$20 Pantry Re-Organization

January always feels like the perfect time to organize our lives and homes for the new year.  

Home organization is not necessarily my strong suit, but I have learned that having a specific place to put everything away is key.  We moved into our new house in June of last year, and the pantry has been a mess ever since then!  In our old house, we had a small pantry for food in the kitchen and built-in shelves in our laundry room which held homeschooling materials, craft supplies, dog food, paper towels, and everything else that needed storing!  Our new house does not have any laundry room storage.  The pantry, however, is large enough to hold more than just food.  Up until now, the shelves have been a cluttered collection of items…

Before: (Wow, this is embarrassing!)

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

This shelf was the worst mess – an assortment of straws, playdough, craft supplies, plastic forks and spoons, cleaning products, and medicines.

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

And the food shelf before:

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

Before getting to work, I headed to the store to buy some supplies!  This project had to cost as little as possible, and yet it needed to be done.  I figured that the savings from not re-buying things we already had would pay for the cost of organizing!  At Target, I purchased three white dishpans for $1.97 each and four plastic baskets at $2.47 each.  I also purchased a clear box with a lid for our playdough supplies.  The total was under $20.

The disaster shelf after organizing:

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

Wow, so much better!

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

Here’s what I did for the disaster shelf:

  • One plastic dishpan now holds preschool supplies.  These had previously been piled up on the shelf.  The dishpan corrals bubbles, balloons, funnels, clothespins, seasonal cookie cutters, and other items that I want to have on hand for the younger boys.

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

  • Another dishpan holds a collection of seasonal paper plates and special occasion paper napkins.  No more piles!
  • I used one white basket for everyday napkins.  The boys set the table, and when they take napkins out of the package, they tend to grab too many and leave a trail of extras on the floor.  The basket makes it so much easier for little hands to grab just a few.
  • Our boxes of straws and plastic silverware are now corralled in another white basket.
  • I used a third basket to contain light bulbs of various types.

The food shelf after:

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

This shelf looked so much better after simply clearing out boxes of cereal that had less than one bowl full in them, etc.  However, I am very happy with two parts of my organization efforts.

This basket contains all opened bags (walnuts, slivered almonds, craisins, etc.).  So much neater than piles!

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

I also added a dishpan for storing potatoes and onions.

$20 Pantry Re-Organization

It’s easy to tell how many potatoes we have at a glance so that I’m not buying too many, or assuming we have potatoes on hand when we don’t.

My husband and I have cleaned out the pantry multiple times in the past, but it always migrates back to the previous mess within days.  Having the appropriate storage containers is really helping us keep things neat this time!

5 Comments

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  1. sarahelisabeth Jan 12, 2013

    This is encouraging-I need to do some household organisation too.

    Reply
    1. lindsey Jan 12, 2013

      It looks great. I did the same to my pantry last week....although it wasn't so well planned as yours was, it came to be after I was looking for some pancake supplies that I KNEW I had and couldn't find, so I frantically started tearing things apart, tossing and organizing. Breakfast was a little late, but the pantry looks great!

      One note, you might consider storing your potatoes and onions separately, together they cause the other to go bad faster. Particularly the onions to potatoes.

      Reply
      1. Sarah Jan 12, 2013

        I did not know that about potatoes and onions! Thanks for the tip. I can easily move the onions to somewhere else. And even if I just have potatoes in there, it's still better than all my produce bags lying around!

        Reply
      2. Eddie - The Usual Mayhem Jan 13, 2013

        It looks great! I did something similar in my kitchen cupboards and laundry room last year and it worked wonders; they're still organized. Love dollar store bins!

        Reply
        1. Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories Jan 14, 2013

          Very nice! Isn't it amazing what a few bins can do for organization?

          Reply
          1. Dianna Jan 30, 2013

            This is great, I love how cheap it is to organize the pantry. I never would have thought about this, but I'm tired of having stuff fall on me EVERY TIME I try to take something down.

            Reply

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