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Organizing Your Pantry – Save Time, Save Money

Does this picture give you pantry envy? It is an example of Elfa Shelving Systems by The Container Store and is just fabulous! However, if you don’t have the money to spend on a custom shelving system, there are numerous other options to help your pantry be just as organized and exquisite!

Moms wear many “hats” in keeping their family and household organized and running efficiently. In honor of Mother’s day this Sunday, we’re offering this simple step-by-step project to assist all the hard-working Moms in their daily tasks. Cleaning and organizing your pantry is an easy and affordable project that can save time and money for months to come. Depending on your space and available resources, this project can cost very little and take approximately 2-3 hours to complete. The time spent will be well worth it next time you need to the grocery store or next time you are standing there trying to decide what to make for dinner. An organized pantry saves time in putting away groceries (because everything has a specific place) and preparing meals (because you can visually see what ingredients you have to work with). But even more important, you will save money by reducing expired, spoiled, and stale foods and eliminating multiple purchases of the same item because you didn’t know you already had it – how many times have we done that? Your newly organized pantry may even inspire you to clean out your refrigerator, freezer, and/or cabinets.

Organizing your pantry is really a fairly simple job, but one that many people lack the motivation to do. It really is as simple as 1-2-3!

1. First of all, take everything out of your pantry and put it on a counter, table, or the floor so you can see everything clearly. Check every item for expired dates and/or spoilage. Of course, you will want to trash these items. Then, check if there are any items that your family just does not like. If they have been sitting there untouched for months, chances are that’s where they will stay. You can donate these items to your local food bank and they will be greatly appreciated! You can also take this time to combine same-food items. If you have two half used bottles of vanilla, combine them. If you have 2 boxes of the same kind of cereal, combine them in an air-tight container – this will not only save space, but will keep the cereal fresher, longer. You can view some of our favorite containers here.

2. Your next job is to clean the pantry from top to bottom, because let’s face it – when is the next time you are going to have the pantry entirely empty. Clean the floors, doors, and all shelves.

3. Now, you put everything back, but this time in an organized fashion! There are organization systems for just about everything you can think of. Don’t believe me – visit The Container Store. I happen to LOVE this store, but you don’t have to break the bank in order to be organized. You can certainly use what you already have to organize your pantry. It might help at this point to gather any un-used Tupperware and baskets/bins to see what you might be able to use in your pantry. For example, I put all the kids’ snack items (fruit snacks, single serve crackers/chips, etc.) in a Tupperware container within reach.

a. Put all breakfast items together on one shelf – ideally, where the kids can reach so they can make their own cereal or oatmeal in the morning. Again, I cannot recommend the cereal keepers enough!
b. Combine all canned goods. There are many storage options and I particularly like the Gravity Feed Can Rack by The Container Store.

c. Place all snack foods on one shelf – this will include all your chips, popcorn, candy, etc. You can decide if you want this easily accessible at eye level or out of sight. 
d. Combine all boxed items (rice, macaroni, mixes) and pastas, beans. The narrow stacking containers are great for pasta.

e. Place all cooking ingredients together in one spot. This includes oils, flour, sugar, vinegar, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. Place all dry ingredients (flour, sugar) in an air-tight container. These rectangular canisters work well.

f. Put all your spices in an organized fashion into a spice rack, so you can see everything at once. There are numerous options at The Container Store and it is just personal preference. They make racks that hang on doors and cabinets or ones that sit on a shelf.

g. And last, you will put back the items that don’t fit into one of the previous categories – sodas, cat/dog food, etc.

You can then step back and admire the project you just completed! When your house is organized, your life tends to be more organized. It may be hard to muster up the energy to start this project, but you will be glad you did! Did you know that A.C.T. Services offers design and organization services? Our team can help you get back on track with home and/or office design. Give us a call today at (210) 902-5785 if you would like to learn more. Good luck on your next project!



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