Tuesday, March 27, 2012

tips to organize your pantry

okay so this post is a little unusual compared to the other stuff i've been posting.  i'm also posting this on a weekday...this post is just all sorts of weird...

anyway, there's something i haven't been telling you...i am an organizational freak.  there's something so satisfying about having a designated place for everything.  it's something i like to do with my free time, sad i know.  anyway, the pantry in my apartment has slowly been getting messier and messier since we've moved in.  so a couple weeks ago i finally broke down and reorganized it a bit.  and while it isn't exactly as organized as i'd like it to be i have a few tips to share on clearing up some space.

first...spice racks!!  i'm not sure why but my boyfriend LOVES getting different bottles of spices...and when he buys spices he buys a lot, usually 4-6 at a time.  so before, we had a lot of different bottles taking up a good portion of shelf space.  and it was really hard to tell which ones were opened/unopened because there really wasn't any sort of organization to them.  and i actually have a third set up on the other side of the pantry-so i cleared up roughly a 12"x12" area of shelf space just by installing these on the wall in my pantry.

my boyfriend was really skeptical when i bought them, but after installing and setting them up he admitted they were a good idea.  they're also really useful for small bottles of medicine and vitamins.

next-pan lid racks.  if you do a lot of baking, you probably have a bunch of little bags of chocolate chips or baking nuts in you pantry.  i had a lot of bags of candy bark leftover from making red velvet cake pops for christmas and they were all just sitting in a pile together.  you can use a lid rack to keep all the bags nice and separated so it's easy to see what you have or move them around if you're cleaning.  i also use mine to hold my curry mix.  it's also great for holding bags of candy...

okay, so i got this baby from the container store, one of my fav places to shop for organizational goodies.  this is the small version of their multi-purpose bins, and it's only $4!  i love these bins-they have sooo many uses!!  for example, i have one holding folders and notebooks on my desk, one for all my cleaning supplies in the bathroom, the medium size is perfect for holding loaves of bread or holding large beverage bottles (if you use them in a fridge door it keeps the bottles from falling out), and i have one under the sink with all sorts of random stuff like rope, caulk gun, drill, etc.  i bought a couple originally to help organize my fabrics but they've spread all over my apartment.  every time i order something from the container store i order a couple more of these, they're really cheap and you can never have too many!!

anyway...you could use a magazine holder or old cereal box to the same effect.  the only thing that didn't fit in here was my wax paper, but that thing was a monster so that's okay.  i really enjoy having these kitchen supplies upright as opposed to a pile in the corner of a cabinet somewhere.  it's easy to grab what you need and you don't have to dig through them to get to the ones at the bottom of the pile.

another thing i've been doing recently is buying clear, air tight containers for dry goods.  it can get kinda pricey depending on the container but when i first moved here and was reminded that there are more roaches than people in hawaii i decided that it might be worth it.  rice/cardboard are really good ways to attract roaches so i try to get rid of as much of that as i can.  plus it's really easy to get the rice out and see how much i have left.  and it's really kind of an upgrade seeing as i used to get rice from my parents...who gave it to me in a trash bag in an old 5 gallon bucket of soy sauce.

i also keep oats, cereal and sugar in these containers.  i wouldn't bother with the cereal if i was living anywhere else but it's really useful for the sugar.  i used to just keep them in the bag/box, but this way is soo much cleaner and easier to use.  plus i think it might help keep the sugar from getting lumpy.

and a something i've been thinking about getting...
these are linus pantry binz from the container store-i swear i don't work for them...i just love them...a lot...  these are bit more pricy than the multi-purpose bins, but i have a some other containers from linus and they're a really sturdy, quality plastic material.  their other containers also have rubber feet to keep them in place but i'm not sure if these do or not.

anyway, i've recently started to make freezer meals and my freezer was starting to look a little hectic with all the frozen ziplocked blocks of food.  if you've ever done this before i think you know that they're practically impossible to stack.  i think the 8"x8" bin might be the perfect perfect size for holding the ziplock bags upright.

so these are a few of the things i do to keep my pantry organized...i wish i was cool and had some cool before/after photos of my pantry unfortunately because of the way it's built it's almost impossible to take photos of the actual shelves.

happy organizing!!

1 comment:

  1. I took the salad draws out of an old fridge and use them like the Linus pantry bins. I also took the wire draws out of an old freezer and use them for my tins and pasta/grains.


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