A Clean and Organized Pantry

5 steps to a clean and organized pantry with ideas for cheap containers for storage and how to organize your kitchen pantry.

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A clean and organized pantry saves you time and money. When items are organized, you know exactly what you have and what you need. This keeps items from being hidden, expiring and then from over-buying.

I cleaned my pantry today, it took about 45 minutes. My husband came by to gawk and cheer me on. My pantry is usually pretty organized but after the holidays, it’s getting to be a mess.

Step 1: Expired items

Ok, expired items happen, they just do. You will lose track of a small bag or can and it will sit there until old age. Check every can, box, jar, bag, for an expiration date.

Grocery items do not immediately go “off” on that magical date, but they do start to become suspect to me. Just toss it. My oldest today was a can of sloppy joe mix from 2015. Who bought this? I’ve never even used it before and somehow it ended up in my pantry. Bye.

Step 2: Get rid of the bags

There are likely lots of little bags in your pantry with twist ties on them. Scattered all around. I had a basket in there for chocolate chips, powdered sugar, almonds, beans, lentils, popcorn, all in little bags with twist ties.

This is no longer an acceptable solution for me. I have no idea what I have and it causes me to dig around in that basket. So I changed this to mason jars.

Use mason jars to store items air tight and visual.
Use mason jars to store items air tight and visual.

I have tons of mason jars around because I went through a canning phase. This is a great solution for items that aren’t big enough for a large plastic storage container.

I put everything in it’s own little mason jar. Perfect. Some items were chocolate chips, coconut, coconut sugar, chia seeds, ground flax, cranberries, raisins. I think this works in that you can see how much you have and it’s airtight.

Step 3: Clean and mop

Once you have your pantry partially cleaned out, dust the shelves if you have solid shelves, clean the baseboards, sweep and mop the floor.

Step 4: Group like items

I pulled most items out of the pantry and started making groups. Different types of oils in one group. All glass sauces, vinegars, marinades, and syrups were grouped together. I grouped all condiments, flours, pastas, canned items, etc.

Step 5: Put it all back together

Put these grouped items back on the shelf in a place that makes logical sense to you.

I put my high-use items at eye and chest level. The items that are in large storage containers on top so they can fit. Infrequently used items on the lowest shelf.

The only item on the floor is a case of beer. I can live with that, but in general, you shouldn’t store anything on the floor.

Tips

I did retain one basket in the pantry. This has always been the “Lunch Box” basket. I have different snack sized items like fruit cups, applesauces, granola bars, and other items that I put in packed lunches for the kids. It’s difficult to keep those neat, so if they are in a basket, who cares if they fall over.

I also hang my reusable grocery bags in the pantry as it’s a good reminder to take them shopping and a good place to store after they are unloaded.

I hope you find the motivation to clean out your pantry after reading this article. A clean and organized pantry makes cooking meals so much easier and saves you money all around.

Please check out my other articles on housekeeping in the modern age HERE.

A Clean and organized pantry
A Clean and organized pantry
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