We finally did it. We completed our small party organization update!
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Our pantry was a disaster (I’ve included an embarrassing photo below for reference) and I felt like I was organizing and reorganizing monthly, only to have it return to its disastrous state weeks later.
I tried everything from small baskets, can organizing, and glass containers, but we just couldn’t manage to keep this space clean. The pantry is narrow and deep, basically the worst design for a pantry. So I decided to take a few months to really figure out how to keep this space clean.
Why I was determined to find a system for our pantry.
If you have a messy pantry 3 things can happen:
- Spoiled/expired food – When you have a mountain of food piled in your pantry like we did, you don’t see what is about to go bad or expire. I am embarrased to say that when I was cleaning out the pantry I found a half loaf a bread that was blue, yes, blue. It was shoved in the back corner under all the other food “stuff.” No one wants mold or old food in their pantry. It can lead to smell, cross contamination, and health problems!
- Overbuying – When you can’t see the food you have in your pantry chances are you will overbuy what you already have. This just happened to us. I thought we only had a little bit of olive oil left so I bought some during our last grocery shop. Turns out we had 2 large unopened bottles from Costco sitting on the back of the top shelve. I had no idea. I forgot they were even there.
- You overall waste money – Whether you overbuy or let food expire/go bad, you are wasting money. I don’t know about you, but I would rather my hard earned money go to something else than in the garbage due to food waste. Groceries are already expensive and we don’t need to make it more than it already is!
The pantry organization system we chose
We knew our small pantry couldn’t hold all of our food. We shop sales, buy in bulk at Costco, and need to store more food than our small pantry can provide. We added a few more shelves to our cold room in the basement to store our canned goods, overstock items, and our less-used kitchen items. This opened tons of space in our pantry, where we could see everything we had and ate on a regular basis.
Instead of just placing the remaining food on the shelves I purchased these wire baskets to hold items on each shelf. This helps avoid food stacking, piling, and items getting pushed to the back of the pantry – allowing everything to have its own home and in sight at all times.
Adding a bit of design
Every space needs a touch of character and our pantry was a blank slate. I’ve been wanting to find a reason to purchase these cute decals since I saw them and knew they would be the perfect touch to our pantry update. They were super easy to add to the wall. I didn’t take the time to carefully place them in a specific layout since I knew it could take hours, so I just went ahead and started placing them randomly on the back wall of the pantry.
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