We are in full fall cleaning mode now as we welcome in October and I’m happy to welcome my very first guest post today. Please make Miriam Bornstein from Zillow feel welcome by commenting on her chore prompt. This is a perfect “tackle over weekend” chore.  

By Miriam Bornstein

Say goodbye to your nightly game of hide-and-seek when searching for dinner ingredients. If your pantry looks like a war zone with open boxes of pasta, spices on every shelf and empty containers taking up limited counter space, then you are in dire need of pantry reorganization. 

My WAHM Plan: An organized pantry #weeklychoreprompt

1) Clean the Pantry:

One of the best ways to organize your pantry is by starting with a clean slate. Pull everything out and give shelves a wipe down – dust every nook and cranny. When clearing the pantry, pay attention to the products you use infrequently. Perhaps they don’t deserve easily accessible locations when you restock. The same process applies to cleaning out your fridge or closet. It's important to toss expired or rarely used food and repackage items that take up unnecessary space. 

2) Categorize Items:

Once your pantry is cleared out, separate items into four categories:
  1. Items you use on a daily basis
  2. Items you use less frequently
  3. Unopened items for donation
  4. Expired items to throw out

Categorizing items helps eliminate overbuying, revealing which products are collecting dust or products your family consumes the most.

3) Make it Functional:

Once all four categories are established, you can strategically place items in more accessible locations. Place heavier items, like olive oil and vinegar, on the bottom shelf, while keeping the items you use on a daily basis, like cereal, at eye level. If you find yourself using your grandma's hand-me-down mixing bowls less frequently, place them on the bottom shelf to make room for the kitchen appliances you use more frequently. 

4) Create a View:

The saying “out of sight, out of mind” certainly applies here. Opt for open shelves, wire baskets or glass-front cabinetry to see the items you already have in your pantry and avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Optimize vertical space, while saving counter space, by placing your dry foods in clear containers. If you don't want to install new cabinets, one quick fix is to add pegboard to a pantry or kitchen wall, allowing you to hang pans, colanders and other utensils.

5) Restock and Organize:

Restock and organize your pantry around your family's lifestyle. Establish order and consistency by storing baking ingredients in one section, canned foods in another and grains and pasta together. Organization helps you remember where certain items belong, making it simple to find items at dinner time, unload goods after a grocery trip and eliminate constant pantry cleanings. 

My WAHM Plan: An organized pantry #weeklychoreprompt

Although organizing your pantry may seem like a tedious chore, it saves time and money in the long run. These simple tips can help create a smoother pantry-organizing routine.

Please share in comments: Which section, or category in your pantry gets disorganized most often? For us, it’s the cereal/breakfast food section because it's used daily. 

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  1. I so need to do this. The worst part of my pantry items are my supplies for baked goods. They are in a little cupboard and I tend to just shove things in after shopping, then I forget what I already have! This is on my to do for October!!

  2. Hi Heidi,

    I can relate to the baked good problem! I have my supplies in a cabinet in the kitchen and it is a mess right now. So glad my chore prompt was added to your October to do list. :)

  3. I try to organize my pantry but my family does not keep it that way. If I had a pantry like this it would be so awesome.

  4. Hi Tara,

    I think this is an ongoing struggle with most families. We straighten things up- they un-straighten them. I would love my pantry to look like this too.

  5. If I had this pantry, I would be in heaven!!! I try to keep all the different foods organized but my son messes it up all the time. He will pull out all snacking options, pick one, and then throw it all back on one shelf. UGH! The one area in which I seem to fail is the canned goods. They are all thrown in together any which way. I will go in for a can of soup and they will be all gone. But, I will have 10 cans of peas?

  6. I have my pantry categorized like this for the most part. Where I fall short is when putting up groceries I tend to always be in a hurry and rather than taking the time to move what is on the shelf to the front and put the newly purchased items behind those, I just put the new items on the shelf usually in front and end up with expired products that haven't been used over time. Hopefully in writing this down now j will do better with this in the future.


I'd love to hear from you!