My Organized Kitchen Pantry

Hi Guys!

We are already into week three of January! 

Let’s continue with my Fresh Start for January “series”. I have decided to take you to one of my favorite places in my home ….

That’s right, my kitchen pantry!  Call me crazy, but there is nothing more satisfying than looking in an area that is all organized and clutter-free … it just makes me so happy!

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So I’m going to take you on a little tour … let’s start from the top shelf and move our way down to the bottom. You can’t really tell from the photos, but my pantry is a U-shape with 6 shelves. I’ll show you what I did, what I still need (or want) to do, and my plans or thoughts for future fixes.

Since I am only 5’2”, I try not to put too much on this top shelf except for things that I use the least.  I decided to put all of my extra paper products (paper towels, sandwich bags, paper plates, plastic silverware) and party and event décor as storage here. After looking over my top shelf I have decided that I need to put the contact paper on the back wall of the top row as I have the rows below.  The contact paper I used is from Target. I paid $4.99 per roll and I have used 2 rolls to do this pantry.  I’m also thinking of adding some extra shelving on that top row.  These are 14′ ceilings and it just seems to be a lot of wasted space.  The top row technically is still in progress (as of right now).  

The orange bins, that I have in the center of the top row, I got from Home Depot a couple of years ago and they are awesome! They are stackable and super spacious. I’m thinking after I put contact paper on the back wall, though, that these orange bins may need to get spray painted to match the mint green … I’ll probably do that anyways so everything matches.

Now my next shelf down, on the left side are these medium bins I got from Target where I keep my energy drink mixes.  I am not one to drink enough water and, here in Arizona, you HAVE to drink a lot of water – so I have mixes that I add to my water to make it taste better and give it some additional nutrients and extra hydration.  I also have a bin for my containers of nuts and seeds that I like to snack on during the day … okay, there are also a few mini jars of M&Ms … to satisfy my sweet tooth!

I have my entertaining appliances (crockpots and chafing dishes) in the center of this shelf. Oh and that is a smokeless grill in the front and center. I plan on moving that to the garage appliance cemetery … thought it would be a good idea when I’m too lazy to get the outdoor grill ready, but after two times of using it the fan doesn’t stay on … not good when you are inside!  

On the right of this shelf are some canned goods in these amazing can organizers that I got from Amazon Stackable Can Rack Organizer. They are pretty overwhelming (somewhat like a grocery store setup), but I actually like them and they work well for me. I can only fit four cans per row which makes me never buy more than I need.

Moving down to the next row – On the left side are these large Anchor Hocking jars I got from Walmart.  I like to keep what I use most often in a convenient and accessible area.   

I have all of my pasta setup in the center of this shelf.  I have my fancier Italian pastas “displayed” mainly because they come in such pretty packaging.  I get all of these from either Home Goods or World Market.  I put the rest of the “everyday” pastas in large Rubbermaid containers that I think I have had for over 100 years!  On the right are, again, some more canned goods in the can organizers.

Okay two more shelves to go …  on the left side of the next row are all of my breakfast cereals. I got these turquoise cereal containers from Walmart.

They come in different sizes so I have the larger ones for the cereals we eat most of and smaller ones for the granola and organic cereals. Then I have these Anchor Hocking Candy Glass Jar to hold my instant oatmeal and instant grits. 

In the center I have 4 of these bins: (1) for various crackers (typically for appetizer night), (2) a bin for boxed rice, pilaf and couscous, (3) a bin for my “coatings” for chicken, fish and pork, and (4) a bin for my extra bottles of vinegar, dressings, condiments and oils.  These bins were originally a funky green color, but I have had them forever (mainly because they are super sturdy and there is nothing wrong with them). So rather than buying new ones, I decided to spray paint these white to update them.

Important tip – when you spray paint your plastic bins (which I can show on another blog or video) be sure to let them air out! I mean like a week!  I put these in the pantry too early and this pantry smelled like a paint factory for a long time!  Whew!! 

As a side note – I also lined the inside of these bins after spray painting them with the same contact paper.

Now on the right of this shelf, I have my large hinged jars I got from Walmart with various flours, oatmeal, sugar, panko and breadcrumbs. The labels I used for the jars I got from Etsy.  I think I paid $5.00 and then I just downloaded it. The nice thing with these are that they are editable, so I can create new ones to label everything!  I just print them on these Inkjet Vinyl Sticker Sheets which I also got from Amazon.

Moving down to the next shelf, on the left I have the Target medium bins to hold our red solo cups, straws, and plastic utensils. I also have paper plates and a huge jar to store all of the carryout plasticware packets we have saved and collected.  In the center I have all of my Japanese food.  Yes, I am Japanese (well, half – my Mother was Japanese).  Now these bins were white but I wanted to add some color so I spray painted them with Rustoleum (Robbin’s Egg). I love the color! I do eat a lot of traditional Japanese food so I decided to dedicate an entire shelf for it.  I have 3 bins: (1) for my nori (seaweed), Japanese crackers and furikake (rice toppers), then I have my rice cooker with a jar of extra rice bags behind it, and (2) a second bin for my variety of ramen which I get from the Asian Market, and (3) the last bin has all of my various Asian noodles.  To the right of all of this are my small and mini hinged jars (also from Walmart) filled with dried beans, variety of rices (brown and white basmati, wild rice, brown rice, etc.) and small pastas.

At last, the bottom shelf!  Here I have the larger bins that I also got at Target.  These bins are great, they are pretty sturdy too.  I have 3 of these bins on each side. On the left I have a bin for my koozies.  I think I just like saying that word – they are those canned or bottle beverage covers.  I have some cute koozies that look like shirts for bottles that we got at the beach. 

The next bin I labeled “bento” which means lunch box in Japanese.  Here I have my Japanese lunch containers and insulated lunch bags (which I used to use until I started working from home).  The next bin I have for bags of snacks … I try to make these the healthy kind, but I do have some chili Fritos in there too!  I will say, that having this smaller bin really limits me in buying no more than 4 bags at a time. Now in the center I have two wire bins I got from Home Goods that I keep: one for onions and one for potatoes. I have next to that

a metal shelf to hold my Bubly sparkling water (which I only get in orange and cherry flavors) and under these I have my cherry concentrate juice and usually have some unsweetened bottles of tea.  On the right side I have three more of these amazing Target bins – one has my cleaning supplies, one for my rolls of trash bags and one for all those extra grocery bags that I don’t know what to do with but actually pull and use from time-to-time.

Whew!  There’s the run down on my entire kitchen pantry.  Having it all organized keeps everything in place, makes grocery shopping easier because (1) I know what I need and when I am low on anything, and (2) having an organized system also keeps me from overspending and overstocking since I have established a designated amount of space for storing it.

I was thinking of videotaping this for my YouTube channel – what do you guys think? What if I coordinated my blogs with my YouTube channel? Too much repeat? I was thinking this would be a great visual after you read my blogs to see some of the concepts and ideas in video form.  You’ll have to let me know your thoughts and comments.

I have so many more organizing ideas to share with you! We have just barely begun this journey!

I am getting ready to stage a couple of beautiful homes in the next coming weeks. I am so excited to share with you our home staging process and our before and after photos of these beautiful homes! Look for those in my upcoming videos and blogs!

I hope I had some ideas or suggestions that you liked AND please, please send me pictures of your pantries! I love sharing ideas and tips on organizing!

Until next time …. Happy Organizing!!

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