One of the areas that I often neglect is the pantry. Once I unload all the groceries into the kitchen, I place items wherever it can go as long as it fits. Just like I have a set order for my finances, I wanted the same with my food items. I had to do something about this issue because I would buy items I already had. This was not effective. It was time for a change.
On the weekend, I made an attempt to get my stuff in order. We took out all items from the pantry and this is what it looked like.
Sometimes it’s good to just start with a clean slate. After all the items were removed and the shelves were cleaned, I looked at how I can maximize my small pantry space. Here are some low-cost things I did to organize the pantry space.
Purchase or reuse containers and boxes
Clear bottles are great because you know exactly how much food you have in them. Whether it’s BPA free plastic or glass, use whatever you prefer. If you want to conceal the item, use boxes or baskets. Just make sure that it fits into your pantry area. Most of my glass jars were spaghetti sauce. I cleaned them out really well and used them to store dry goods. I reused the boxes from a baby shower in the past to store non-food items.
If you have a permanent marker and decent handwriting, labels are the easiest thing to incorporate. There are lots of customizable labels out there that one can add pretty fonts and logos. For me, I chose a clear label for its simplicity. Since I have a lot of glass storage, I chose to use a crystal clear label to give my pantry a cleaner look. For more information on where I got these labels from, please read this article.
Paint the top of the lids to add interest
I painted the lids with a water-based acrylic paint. This paint is formulated for multi-surfaces and is dishwasher safe. I would stay away from spray painting lids since it does have harmful VOCs. I purchased my small bottle of paint from the craft section at Walmart for $0.50. The best part of this project is that my kids painted the lids for me. They really enjoy painting. I had them paint only the outer areas of the lids. There are many different colors to choose from and so far they have held up well.
Think about the household
Once all the food and items were consolidated and packed, I had to think about placement. The items we used the most were placed at a closer distance to the kitchen. Seasonal items were placed in the back area. Things I want my kids to grab were on the lower shelf and things they need to avoid are placed up high.
The next step: enjoy what you have done.
Does your pantry need some help? What are you doing to create a better space?