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When I moved into my new home, one of the things that I found lacking in my new space was the size of the pantry. In the home that I had been renting, I had a giant pantry with plenty of space for food, paper products, cookbooks, or pretty much anything and everything I could think of that needed to be stored near a kitchen. However, in my new home, I was concerned that I wouldn’t even be able to fit all my food stuff in my tiny new pantry.
Luckily, I have really cool friends and one of them happens to be a professional organizer. Jennifer Zovath of Your Polished Home came to my rescue by having a virtual organizing session with me on a Sunday afternoon. We pretty much just FaceTimed and I showed her the sad little pantry space I was working with, she asked me take some measurements, and then she got to work. A day later, I received a thorough email from her telling me the steps I needed to take to get my pantry organized and efficient, and she even suggested products she thought would be helpful to me.
Like the dutiful student that I am, I got to work on her plan and, let me tell you, the results were amazing! I have been able to fit all my food stuff, plus a few extras like my KitchenAid mixer and the dog food bin in my tiny little pantry! Jennifer is clearly a miracle worker!
5 Strategies for an Organized Pantry
Here are some of the best tips and tricks Jennifer shared with me to get your pantry organized and functional:
1. Start by taking everything out of the pantry. Yes, EVERYTHING. Remove all the things from your pantry and toss anything that’s expired. Then put everything in like categories: all the spices together, all the boxed goods, all the baking items, etc.
2. Invest in clear, stackable containers and a labeler or semi-permanent pen. In my old pantry I had heavy glass jars that kept all my baking ingredients, like flour, sugar, salt, etc. They were pretty, but they didn’t stack. In this pantry I needed to start stacking things, so I bought these simple yet space saving containers and they are perfect! I also invested in this semi-permanent wine glass pen and labeled the top of each container for ease of use.
3. Utilize a Lazy Susan in the corners. I love this tip because it allows you to access everything you need with just a spin of the Lazy Susan! I put all the things I tend to need on a regular basis on these: peanut butter, honey, olive oil, etc.
4. Use large bins and categorize. On the bottom of my pantry I have two large plastic bins. One is for all my carbohydrates like bread, tortillas, bagels, etc. The other holds lunchbox items for my kids lunches. I also have a few bins on other shelves for kids snacks, my various health supplements, boxed foods, potatoes, onions, and my secret stash of chocolate.
5. Make use of the door. I had already invested in this on-the-door system for all my spices and I have used it for many years. This amazing rack saves a TON of space! My rack holds all my spices, my plastic sandwich bags, aluminum foil, wax paper and vinegars and oils. This thing is one of my favorite organizing tools!
It only took a few affordable investments and a couple of hours to turn my small, messy pantry into a more efficient, organized space thanks to my friend Jennifer’s guidance. Now, if only I could get her to come over and help me with my garage…