The Pantry Clutter Challenge

About mid-way through the process of reorganizing the kitchen and the pantry, my husband turned to me and said, “How did we get ourselves into this?”

The truth is that I do try to stay organized because my life just seems to run better. Meal planning is easier, I feel less stressed, and honestly, it makes me happy to open a closet or cabinet and see it look neat and tidy.

However, the impetus for getting started on this project began when I stumbled upon the television show “The Amandas” which follows an OCD professional organizer and her crew of high-heeled wearing cohorts.

After watching an episode where she “fixed” one couple’s home, I looked in my pantry and kitchen cabinets. Bad looking. I should have taken a before picture because although it was all on shelves, it wasn’t neatly placed or in the least bit attractive.

I got inspired to reorganize, but stay on budget, so I headed off to our local Goodwill and bought eight baskets, some glass containers, a wire basket, and various other organizing tools. Total cost? $12.50. Pretty good.

I took everything out of the pantry. I grouped the cereals into a large basket, put my beans in glass jars, rice in an airtight container and put the little boys snacks in a large, clear plastic container. I was pleased with the result.

I then tackled the other side of the pantry. On the floor are the grain bins where I store the wheat I use to make bread. Above that shelf is potatoes, my enormous mixer, and onions. Then I have canned goods and other things I don’t use that often. The shelf in the middle, which I plucked from the side of the road last year, holds our enormous package of plastic wrap, some fruit, and larger appliances. The top basket is for pasta.

I then reconfigured my spices and flour cabinet so I could find things easier, and finally I cleaned out my plate and bowl cabinet. We have Fiesta plates, bowls, and cups and I love, love, love them.


My challenge to you is to not only rid your pantry of unnecessary food items, but also to clean out your pantry or food cabinet and reorganize it so you will find it easier to see what you have, plan your meals, and likely save money in the process.

Does your pantry or kitchen need a facelift? Believe me, you don’t have to spend a fortune, but instead just a little elbow grease and planning time. Up for the challenge? Diane

If you reorganize your pantry, send me a picture or post about it on your blog. I’ll compile the pictures/links if I get enough!

21 thoughts on “The Pantry Clutter Challenge

  1. blackhuff says:

    Your pantry look so good after the organising spree. Well done.
    Mine does not need it – it have to stay organised all the time otherwise I can’t find anything or I forget about something.

  2. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    I am a very organized person and have to battle my husband who puts things in “the wrong” place in the pantry! I just redid ours. With an empty nest, food has changed. So we could take over shelves that once held my boys’ snack foods:)

  3. Emergefit says:

    So jealous. As a bachelor living a small house, my kitchen is quite simple.e My spice rack is a salt and pepper shaker, and I own a plate, a fork, a knife, a spoon, one bowl, and just few glasses. Mostly this serves me well, and is certainly simple. But after reading this, I kind of wish I had a pantry and could do some real cooking.

    Yes, being organized makes a huge difference in matterof healthth and fitness! You are a great example.

  4. Marie@feedingfive says:

    I could look at organized spaces all day, I love it. I am very organized and try and stay on top of every part of my house so I actually don’t need to organize right now, but I would love to help any one out, it never gets old for me.

  5. Sharon says:

    Well, it is with tongue in cheek that I willfully admit I’m the OCD organizer. It is a joke (lovingly, of course) among all our friends who always want to look in my pantry when they come visit so they can make fun of me!! So no, my pantry doesn’t need organizing. Sometimes, Mr. B tells me I need to quit organizing and actually DO something with all the stuff I’ve organized. Perhaps, I will send a picture so all my BlogLand friends can make fun of me like my real friends do. That’s o.k. – I can always find what I want since it’s all categorized AND alphabetized!! LOL! And BTW, I’m really a very relaxed and fun loving person!!

  6. Julie Lost and Found says:

    You’ve inspired me!! This has been nagging at me for a while. I definitely need to re-organize. I have the Fiestaware too and just LOVE it! My mama gets me new pieces every year. Thanks for this post and “push” I needed! And you are my idol….are those wheat berries as in you not only make your bread but grind your wheat???? Do you use the Bosch?

  7. Mary Ellen Quigley says:

    I am a very organized person, so I totally appreciate your pantry. I also organize things by expiration date. Things expiring first go up front. This way I don’t find two year old cans of stuff shoved in the back.

  8. Roz@weightingfor50 says:

    This must have felt so good when you were done!!! Love that you got the baskets etc at Goodwill too!!!! I did this to our kitchen shelves just a couple of weeks ago. It really does feel good to get organized!!!! BTW…LOVE your colorful fiesta ware plates!!!!! Have a great Wed. Dianne!

  9. Siobhan says:

    I love an organized anything, but especially my pantry since I open that door several times a day. The only organizing my pantry needs is to go through it every six months and throw out anything that’s expired.

  10. Taryl says:

    I reorganize my pantry about every quarter but unfortunately no amount of organizing overcomes that I have more ingredients and appliances than space. Such is life!

  11. Blessedmama says:

    Great job on the pantry! We rotate through our food in the pantry so often, that it doesn’t have time to get messy. Buuuuutttt….those kitchen cabinets of mine. Yipes. They need some serious reorganizing.

  12. Barbara says:

    You did a great job!!!!

    Our pantry is overloaded so we are going on a pantry diet. Aside from staples (oatmeal, coffee, etc) I won’t buy anything that goes in the pantry for about 30 days. It will naturally thin itself out and then I can restock it with fresh stuff that we tend to use more of in the spring/summer.

  13. Tami @Nutmeg Notebook says:

    About a month ago I did the same thing with my pantry. Even though I am pretty neat it had gotten messy and it was making me crazy. I have different zones, one for baking items, snack foods, breakfast foods, canned goods and so on. I also have my spices and herbs organized alphabetically – it makes it so much easier to find what I am looking for.

  14. Amy says:

    I am pretty organized but things do get messy after a while (especially when the boys have been putting things away from the dishwasher – they are so nonchanlant about where they put things), so it is essential to keep up with it regularly. And it feels so good to get everything back to neat and tidy!

  15. vickie says:

    I do this on a very regular basis and you are right, makes a big difference in how I feel and efficiency in kitchen. I was going to say – flour should be stored in freezer – until I saw the size of your bins!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      The bins on the floor hold wheat berries that I grind into flour with my grain mill. You are right – ground whole wheat should be kept in the freezer because the oil content causes it to go rancid fairly quickly. Hope you are well!

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