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How To Make Your Pantry Work


Even with my busy life, I always thought I had a pretty well-organized pantry. That’s because 20 years or so ago, I invested in modular Tupperware. Even purchased the pantry labels.

But then I started seeing other people’s pantries on Pinterest.


source: duoventures


source: ariannabelle

And here’s my pantry:


Oh my. I’m not as organized as I thought. Time to take back my pantry!

Why is it important to have a well-organized pantry that works?

Because having a smart pantry will save you time and money. You won’t be spending time looking for ingredients and moving things around to access what you want. AND it saves you money because you won’t be purchasing things you might already have in your pantry.

So I researched as many organizational tips I could find and applied it to my own pantry.

Remove every thing from your panty

This process took 30 minutes.


You can’t tell by the abundance, but only two people live here.

Throw away expired food

I threw away two garage bags of expired or “mystery” food. I also put together a large bag of items to donate to charity such as fancy cupcake liners and stacks of unopened party napkins.

Clean shelves and walls of pantry

This process took 1 hour to complete. It was time consuming because of the wire shelving and baseboards (tip: learn how to clean baseboards here).


Store foods in clear containers

Remove food from the original packaging and place them in clear air-tight containers. This will make your pantry look tidy and function smarter. Modular containers are easy to stack and make better use of your shelf space.


Label your containers

Because baking soda looks like baking powder, make sure all your containers are labeled.


Invest in smart storage solutions

There are a lot of storage containers on the market that can help you organize your space. According to, the fast-paced organizing business is a $1 billion industry. But, before running to the store to buy storage containers, take inventory on what you already have. This is a tip I learned from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

The only thing I purchased for my pantry was a can dispenser, which is great since I buy a lot of can goods in bulk.


Use Storage Containers to group items

I already had three white stacking storage containers in my pantry so I cleaned and reused them. The containers group common items together such as plastic utensils with paper plates.


What I’ve learned:

  1. Check items in the pantry more frequently so that food gets used instead of wasted.
  2. It took only 3 hours to go from a disorganized pantry to one that I’m actually proud of. An investment in time that was well worth it to me.
  3. Everyone can be organized. It takes a plan and very little effort for big results.



I still have more organizing to do, such as labeling my plastic bins. I hope you are inspired to make your own pantry work for you.

To get more smart tips to organizing your own pantry, visit:

About Terri Dux

Besides being a writer and passionate blogger, Terri is also co-owner of a local t-shirt craft company. When not watching her favorite TV channel, HGTV, Terri likes crafting, gardening, and thrifting at neighborhood garage sales.

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