Do this stuff already: Pantry Organization

Our pantry was really embarrassing and in serious need of full on pantry organization.  It’s slightly bigger than the pantry that we had in our apartment, but when we moved in May, I just opened the boxes and shoved everything in there.  And I left it like that.  For 8 months.  And I cook a ton, so I was constantly going in there.  I was embarrassed if friends or family were visiting and opened the door for whatever reason.  Things were always falling off the shelves and I could never find anything – and Lo could certainly never find anything (but guys are terrible at finding things).  I had a general place for things, but when that area would be full, I’d just shove stuff on a different shelf.

One of the things that held me up for the first four months is that I wanted to replace the contact paper and just kept forgetting to buy it.  The shelf lining in there was ugly and busy and just made it look even messier.  I just wanted something white and clean.  Not this vomit top layer:

pantry organizationOr this middle layer: pantry organization

Or this bottom layer:pantry organization

But what was really scary was the state of my pantry.  I didn’t remember to take a picture before I cleared the first shelf and started measuring out the contact paper, but here it is.  I can’t believe I’m willingly posting these.

pantry organization before

Yes, seriously.  If that’s not bad enough, check out the bottom of it in this blurry pic.  pantry organization before

I spent the better part of the day organizing and cleaning and lining. I’m happy to report that nothing was expired past a point that I would use it.  I actually did used to clean our pantry out a couple of times a year in the apartment, so things were always up to date.  Those pictures above though, that’s just stressful and makes my heart race.

Two shelves down:
pantry organization middle

The after pictures turned out quite well though.  It’s crazy to think that almost everything that started in there is in there for the after picture, but it’s true except for a few small things that we took to work to eat/drink or relocated to the appropriate cabinet.  MUCH BETTER!

One of best things I bought were the foil/wrap/baggie shelves under shelf racks from Amazon.  We were keeping the boxes in another cabinet and it was also a mess and a pain to get the box that we need.  pantry organization afterpantry organization after

Do you think I have too many bags of various baking chips?  I’ll see a recipe that I want to bake and then I don’t get to it, partly because I don’t feel like it, partly because I’ll end up eating the majority of it.  And because Jumbo bags of chocolate chips were on sale at Costco.  It’s never a bad thing to have too many though. pantry organization baking chipsI also have to admit that this isn’t all of the food that we have…  I like to stock up when things are on sale and buy in bulk, so we have a couple of shelves that Lo put up in the basement for overflow.  So basically, if there’s ever a natural disaster, head to our house!

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