I’m finally getting round to posting my pantry makeover! I’ve actually been living with it like this for a while now but hadn’t written the post – so here we go!!
As with any make-over we must start with the before picture!
My husband was recently on a work course where they were learning about a method of keeping things organised, and I found that the system could be adapted to using in the home. It’s called ‘5S’ because each stage begins with S.
Stage 1: Sorting
The first stage with any organisation task is to sort out what you have and get rid of any clutter.
Start by emptying everything out of the pantry on to the kitchen bench and the dining table and then you can see what you have. You may be surprised by what you find hiding at the back! Throw out any items that have expired (making a list if you need to purchase anything to restock). Then it’s time to start sorting what you have left.
You need to ask yourself three questions:
What do I need? (usefulness)
How much? (quantity)
When is it needed? (frequency)
I had a number of appliances in my pantry that I don’t really use so I stored them in the garage. Then I had a look at the food items. Again, there were some products that I don’t use that often. We have a cupboard in our garage where we keep extra supplies and some of the things that were in there I use more often so I did a bit of a switch around with keeping less used items in the garage and keeping more of the items we use more often in the pantry.
I then grouped the items I wanted to put back in the pantry into categories. The categories will differ depending on what works for you. My groups were baking; deserts; baby food; chips; biscuit packets; fruit and nuts; cans; and pasta.
Before you get tempted to start arranging things don’t forget the next stage…
Stage 2: Shine = cleaning
Now that the pantry is empty give it a good clean. I wiped the shelves, walls and doors with vinegar water then swept the floor and wiped that too. Give your containers a wipe or wash in soapy water. At this time you can also check for any damages to the pantry and your containers and get them fixed or replaced.
Now we are ready to start putting things away!
Stage 3: Set in order = Organising
This is when you need to be thinking about where you want to place things in the pantry. What items do you want to put high up (may be out of children’s reach)? What items do you want to have easy access to? Which of your groups should be together? Do you want to store extra supplies separately or near the one you are currently using? The problem is there can be so many solutions!
I already had plastic containers for my baking supplies and pasta. I put the baking supplies back in the shelf they had been in before, but with a bit of re-arranging.
I purchased some small, black baskets from The Warehouse for $3 each to store my other groups of items and then arranged the baskets in the pantry. After a bit or re-arranging and trying out different placements I ended up with something I was happy with.
I also did a bit of swapping with one of my other kitchen cupboards. I swapped the cereal with my bowls and placed the bowls on the top shelf of the pantry. The cereal is now handier for when we are having breakfast and it’s easier to get to the bowl I want when I can see them all at the top of the pantry. I also like the look of the bowls and soup tureen in the pantry.
Stage 4: Standardise
Now that we have everything in its new place we need a system to inform/remind anyone who uses the pantry of where things go; a method where we can easily see if things are out of place. It’s time to label everything!
I used picmonkey to design my labels. I hadn’t used it before so I had a bit of a play around and ended up with something quite different to what I thought I would like. I didn’t think I was a twirls and hearts sort of girl but I quite like what I came up with.
Stage 5: Sustain
Now that it is all organised we need to keep it this way. We need to form new habits of always putting things away in the proper place and regularly clean out the pantry to make sure everything stays clean.
I’ve been living with it like this for a while now and am pretty happy with the new layout, and love my labels! Having things in containers with labels makes it look so much more organised.
For more ideas check out my previous post on pantry makeover inspiration.