Hey there friends! We are currently starting what feels like round two of Covid here in Texas. Things are getting worse and more folks are opting to stay home rather than suffer the consequences of a potential stay-at-home order. Since that is happening, I thought we should start a new blog series called "Step by Step". In each post, I will go over specific step-by-step instructions on how to organize your spaces, so that you can start your own process while at home!
In this edition of "Step-by-Step", we will tackle the pantry! That little baby holds a ton of secrets and we will get to all of them today! Don't be scared, I will be with you all the way.
Step One - Empty the Pantry
By "empty", I mean completely empty. Get everything off of the floor, off of the top shelves and out of the corners. Get it allllllll.
Step Two - Discard the Out of Date Items
Get rid of anything that is out of date, or that you no longer use. No shame if you have 3 or 4 big trash bags of stuff. That's actually what we normally haul out of a pantry. If you have more than that, you are simply an overachiever!
Step Three - Categorize Everything
Use the kitchen counters to put all of the canned goods together, the pasta together, the rice, the breakfast items, the dinner-making items, drinks, baking items, snacks, etc. Look to see how large each category is. For family sized chip bags, they take up a lot of room so we usually put them into a bin or basket on the floor of the pantry. The size of each category will let you know how large of a container to store it in.
Step Four - Decide on Decanting
I have a blog post here about how to make the decision to decant. If you want to do that and love the look, please know that it is an extra responsibility that you are taking on. It's not super serious, but putting away groceries does now require an extra step.
Step Five - Contain the Categories
Buy matching containers for each category. There are so many different looks you can go for - it's mostly personal preference. But if you are an "out of sight means out of mind" person, you may want to opt for clear containers rather than baskets that effectively hide things from you. In my pantry, I have a mix of both. I like to see some snacks so they are in clear containers. My protein powder "bucket" (why are those things so huge?) isn't something I want to see, but I know I have it and where it is. I will link some of my favorite products below. When shopping, buy MORE than you think you will need. You can always return them.
Step Six - Plan the Space
Pantries are so much fun because planning the space is pretty straightforward. I keep my dinner things close to rice and pasta. I keep coffee and tea together. If you use categories together frequently, place them close to one another. Pop your filled category containers into the pantry and marvel at all that beauty!
Step Seven - Label
Always label a space once it's complete. It helps others in your home to be able to put things back where they go, and find their own components of meals when cooking or snacking. There are tons of ways to do labels. I've linked a couple of options below.
Step Eight - Maintenance
If you've decided to decant your baking items or snacks, you will need a basket or bin for backstock. That means that not all of your flour or cereal fit into the container, so the rest of the bag is in the backstock bin. Maintenance consists of filling your decanters when they get low and "shopping" your pantry first before adding more of the same stuff from the store. Having things in categories (and decanted) helps you to easily see when you are low on an item. Always check the backstock bin before adding something to your shopping list. Every six months, go through everything and do a quick check for dates and for items you no longer use. This will help keep your pantry organized longer.
Maybe you realized as I was going through the steps that organizing your pantry actually invites other people to help with dinner or put away groceries, or help themselves to a snack. THIS IS A MIRACLE and I want you to have it! If you've used this guide to organize your pantry, let us know! Text me a photo - we'd love to see! 817-676-1701
If on the other hand this seems too overwhelming, we are here for you! We are pantry experts who LOVE turning your spaces into a gorgeous miracle! Click this link if you are in the DFW or Austin Texas area and you'd like for us to visit you!
Next week - our Step-by-Step series takes on The Master Closet!