We’re sharing the easiest way to organize your pantry and refrigerator with simple tips and tricks anyone can do!
Over the years, our pantry has undergone a few cosmetic changes.
My favorite was the kitchen and pantry makeover we did for the One Room Challenge.
The pantry is now one of the most consistently organized spaces in our home.
But to be honest, it didn’t start out that way.
A Look Back…
It’s taken a bit of trial and error as our needs have changed over the years, a lot of decluttering, and a sheer determination to keep the system maintained each month.
It didn’t happen overnight.
But the initial investment we made in baskets and containers from the very beginning were two of the best investments we’ve ever made.
Our pantry is TINY with wire shelving on each side.
And because of the size and our lack of organization, it was also a complete disaster.
In 2014, the pantry looked like this on one side…
and this on the other.
I’m totally embarrassed to say our refrigerator didn’t look much better.
Clutter Desperation Leads to Action…
Although the photos shown above were taken in 2014, I can still remember how desperate we were to get more organized and to change the way we were living.
It’s the reason I know this system works because we’ve used it every day since then.
While we’ve had a few cosmetic changes, you’ll see the basic system has remained the same.
Here’s a look at the dry goods side of the pantry in 2015…
and in 2016 and 2017.
The dry goods side of the pantry in 2018…
Last week, I upgraded the labels and bought a few new containers for cereal.
But as you can see the baskets and glass jars haven’t changed much since 2015 which feels like a huge win.
It shows me this system works for our family.
Our dish pantry in 2016 and 2017...
You’ll find the same thing with the refrigerator as well. This is 2015..
the system we used from 2016-2022…
Utilizing Baskets and Containers…
I share this because organizing your pantry and refrigerator can seem downright overwhelming at times.
Not to mention, there are hundreds of baskets and containers on the market to sort through too!
Most of these baskets were bought on sale with coupons from big box and craft supply stores in January and July.
I even found one at an estate sale.
The glass containers were all picked up at Amazon or at big box stores as well.
Each year we start the 52 Weeks to a Simplified and Organized Home Challenge and it’s always my favorite time of year.
While the pantry and refrigerator are consistently organized, I took the opportunity to tweak things just after the holidays.
They were all really small tweaks.
But they made a big impact.
Here’s a look at the easiest ways to organize the pantry and the refrigerator…
- When your organizing the pantry and the refrigerator, it’s best to work in zones when possible.
- Clear off your kitchen countertops or dining room table so you can use them as a work surface and staging area.
- Take all the items out of the pantry or the refrigerator (just not at the same time) and place them on the table.
- Pair like items with like (i.e. keep all of the canned food, rice, pasta, condiments etc.) and keep the items together in categories.
- Declutter and organize one category at a time.
- Toss all items that are expired and recycle as many of the containers as you can.
- Choose a mix of different sized baskets to corral everything from cans to peanut butter to snacks. Use a riser to help save space when storing canned foods if you don’t want to use a basket. Clear containers can be used for dry goods including cereals, flour, sugar, pasta, rice, beans, nuts, etc.
- Consider using a turn table for taller items or those items you use frequently like cooking oils and vinegar. Being able to see what you have will help make grocery shopping easier.
- Once your items are organized in a container or a basket, label them by item or category, and place them back in the pantry or the refrigerator.
- Keep in mind neither the pantry nor the refrigerator is a “one size fits all” kind of space. Your storage needs will likely change in the weeks and months to come. So, put a system in place that has some flexibility.
- Be fully committed to maintaining an organized pantry and refrigerator by setting up a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly time to clean them out. The best time to clean out your pantry and refrigerator is the day/night before trash pick up!
Here are a Few Pantry and Refrigerator Organization Items We Found On Amazon…
(Amazon affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon and Impact Media Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
I know it might seem like a lot of extra effort to put a basket and food storage container system in place at first.
But truly, it’s one of the easiest ways to organize your pantry and refrigerator.
As I shared above, we’ve used these simple tips for years now.
With an initial investment in baskets and containers, I feel like we get our money’s worth every single day.
Bonus, it makes grocery shopping and replacing everyday items super simple!
Do you have any organization tips for the pantry or the refrigerator you can’t live without? We’d love to hear about them!
Other Posts to Enjoy:
DIY monogrammed market tote (perfect for picking up a few groceries)