Here's what I did in a nutshell:
- tossed any expired items
- removed all non-food related items
- added a shelving organizer on the door (we did this awhile ago actually)
- attached some wire baskets underneath with zip ties
- added baskets to organize different food items
- added glass jars for baking ingredients
- labeled everything with chalkboard labels
First, I threw out any expired items & removed all those non-food related items like light bulbs, cleaning supplies, & plastic cups. I organized the remaining items into groups: cereals, pasta, rice, grains, snacks, coffee, tea, & bread.
Then I transferred all these groups to their own baskets that I picked up from Garden Ridge:
We also had 2 of those under-the-shelf wire baskets laying around. I figured we could use them to store onions & potatoes. Since we don't have actual wood shelves, I added a zip tie to hold the baskets in place on the very bottom shelf:
Shortly after we moved in we added some shelving units to the inside of the door. (I definitely use the inside of the door to store things all over our house...it's prime real estate, right?) We store all of our canned goods & miscellaneous items here:
Next, I had to figure out another storage solution for all the baking ingredients. Years ago I bought one of those 4-piece canister sets - but they didn't work out so well for me. You can't fit all the flour/sugar into the jars & the opening is not wide enough to fit a measuring cup anyway.
So for the last few years I have just been storing everything in Ziploc bags. It was time to upgrade my system. Glass jars that I picked up from Wal-Mart work so much better. I keep the flour, sugar, powered sugar, & brown sugar in them:
I also bought some smaller glass jars to hold our baking soda, baking powder, & cornstarch:
I was a little concerned about the brown sugar drying & hardening in the jar. Then I found out that you can buy these ceramic brown sugar bears that will keep the brown sugar moist (I bought mine @ Bed, Bath, & Beyond). Just soak it in water for 20 minutes & you're good to go:
Next, I had to label everything (of course). I went to Staples & picked up some Martha Stewart Chalkboard Labels. Since I couldn't stick the labels directly on the baskets, I cut out some scrapbook paper & attached the labels to the paper first. Then I used Velcro to attach the labels to the baskets:
I even found a sugar packet organizer @ Garden Ridge (eventually I'd like to create a coffee/espresso station in our kitchen):
Here's a Before & After:
Much better, right?
Now that the pantry is finished, I have to create more storage space in our downstairs coat closet for all those items that I removed....on to the next organization project...