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6 Steps to a Pantry Refresh this Spring

Updated: Apr 28

pantry organization, pantry, pantry organizing, spring cleaning, organization tips

Spring is in the air and so is cleaning. There's no better time to update + organize than when the season is transitioning.

The good thing about the pantry is there is space to store whatever you want. The bad thing about the pantry is the same! It can quickly become a black hole for haphazardly stashing items out of sight and out of mind. The last few years have a been a transition for our family, and in that transition our pantry has become an unorganized, hot mess. Our kids have flown the nest and because of that, my husband and I have adjusted how we live and operate in our home. I have been looking at reorganizing my pantry for a couple of years now realizing that a) I don't even know everything that's in there anymore and b) I don't utilize the pantry the same way I used to. So I decided now is the time. No matter what stage of life you are in and how you need your pantry to function, following these steps will maximize and organize everything you're using.

  1. Take inventory. I started by taking inventory of what I had, what I still used and what I needed to give or throw away.

  2. Empty pantry contents and clean all surfaces. After I pulled everything out; I scrubbed down every shelf and replaced shelf paper where needed. (tip: shelf paper can be a pain, but goes a long way in saving shelves from stains & spills. When they happen, if too difficult to clean it's so easy to pull up and replace)

  3. Assess how it's used. Next, I assessed how we use the pantry now that we are (most often) a family of 2. Some items stayed in the same area, but many items shifted.

  4. Group like items together. Now that I no longer need a whole shelf (or 2!) for after school snacks for growing kids, I rethought where I would place often used items- both food & kitchen tools such as food processor, ice cream maker, crock pots etc (but I'm keeping a space for special snacks & items for grandkids ;) )

  5. Gather/purchase items to corral and organize: remember to KIS. Then, I gathered items I thought I could re-use and purchased a few more items such as extra baskets and see-through containers to take organization up a notch. As I organize, I am constantly reminding myself to Keep It Simple; avoid over-categorizing. This allows for flexibility for outliers.

  6. Reassemble & reassess. Once everything was placed in the pantry- there were just a few tweaks needed to maximize the new set up. I ended up being able to utilize one of the shelves to house our outdoor dinnerware and drinkware which in turn opened up a cabinet outside of the pantry. I also shifted some of our frequently used electrics to make them more accessible.

  7. Bonus: don't forget to track expiration dates! If items are moved to non-original containers, use a label maker or simply scotch tape to label the bottom of the canister with expiration date.

A before and after of the pantry:

NOTE: I may get a small commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

All in all, I was able to complete the entire process in about 7 hours over a period of 3 days- including shopping. Not too bad for a jump start on my spring cleaning! We'd love to hear what projects you are planning to spruce up your space for springtime- let us know in the comments!

Need more pantry inspo? Check out articles here, here, and here

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