Getting Organized After the Kids are Gone – The Pantry

resized freeOne of the nicest things about having an empty nest is the fact that things stay exactly where you put them! It’s the perfect time in life to finally have the most organized house – the one you always dreamed off!

messypantryIf you have a pantry area in your home, or just need to organize the kitchen cabinets, this post is for you! We all have those areas in our home that seem to never get organized, they have boxes and bags, and bottles, with no proper places to go. Follow a few simple steps to get back to sanity in your pantry!

Go through everything!

First and foremost, go through all of the things that are currently in your pantry. Anything that hasn’t been touched in a while, you know you won’t use, or is past expiration date, either donate it, or throw it out if it’s opened or bad. You wouldn’t believe how many items are in your kitchen that you could throw out, things that were bought on a whim and never used, or bought during a big sale that are now past their expiration date.

Acquire the right shelving or storage bins

This might take a few tries, you may not know what containers will work best for you right away, and that’s okay. Do some searching on the internet for what kinds of containers are available and what looks like it would work the best for you. Get those containers, and get organizing! Stackable clear containers work the best for things such as snacks, nuts, pretzels, baking supplies and bulk seasonings. A can storage structure might work well for you as well rather than stacking them on the shelf. You can even add the cans in an order so that you use the closest expiration dates first. Cloth bins also work excellent for storing packages and bottles.

You can spend lots of money on fancy organization systems – 

oranizedpantryOr as little – simply by grouping things together –

organizedpantry2If you keep your paper goods in the pantry as well such as paper towel, plastic plates and utensils and napkins, don’t forget about organizing those so that they are easy to get at!

IMG_0822Hit your local Dollar Store – mid-sized locking plastic trash cans are perfect for dry pet foods – I found some great cloth boxes at my local store – $1 each.  

What do you grab the most?

Separate all of the items that need to go into your pantry into things that you grab most frequently, and things that can be pushed a little farther back. This is going to help in the organization process and making it easy to place things accordingly in the pantry to save stress and time. You can also place taller items in the back where you can still see their labels for easy access. Keep all “like” items in the same area – baking supplies, canned goods, rices/pasta, etc.

Be sure to keep it organized

This is one of the most important steps. If it once again becomes a disorganized mess you have no one to blame – When you take something out of the pantry, be sure to place it back where it goes when you are done with it, or while cleaning up. Take inventory before heading out shopping so that you aren’t over or under buying. Don’t let things get out of control again, ignoring the mess will only make it worse.

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