my pantry.

How to Organize Your Kitchen Frugally in 31 Days


16 Responses to “Making the Most of Your Pantry ~ Organize Your Kitchen Frugally Day 28”

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  1. Caitlin says:

    That is amazing! Can you please share where you got the wire racks? I’ve been looking for something similar for my pantry.

  2. Adele says:

    What size glass containers do you have your flour and sugar in? Does a 5 lb bag fit? Thank you!

  3. Shannon Mallory says:

    I am curious… How much flour/ sugar/ etc. do your containers from Walmart hold? Will they each hold a 5 lb. bag? They look small! But I am hoping to find something to fit in my cabinets better yet still hold a full bag! Enjoying your posts so much!!

    Thanks,
    Shannon

  4. Wow, thats an incerdibly organised pantry. I really love the idea of the chalk labels and writing the cooking times on the pasta.
    I dont have a pantry as such, but do have a few shelves at the top of our Cellar steps, Im going to adapt some of these fab ideas to suit the space Ive got. Thanks again Ginny for the inspiration.

  5. Kelly Younkin says:

    I see chicken coating in your pantry. Is it OK to keep?

  6. Kelly Younkin says:

    Sorry, I meant. Once you use it. Is it still OK to store the leftover flour? I’ve always wondered if it would go bad. It may have some blood or tiny bits of chicken in it. BTW, have loved your series.

    • Ginny says:

      Ok, now I understand. :) No, I definitely dump the coating that’s left after I dip the chicken in it. This is fresh flour that I put in the container straight out of the box.

  7. BLESS YOU!

    I have an enviable kitchen which is beautifully stocked and (was) miserably organized. 23 cabinets, 2 built in pantries, 4 deep pot & pan drawers, 22 feet of counters and a 6 foot island, every culinary gadget and tool you can imagine. A dream that was traped in nightmare. And proof possitive that a big beautiful kitchen does NOT equal a functional one.

    Thanks to your blog (and my elbow grease) I no longer pace back and forth to prepare my meals, make the kids lunches or bake! Can you believe that my spices were spread over 4 cabinets? How about that I had to hit 3 cupboards to assemble lunches. Um… containers to put leftovers in? TWO full pot & pans drawers FULL plus a rubbermaid bin in the garage and not lid to be found ANYWHERE! Oh! How I want the hours I wasted looking for a lid back! And the list goes on!

    Reading your blog and seeing these pictures has been a series of “DUH!” moments for me. You know what they say? When the student is ready the teacher appears. Or maybe finding you was the answer to prayer. Either way… BLESS YOU.

  8. Lydia says:

    Hi,

    I’m completely in love with your pantry. Do you happen to know the brand of the containers you purchased from walmart?

    Thank you!

  9. Debbie says:

    I am forever grateful for finding your blog. I have the same exact pantry set up and I’m so excited to finally find the perfect plan to organize it! I love all of your “days” of kitchen organizing and can’t wait to get started. thanks for sharing.

  10. Becky says:

    I love your tips and I am excited to start organizing/purging my kitchen. I did notice, however, that in your beautiful pantry you have stacked your onions and potatoes right next to each other. The gases onions release causes potatoes to spoil faster and vice versa. Just wanted to pass that info along so that when readers are mimicking your organized style they’re not accidentally damaging their produce! Thanks for all your tips! :)

  11. Ellen Pitts says:

    First, I just wanted to say that I’m LOVING your blog! I am so spatially challenged that I have a really hard time organizing stuff. I’m great at organizing ideas or projects but horrible at organizing stuff.

    I also noticed that your potatoes and onions are stored next to each other. I wanted to let you know that if you store them together the potatoes will sprout very quickly. I bought these really neat storage bags that let me store them separately from other root veggies and they seem to do a really good job of keeping them from going bad. I was throwing away a lot of potatoes!

    Beautiful job on your organizing and I loved your post about your 60′s kitchen. I’m right there with ya sister!

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