How to organize your Pantry without buying a crap load of expensive Tupperware

I am a tupperware snob, I’ll admit it. (it seriously lasts forever) But, I had to face reality that my husband was not going to let me buy an entire pantry organization system worth $1000 + . He’s cool, but not that cool.

I have collected a few tupperware tubs for the pantry over the years… and I scored 4 cereal containers on ebay for $10 total! But otherwise, I needed to organize using stuff I already had around the house. I’m posting these pictures on the agreement that you won’t judge me for buying pop tarts, cheezits and other random junk food.

On the left is the after, on the right is the before.

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1. Pull everything out and trash anything you don’t need or haven’t eaten in a long time. You may be surprised at what is expired in there. Check seasoning mixes, drinks, everything! When you start putting stuff back, organize it to your needs – baking items all in one location, snacks where the kids can reach them, alcohol where they can’t. you get the idea.

2. Find some old boxes & other containers and put them to use! I grabbed a roll of cute wrapping paper and wrapped up a medium size box. I used it to organize cooking spices that didn’t fit in the door rack.

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I also used the paper to wrap a half box for our “fun times” stash…. aka alcohol/mixes. (Clearly we need to stock up in that department, but you get the idea)

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I’ve been saving baby food formula containers for various items in the pantry, such as flaxseed and nut mix packets, etc. These containers are air tight and work perfectly for this! and they come with scoops – cool!

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I also reuse as many other glass containers as possible – example, this “chia” seed jar was an old honey jar. I prefer to cut out and tape the label back on the container so I can see the nutritional value, etc if I need it.

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3. Lable stuff! I DEEPLY resisted the urge to buy a label maker. (I’ve secretly always wanted a label maker and laminating machine in my home… *sigh*) Instead, I printed out labels in a big font and taped it in various places around the pantry. I have a section for snacks within reach for the kids:

IMG_0476I even put labels directly on the back wall of the pantry so I would know where to stack cans and other items –

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I will say – the label system on the walls and shelves is a MUST if you want the pantry to stay organized once you do it. It helps for when you are unloading groceries and also when something is empty, you know what was there and what you need.

4. Easy DIY grocery list board: I used that same wrapping paper and put it in an old frame I had. I put a black dry erase marker near it, so when I’m out of something I can write it on that board RIGHT THEN. Because otherwise I’ll forget. And, it’s great for those times when the hubby says.. “Aw, you didn’t buy ___” and I say, “You didn’t write it on the board.” boo-yah!

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This entire project took me about 2.5 hours…. but I was making lunch, feeding 2 kids, cleaning the kitchen and taking pictures simultaneously so that seemed like pretty good time to me.

One final note: having an organized pantry can really save you money because you are not buying stuff you don’t need because you can actually *see* what you have. Did I mention I found 10 boxes of jello? Really? Why did I keep buying that?? Now, with a quick scan over the shelves I can see what I have and what I need and I can quickly take note of it. Enjoy!

Making the most out of life,

A

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