Stop Buying Duplicates! Organize Your Pantry Instead!


Series: 10 Tips | A Little Organization Can Save You Time, Money and Sanity!

Number 3: Stop Buying Duplicates! Organize Your Pantry Instead!

So far we've talked about Becoming a Clutter Ninja, and How a Clean Desk Can Make You More Money. Today we're going to talk about your pantry. As a Trained Professional Organizer, I see how busy we are and over time the pantry becomes a battle zone, as illustrated in this great video by Rubbermaid.

Pantry Organization Tips

Watch Video on Youtube

This video is a quick example of how to take apart your pantry and get it organized. If only it was that quick!

I have broken the process down into 6 steps, here is how you can achieve and organized pantry!

Step 1: Empty the Pantry

The video says the first step is to take everything out, and I agree. Don't just pick around at things in there. Actually remove everything.

Step 2: Check Expiration Dates and Group Duplicate Items

I like to do this as we take items out. As I work with clients, I tend to group like items as they pass them to me and make note of items that are past the expiration date. This should help to eliminate a good portion of items.

Step 3: Containerize

Purchase good quality containers like the Rubbermaid in the video and start filling them up. Normally, I use whatever my clients have in their homes, but when it comes to the pantry, I highly recommend the Rubbermaid system. From bags everywhere to organized, sealed and easy to find:


Step 4: More Products

The video talks about turntables, shelf helpers, slide out storage baskets and over the door organizers. I suggest you don't run out and purchase products just yet. Do Step 5 first!

Step 5: Put it All Back

This is where I don't agree with the video. I would suggest putting things back in categories; one shelf for baking items, one shelf for supper items, one shelf for snack items and so forth. This way it's easier to find what you need quickly.

Step 6: Clean-it-up

The video talks about re-filling Rubbermaid canisters and taking a few moments to put things back in their homes, after using them. I agree! This is always the most important step to keeping it all organized and running smoothly.

Pantry Perfection

I will be the first to admit, my pantry is not perfectly pretty like the one above. But let's face it...It's a work space that gets used all the time and it doesn't have to be perfect... just useful. In order to keep it easy to use though, I will often use the above noted steps on our pantry because over time it just gets messy.

Focus on making a home for everything in your pantry!

That way you avoid having duplicated items all over the house. When everything has a home, you can easily see what is missing and what needs to go on the grocery list. I also have a very small pantry, so I used a cabinet downstairs in the storage room to house extras and large items like single serving coffee pods, paper towel and dog food.

Imperfection is a form of freedom

Hope this helps you organize your pantry! Stay tuned next time for:

Need an Assistant? Enlist Chore Charts! By enlisting your kids, you get a clean house and teach responsibility.

Here is a complete list of each post in this series, have a look at previous articles or click through for a sneak peak of what is to come!

Annalisa Sawatzky is a Pastor's wife and Mother of 2, who holds a Bachelor of Applied Design in Interior Design. Annalisa became a Trained Professional Organizer, and in 2012 started…

Learn more about Annalisa Sawatzky