I thought I might be the only one with the mood of getting organized, but it seems that this has been the trend lately. We have been working alot on getting our house a bit more organized, trying to maximize our storage, and work on purging and decluttering. It first started when we added our butler’s pantry/coffee bar area. We were able to empty many boxes that have been taking up space in a closet and get it put away nicely in our cabinet and on the shelves.
It started this snowball effect. Next was one of our linen closets for the master bathroom. We purged so many old and dingy sheets and towels. I got rid of lots of older beauty items that were expired or they were old and I did not really like. It freed up so much space in that closet and there was a major sense of relief.
I have also purged out lots of older clothes that I just don’t need, don’t wear, or doesn’t fit. We then fixed up a hall closet. This closet was storing boxes of kitchen items that we had no where to fit anywhere. We went through it and got rid of things we did not need, put them away into the butler’s pantry, or able to reorganize things and put away in a better spot. We added shelves to that closet and was able to use it for more storage for some of the kitchen appliances (crockpot, air fryer, instapot), some of our cleaning items (swiffer, big and small vacuums) and other items that we did not need to put in our kitchen.
Next was the pantry. This really needed to get cleaned. It was at the point where we could not find our food anymore. I purchased some great storage items I found from Walmart. I purchased some clear plastic bins as well as some airtight storage containers. The air tight storage containers have been helpful with the opened food items that we want to keep fresh, and the plastic bins have been helpful in keeping things like small cans, pouches, and bags in one, organized place.
I really like the Better Homes and Gardens airtight containers. We also have ones by OXO ones. What is nice about the OXO containers is that the lid comes apart making it easier to dry before putting food back in there. You don’t want water in there. They can’t dry and it will end up making your food go bad. What we like about the Better Homes and Gardens containers is that the little handle on top. It makes it easier to come off as sometimes the OXO containers can stick. They close nicely and can easily be stacked to maximize your space.
Cleaning out and reorganizing your pantry can seem like a daunting task. Honestly, it kind of was but if you follow a few key tips, it will make the job less stressful.
- Take everything out of your pantry first. Yes, this might seem like alot but it will really help you see everything you have, help you really get a sense of the space you are working with, and help you visualize a plan for how you want to organize it.
- Organize your shelves in a way that makes sense to YOU and your family. If you organize in a specific order, then it will be easier to find what you are looking for. For example, we have a shelf that has the snacks on it, one that has the meal items such as can good and side items, and another shelf for baking. To us, it makes the most sense and works the best with how our family utilizes the pantry. Also think about the foods you use the most. Those are items you want eye level so it is easier to see and easier to grab. You also want to think about the kids. Do you want the snacks for them to be lower for them to grab or out of reach? For us, we wanted it higher up and out of reach. We want to approve of the snacks that they grab and how much they grab. This also helps to prevent messes.
- Use airtight containers for the items that need to stay fresher, longer. For us, that was items like cereal, rice and other grains, and coffee. We decided not to put our chips in a container, mainly because we have several different kinds and do not want to mix them. Items like Ritz crackers that were in a package and then in a box we left alone. Most of the cracker packages were unopened and therefore already staying fresh. Things like flours and grains are items that we want to keep fresh but we do not necessarily use everyday. Plus, those are items that are a nuisance getting out of the pantry as it is at risk of spilling and making a mess with the slightest hole or tear in the packaging.
- If you can, get help! Do not feel you have to tackle this alone. My husband and I worked on this project together. Not only did it make the work more bearable but we were able to bounce ideas off of each other with how to organize the shelves.
- If you can, clean the storage items the night before. This gives time for those things to dry. The hardest part was having to wipe down everything in the airtight containers. You don’t want water to linger in there when you put your food in. Water can hide inside the lids and then it defeats the purpose of the airtight containers.
- Throw away old or expired items as you go. If you have not done this in a while, this is a great time to get rid of those expired items or food items you won’t eat. If they are items that are not expired but you don’t want or like, think about donating it to a local food pantry or food drive.
- Clean up messes inside the pantry. This was a time for us to vacuum the floor, wipe down shelves that had any spills or sticky on them. It is like having a fresh start!
Honestly, after this is done, there is a feeling of relief afterwards. It feels so good to have things organized and easy to find. I feel less stress just by having something cleaned out. Every time I open my pantry, I feel a sense of calm that everything is nice and tidy and easy to see. Now the task is keeping it this way!