Pantry Organization

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Holiday_Mom

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I'm contemplating organizing the dry good shelves with glass jars. Currently, I have pasta boxes set up like the grocery stores. That is manageable but the bagged goods, such as beans, rice, dried fruits, nuts and seeds are stacked on top of one another. They slide off of one another and at times they look like they've been picked over like a clearance sale. :D LOL!

Before I do this, I was curious if anyone has done this and if they thought it was worth while. My goal is to reduce the visual clutter and keep the area a bit more ordered.
 

Lori K

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I struggled with this, too, especially since my pantry shelves are about 18-20 inches deep (think coat closet that is deeper on one end). I wanted to be able to quickly access things, and glass jars wouldn't do the trick. I got some clear plastic bins that will fit 2 to a shelf, side by side, plus one sideways across the back. I organize my boxed and bagged goods by "type" and use a bin for each -- pasta boxes and bags in one, rice and noodle mixes in another, baking mixes in a third, baking goods (brown sugar, powdered sugar, nuts, choc chips., etc) in another. Extras or goods used less frequently go in the bin that goes across the back, as back-up. I've got 3 shelves organized like this, with a supply of paper towels above and a drawer unit with pull-out baskets is below. Shelving above is open ventilated with a plastic liner insert, for cleaning. For the drawers, I've used a hard top surface, with mesh pull-outs, in both narrow (fits standard cans on their sides, labels up) and deep. On the opposite end, I placed rails with baskets in a wall unit and put an extra wall unit in-between, off-set to allow for the drawers to be pulled out. I also wound up adding a door unit with baskets for additional storage. My home canned goods are most often in the wall baskets.

Because of the unique size of the pantry closet, I customized an Elfa Shelving system from The Container Store (https://www.containerstore.com/elfa/index.htm). I liked this system because I could purchase the drawers and baskets individually and could modify the set-up as needed to better suit my needs. Right now, I have one spare large bin for the pull-out drawers, and one additional long deep wall-unit basket. But, should I find that I want to add an extra basket, or swap out two narrow drawers for a deep one, I can easily make that change.

While Elfa is not cheap, they have several BIG sales throughout the year, making their systems more affordable, and they often include free installation with their sales. I'm sure there are similar systems out there, but this is the one that met my needs.
 

Minta

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jampss

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Not sure if this will be helpful, but this gal is always fun to watch ...

 

halimer

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Not having a dedicated pantry I repurposed a linen closet that was opposite the kitchen as a pantry. I have an Elfa unit that uses baskets. I put flat things and cans in there. I also have a lot of glassed in cabinets in the kitchen and I put my pasta and rice and sugars and flours either in regular mason jars, repurposed glass jars, Tupperware or Lock 'n' Lock containers. I have more flour, etc., in the basement in similar containers.

I do like to repackage whatever I can. Bugs can be a problem and I just think things look prettier that way.
 

Holiday_Mom

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Thanks, all! I loved looking at the links and dreaming about organizational systems. I've got some good ideas to think about now. :)

Our house was built in the mid 1960's. Almost everything is original except the garage, mudroom and family room addition. That was put on 15 years ago or so. Our kitchen is tight in comparison to kitchens being built today. We eat in our dining room for all meals. I've had to think creatively for storage.

The kitchen "broom closet" was converted into storage for lunch boxes, reusable food storage containers, Corning ware, Pyrex, baking sheets, cutting boards and root vegetable storage. We added a hutch for storing dishes on top. Cookie decorating supplies, cereal and small appliances are in the bottom. We took out two cabinets in order to put in a dishwasher. Those two cabinets were painted and a wood counter top placed on it and it is our "island." Those cabinets and drawers hold the rest of the baking supplies and tools. Above the dishwasher is a cabinet for glassware.

We have two large closets in the mudroom that have wire wall-mounted shelving. One closet stores games and outerwear. The other is our "pantry." One side stores the canned goods and boxed goods, etc. The other side stores the paper goods and additional party hosting supplies that are used.

We have two deep shelves that sound similar to Lori's shelves. Then I have stackable wire shelving that I placed on top of the shelves. I use wicker baskets to corral things currently. From the waist down I repurposed stackable shoe shelves for canned goods and party supplies.

I think I may try just one or two jars filled with beans and see how it goes in the next couple of months. I do have stackable plastic food storage containers that I can try as well and then see what works better for me.
 

Minta

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What about buying a stand alone cabinet and turning that into a pantry? That is what I did for my baking ingredients and I have a heavy duty metal stand alone shelf in the garage to hold all my canned goods.
 
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homemade4me

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I'm contemplating organizing the dry good shelves with glass jars. Currently, I have pasta boxes set up like the grocery stores. That is manageable but the bagged goods, such as beans, rice, dried fruits, nuts and seeds are stacked on top of one another. They slide off of one another and at times they look like they've been picked over like a clearance sale. :D LOL!

Before I do this, I was curious if anyone has done this and if they thought it was worth while. My goal is to reduce the visual clutter and keep the area a bit more ordered.
Mary I have done this using mason jars and many different size jars. Spaghetti sauce jars are a good size and a parmesan cheese plastic lid will fit on many jars if you don't like the lid they came with. I do wonder about the beans "now how old are they?" I could also add a small label with exp date.
It can be fun and cost nothing....

Laurie

Word for 2021. Joy
 

Holiday_Mom

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What about buying a stand alone cabinet and turning that into a pantry? That is what I did for my baking ingredients and I have a heavy duty metal stand alone shelf in the garage to hold all my canned goods.
I never thought of the garage as a place to store food items (other than when we needed extra refrigerator space at Christmas. It's cold enough out there then.) I like the idea. Hmmm.... I'll think on this... This would be a good spring project.
I do wonder about the beans "now how old are they?" I could also add a small label with exp date.
That's a good idea. I could cut it out and tape it on along with cooking times.
 

jampss

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Not having a dedicated pantry I repurposed a linen closet that was opposite the kitchen as a pantry.
I repurposed our hall coat closet for our pantry!!
 

Lori K

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I never thought of the garage as a place to store food items (other than when we needed extra refrigerator space at Christmas. It's cold enough out there then.) I like the idea. Hmmm.... I'll think on this... This would be a good spring project.

That's a good idea. I could cut it out and tape it on along with cooking times.
Not sure where you're located, but watch for freezing in the garage, especially for jarred and home canned goods. For storing beans in glass jars, write the "Use by" or "Best by" date on the lid. Or, cut that portion from the bag or box, and stuff it in with the dried beans. I do that with the cooking instructions for pastas and rice, since they vary slightly by type.
 

missjane

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I use the Flip Tite storage containers in my pantry that are sold at Walmart made by Better Homes and Gardens and love them. They are similar to the OXO brand, but less expensive. For my loose items, boxed mixes, extra spices, etc., I have randomly picked up flat, shallow baskets from Ross Dress for Less. They're easy to slide in and out on the shelves and keep things corralled well. I have the dried beans I cook frequently in Mason jars (antique ones I've gotten at flea markets/garage sales) that I store in a cabinet in the kitchen. Also in the kitchen are the Flip Tite canisters for frequently used items (sugar, flour, grits, coffee, meal, tea).