Eat Well, Spend Less: Extreme Pantry Makeover

Well this is a little embarrassing. It seems like I just posted about Organizing A Well Stocked Spice Cabinet not too long ago. And here I am today sharing with you my Extreme Pantry Makeover. What have I done?

pantry make over how to

Truth is, I go through periods of being really organized in the kitchen and others where I’m too busy to a.) care and b.) deal with it. Or maybe even c.) not motivated.

I wish I could keep an organized kitchen all the time, but it just never happens. The dishes are either done or it’s a total disaster. I can find things in the pantry or I can’t. The kitchen is clean or it’s a nightmare. I think you get the picture. One extreme or the other.

More often than not, the pantry is a jumbled mess. It’s small, not even a full sized door, and certainly not a walk in. And I just have more food than really fits inside it well, “well” being the key word.

I decided to take a look at it and see what things I could do to maximize the space and make it a bit easier to organize. How about some pictures now?

pantry makeover before and after

I’ve been wanting an over the door rack for our small pantry for quite some time and finally bit the bullet to order one. It’s not here yet, but I can’t wait to utilize the space on the back of the door for storage. I also purchased a can rack for my canned goods, mostly beans and tomatoes.

Another area that is a bit of a mess is under the kitchen sink. Again, more wasted space. I added a double under the sink shelf to use some of the vertical storage and added one of those Grocery Bag Holders that you stuff all your plastic bags inside.

can rack pantry makeover

5 Steps to an Extreme Pantry Makeover:

1. Take everything out of the pantry. Wipe down the shelves.

  • Toss anything old, empty or stuff you simply don’t know what it is anymore.
  • Consolidate anything you have duplicates of. Do you have 2 of the same cereal, both open? Combine into one, toss the empty.

2. Start putting things away.

  • Make sure to keep like categories together. i.e. Store all canned goods together.
  • Keep items used most often in an easily accessible area.
  • Keep heavy items on lower shelves.

3. Assess. Are there tools that can help you organize?

  • I mentioned a can rack and an over the door shelf that will help increase my storage area.
  • Months ago, I also purchased some Snapware cereal containers for the types of cereal we regularly buy. They fit neatly on the shelves.

4. Take an Inventory.

  • As you’re reloading your pantry, take note of any items that you notice you are low on or out of.
  • Additionally, it might help to keep a pantry checklist like the one I did for my Spice Cabinet Inventory pasted inside.

5. Rotate and Reorganize your food.

  • When you purchase new items, add them to the back so the older foods get used up first.
  • When restocking shelves, put any out of place items back into their proper space.

What does this have to do with Eat Well, Spend Less?

It has everything to do with the Eating Well and Spending Less. If I’m not organized, it isn’t easy to see what I have and what I might be running low on. I might buy duplicates when it’s not necessary or I might forget to buy items that I truly need. If I am running low on something I can keep my eyes open for a sale to restock.

pantry eating and grocery shopping

Having an organized pantry also helps with meal prep. I can see the potential in the pantry when it’s all organized and neat instead of a jumbled up mess. And that helps when I have to cook on the fly if I haven’t made a meal plan.

More Eat Well, Spend Less Posts:

Do you have a hard time keeping organized in the kitchen? What are your tips and tricks for keeping things neat and tidy to help you Eat Well, Spend Less?