Check out my Easy Pantry Makeover Before/After with small pantry organization ideas, tips, and affordable products to organize your kitchen’s pantry closet on a budget.
Easy Pantry Makeover: Small Pantry Organization Ideas
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Hey everyone! For the past few months I’ve been on a serious mission to organize my home and today I’m excited to share the first post in a new home organization series I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks.
Today I’m sharing my Easy and Affordable Pantry Makeover with small pantry organization ideas and tips for those of you looking to organize your own pantry. I’m also sharing all the affordable pantry organization products I used to organize my pantry and a step by step guide on how to achieve your own pantry makeover even if you’re on a budget.
Be sure and save this post for later if you’re planning on doing your own pantry makeover, as it’s chop full of helpful tips and pantry organization ideas.
Easy Pantry Makeover: Small Pantry Organization Tips
Pantry Makeover Step 1: Pull Everything Out + Throw Away Expired/Unwanted Items
The first step in any pantry makeover is pulling everything out and sorting through it all. This is definitely the most time consuming part in organizing your pantry but it’s well worth it.
I recommend clearing off your dining room table so that way you have plenty of space to work with. Go through each and every item, check for expiration dates, and throw anything away that is expired. Now’s the time to also relocate items that don’t belong in the pantry and to purge any items you no longer want/need.
I was so surprised to find several items sitting in the back of my pantry with expired dates. Instead of assuming that everything is still in date, take the time to check every single item so that you don’t have expired items taking up precious pantry space.
Extra Tip: While you have everything pulled out of your pantry, clean and wipe down all the shelves and vacuum up any debris or crumbs.
Here’s a look below at what my pantry looked like before the makeover.
It was filled to the brim with boxes with no space to spare, and I hated having items sitting on the bottom of my pantry. All the clutter and mess was stressing me out and I hated having to always move boxes around one another to get items in and out.
Pantry Makeover Step 2: Sort + Categorize
Now that you’ve trashed and purged expired and unwanted items, it’s time to sort, categorize, and group items in how you want them to be organized later.
Here’s just a few category ideas to get you started:
- Baking Items
- Canned Foods
- Breakfast Foods
If I could offer one important piece of advice here, it would be to make sure you organize in a way that best serves you and your family needs, otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy.
I personally used to try to organize my pantry shelves by specific meal groups (breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.) but over time I found for our family it was better to just organize like items and not worry so much about only one meal group being on a shelf.
Figure out what works best for you and your family and go with that.
Pantry Makeover Step 3: Measure Your Pantry Shelves + Make a Plan of Action
Another important step in your small pantry makeover is measuring the width, height, and depth of all of your shelves. This will be extremely helpful in knowing what size storage bins, baskets, and organizational containers you can buy to organize your pantry.
I recommend either writing these measurements down on a piece of paper or putting it in a note on your phone so that you’ll have it handy when you are shopping.
It’s also important during this step to develop somewhat of a plan of action on what you want to achieve from your pantry makeover, because it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation.
There’s a lot of gorgeous pantry makeovers all over the internet for inspiration and ideas, but don’t just pick it because it’s pretty. Instead, focus on what’s actually functional and figure out what will work best for YOU and your pantry.
Some great questions to ask yourself include:
- What items take up the most space in my pantry?
- How can I minimize clutter?
- What items need to be easily accessible and how can I achieve that?
- Do I want bins that are see through or ones that hide clutter?
- Do I want plastic containers or glass jars?
- Do I want to label items in my pantry?
- Do I want to line my shelves and/or add decorative wallpaper?
Pantry Makeover Step 4: Invest in Storage Bins, Baskets, and Organizational Solutions
Next, it’s time to invest in some storage bins, baskets, and containers to eliminate bulky boxes and bags and minimize clutter.
The good news is there are so many affordable pantry organizational items out there nowadays that will help make life easier without breaking the bank.
I scored so many great finds on Amazon, Target, Walmart, and even at Dollar Tree that have made all the difference in organizing my pantry, so don’t get too caught up in thinking you have to spend a ton of $$$$ to achieve an organized pantry.
Click Here To –>> Shop All My Favorite Affordable Pantry Organization Products
Pantry Makeover Step 5: Reload Your Pantry + Organize
First, I recommend taking snacks and convenience items out of larger boxes and placing them into easy access bins/baskets. You also want to put items that you most frequently use within easy reach.
Doing this alone freed up SO much space in my pantry and makes it look so much nicer and more organized.
I purchased these larger white baskets for storing pasta jars and boxes as well as large bagged items like chips, and then these small white baskets for storing snacks, breakfast items, and condiments.
I love how clean and chic the white baskets look and now everything has a rightful place instead of just being throw on the shelf.
Next, place bagged items like baking items, rice and grains, and pasta into large storage containers. Not only does this save space and look nice, but it will also keep items fresher longer.
I purchased these extra large storage containers for storing baking items like flour and sugar, and this 8 Piece Storage Container Set for things like pasta, rice, pancake mix, and cookies. I also love these tall containers for storing breakfast items like cereal and oats.
All of these sets came with airtight seal lids, measuring scoops, and cute black labels with chalk pens.
They’re definitely a great investment for freeing up space and I seriously love how they look in my pantry.
Next if space allows, I recommend investing in a canned goods organizer. If you’re like me and keep a lot of canned foods in your pantry, having an organizational solution is a MUST-HAVE.
I absolutely love this stackable can rack organizer that fits perfectly in the bottom of my pantry. It holds a total of 36 cans, plus I’ve even been able to stack some additional cans on the top rack.
This organizer helped free up a ton of shelf space for other items, and it’s been extremely helpful in knowing when I’m running low on a specific canned good.
Oh and did I mention it’s under $25?! Grab it here
Lastly, don’t forget about organizing your spices! I don’t know about you all, but our family has a TON of spices and seasonings and I was beyond over having to spend 5 minutes looking for one seasoning in my cabinet. The solution? Lazy susans!
I ended up purchasing a few for the cabinet I keep beside our oven, and it has made my life so much easier. I love being able to quickly see all our seasonings and with a quick spin I can find exactly what I’m looking for.
Pantry Makeover Step 6: Leave Extra Space For Growth/Changes + Stay Committed
One last important tip I’d like to share for anyone looking to organize their small pantry is to not over-organize to the point where it’s not usable or feasible for the long run.
Having an organizational system in place is great, but it’s extremely important to leave a little extra room for additional items when you go grocery shopping, and to also take into account your family who uses your pantry daily.
Lastly, make sure you take the time to show everyone involved where everything is located and provide clear expectations of where things should be put back to. In order for your pantry makeover to truly last, you’ll need everyone on board and willing to remain committed.
My entire family actually loves all the changes that I made in our pantry and I think everyone likes having the easy access to items in open baskets and bins, instead of having to search through a bunch of boxes and bags.
It does take a little extra time to unbox everything when we go grocery shopping, but at the end of the day having a nicer, more organized and functional pantry is well-worth the effort in my book.
Pantry Makeover Before/After
And without further adieu here’s a look at my pantry makeover before/after. My biggest goal with this pantry makeover was to figure out how to have both a nice looking pantry and a well-functioning pantry, and I think I found the perfect balance.
I’m SO happy with all the changes and not only love how it looks but love how it functions for our family.
Shop Pantry Organization Products Used:
- Extra Large Food Storage Container Set w/ Labels
- 8 Piece Storage Container Set w/ Labels
- Tall Cereal Storage Containers
- Stackable 36 Can Rack Holder
- 2-Tier Spice Rack Lazy Susan
- Clear Plastic Lazy Susan
- Small White Basket 4-Pack
- Medium White Baskets
- Farmhouse Wire Bins
What do you think of this pantry makeover? Hope you enjoyed today’s post and found my small pantry organization ideas and tips helpful. Feel free to leave any questions below and be sure and save this post for inspiration later if you’re ever looking to organize your own pantry!
Thanks for stopping by! – Cara
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