Confessions of a Pantry Clean Out

Fair warning. This is not exactly a Pinterest-worthy blog post. But, I’m hoping that it’s helpful and inspires you to tackle that organization project in your house that you’ve been staring at and just need to do!

Last Saturday afternoon, this was the scene at my back door…

Outside pantry

Ridiculous right?  Who lives like this?!?  In all fairness, I’d be cleaning things out to make room for winter boots and this was the moment when you realize that there’s no turning back…that you have to make a huge mess in order to get to a point where there’s actually less mess. Follow me? So, the door on the right is our pantry and it didn’t look much better.

Pantry before

I went to make something for dinner, had a major freak out because I couldn’t find a damn thing, ordered pizza and told my husband I was going to the Container Store.

Pantry organization from Container Store

Normally when I have an organization project like this, I bring in the Amy reinforcements, but she was at a party (at least one of us was cool on Saturday night…) and I could take the mess no longer. By 11:45 PM Saturday night, this is what my pantry looked like…

Pantry After organizing

Ok, minus the crappy photography (did you see the scene in the first photograph? Today wasn’t much better so clear photography was not on the top of my list unfortunately!)

It doesn’t have to be complicated.  I literally got a few baskets and just corralled things into categories that make sense to me and my family. I also grabbed one of those tiered expandable pieces for cans so you can see what you have.

On the bottom shelf, we now have breakfast items. This allows my kids to grab cereal in the morning without having to ask me! They can just tie up the tops of the cereal bags and throw them in the basket.

Pantry Breakfast

Next shelf up is snacks–a basket for pretzels, crackers, etc. and a couple of open, stacking bins for those squeeze tube things, fruit snacks, etc.

Pantry Snacks 2

Pantry Snacks

Ok, another confession, this pantry is NOT STYLED at all (obviously)…it is literally all the junk that I had in there and just found a place for. Not exactly interior designery of me, but there you have it.

On the next shelf up is all the baby stuff. My freezer is full of food ice cubes, but I also keep some packaged baby food and snacks on hand since we’re on the go a lot.

Pantry Baby Basket

I love the little “blackboard” stickers that you write on with chalk pens…decide to switch what’s in the basket (like in a few months when Will is eating whatever we’re eating) and you can just change the label.  I always find it easier to stay organized if I label stuff.

I decided to just put all the pasta and rice and things that I don’t access more than once a week (once a month in the case of baking) on the very top shelf.

Pantry Upper Shelf

The top shelf also got the IKEA jars full of things I don’t access very much, are bulky, but not too heavy so easy to get down.

Pantry jars

So, this is a call out to all of you disorganized pantry people…just clean it! Don’t feel this immense pressure from gorgeous Pinterest shots of beautiful pantries, just make yours work better for you. I knew my family wouldn’t do more than throw things in a marked basket so that’s what I went with. Good luck!

Tessa Signature


3 Responses to “Confessions of a Pantry Clean Out”

  1. carrie
    December 23, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    I’m impressed! way to go, tess! I too just did a little pantry re-org after a container store trip. but I love those little labels. will have to go back and get some.

  2. Jen W
    December 21, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    This will literally be my life for the next few weeks. Thanks for the inspo!

  3. Stephanie A
    December 21, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Good job!! Looks great and I’m sure it feels amazing every time you open up that pantry door — congrats on getting it DONE and getting it so organized!

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