Ugh, it’s 2:30 am and I can’t sleep. Don’t you hate that? Anyway, since I’m up, I thought I’d post some pictures of the first day of my small kitchen pantry organization challenge. I decided to start with the biggest problem area in our kitchen, the very small pantry. I don’t even know if I would call what we have a pantry. It’s more like a closet with shelves. Seriously. There are five shelves, approximately 13.5 inches of height space between them, 37 inches wide, and 23.5 inches deep. This really isn’t a lot of space for a family of six, so I try to use the vertical space as much as possible.Before you get started, I want to say that there isn’t a right or wrong way to organize your pantry. You need to organize it the way that will benefit you the most. We all have different items in our pantry and things we use more than others. You also don’t need to buy a whole bunch of containers to get an organized pantry. That being said, I have a few tips to help before starting.

Small Kitchen Pantry Organization Tips:

  1.  Large space where you can place everything you take out of the pantry
  2.  Cleaning cloths, cleaners, and vacuum (This is the perfect time to wipe everything down and vacuum up crumbs)
  3.  Label maker or permanent pen (To label or date containers)
  4. Ziplock bags, boxes, baskets, or containers (To place “like” items together)
  5. Trash can (Toss out expired items)
  6. Paper or pad (To write items you need or items to replace)

Now that you’ve gathered all your items, are you ready? I’m going to walk you through how I organized my tiny pantry. The first thing I did was to take everything out the pantry. This allowed me to clean, vacuum, and wipe everything that needed it. Next, I grouped “like” items together and tossed out any expired items. Grouping items together allowed me to see how much of each “like” items I had and what I could possibly place into containers or baskets.

Here are some pictures of items I grouped together. I placed fruit jellies and butters in a clear container (Container is a recycled bulk snack bottle). Asian dry goods in a large basket from Target. For my daughters that love eating salads, I placed salad toppings together (Container is a Tupperware container I wasn’t using).
**If you don’t have baskets, you can recycle old cardboard boxes or utilize other large containers that you aren’t using**

Once I organized and grouped everything, I then decided how I wanted to place everything. Since I’m only five feet, I kept things I use most often on the middle shelves. I never put heavy items that can cause me bodily harm above my head in the pantry…hehehe. Below is a picture of a before and after. This will show how I organized the pantry to suit our family.

 BEFORE AND AFTER

Pantry Organization

1. At the very top shelf, I have cereal boxes and oatmeal. In the back of these boxes, I placed items that we hardly use (Shave ice maker and my husband’s MREs).

2. Pasta boxes and a basket full of Asian noodles. Behind the pasta boxes, on an Ikea Variera shelf insert, there are Asian bottled sauces and canned goods. There is also a under shelf basket that has bread, peanut butter, and Nutella.
3. This entire shelf consists of basic baking/cooking items in clear containers. I placed bread crumbs, mash potato flakes, cornstarch, sugars, flours, panko, etc… **Most of the clear containers are recycled bulk snack bottles** Here, I also took out the under shelf basket.
4. Canned goods and bottled items. I used three wire can racks to house my canned beans, tomatoes, and soups. Plus, it left me with enough room to stack cans on top. I have used another Ikea Variera shelf to house miscellaneous bottled items. Under the shelf I placed canned green beans, corn, and fruits. I also have a container with salad condiments on this shelf.
5. The last shelf has a crockpot, hand mixer, and baking tools. There is a row of cooking books behind these items.
6. Sitting on the floor, under the last shelf is a large bucket of rice and basket full of cooking liquids.
Since our pantry is so small, I also use a clear pocket shoe holder for more storage on the inside of the pantry door. I kept “like” items together in each pocket.
My husband is a take out condiment hoarder. I keep like condiments together in Ziplock bags and write the date on each packet. This way, I can toss old packets out.
Gravy, dressings, drink enhancers, and soups are kept together. Bag clips are clipped onto the side of the pockets. 

BEFORE AND AFTER

Pantry Organization
Not bad, right? It looks soooo much better than it did before and I can finally find things with ease.

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