Simple Pantry Organization That Won’t Break The Bank

I love that we are all starting the year off with a big simplifying kick! Having a team approach definitely helps keep the motivation; hopefully it’s the same for you.

Organizing pantries and kitchen cupboards is one of the main questions I receive. And I hear you, our kitchen in our old home was an organizational nightmare! Our cupboards were constantly overflowing.

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Our pantry can get real overwhelming real quick. Especially with so many little hands rummaging through every day! But good news is that its one of the simplest spaces to tackle, because there is little emotional attachment there. If we focus on pitching the old and expired it can be as simple as grouping and rearranging.

And I hear you loud and clear on this next dilemma. Pinterest pantries are the WORST. They are a fallacy, like a mythical creature. The unicorn of Pinterest. They aren’t realistic and can cost big bucks. Who wants to spend $200 on storage (that’s behind closed doors) anyway? Not me!

I chose to invest in a few key items to boost that aesthetically pleasing vibe, then skimp and up-cycle on the rest of my storage space. Categorizing my items is what helps keep it organized.

So here are my finds for simple, affordable and minimal pantry storage essentials to help you kick of 2019 with a big, and clean start!

Bulk Dry Goods

On Pinterest, clear storage is all the rage. There is a very practical reason for this. Inventory checks and creating your shopping list is MUCH easier when you can see everything at a glance. So while you may knock it because it’s Pinterest cliche, I beg to differ. My domestic life has simplified greatly since converting our pantry to clear storage.

I chose to invest in a few big glass jars by Anchor Hocking for my bulk baking essentials. Why? Because they make me happy. They’re versatile in that you can use them in a cupboard or on your counter. They’re under $20 each, which honestly is pretty affordable. They are visually pleasing and there is nothing trendy about their design (meaning they’ll stand the test of time). Flour, white and brown sugar, oats all go here.

I went with 1.5 gallon jars from Anchor Hocking because they are the perfect size for a 5 lb bag of flour, sugar or oats. They have a large opening for scooping with a measuring cup, and have a rubber seal to secure freshness.

If you’re hoping to organize your pantry on a budget, I have two words for you. Mason jars. Mason jars are great because they’re super affordable, and super versatile. You can find them almost anywhere, and buying in bulk is the norm. Mason jars work great for things like raw sugar, chocolate chips, chia seeds, ground flax, black beans, and other items you purchase that don’t require a lot of space or large sized containers. They stack easily and when not in use for pantry storage, can be used elsewhere in your kitchen (drinking glasses, fridge storage, measuring and mixing, etc).

I’d recommend getting 32 oz jars and lids for your pantry, and wide mouth jars are better as it’s easier to reach in for ingredients with the wider opening.

If you’re looking for a bit more asthetic punch, and have some extra money to invest, adding in a set of these EatNeat Glass Canisters can fill in the gap between your affordable storage and your investment pieces. I love this set for holding noodles, coffee, rice and cookies.

I’m always hunting for other clear storage items when I’m out. Target’s dollar spot sometimes carries adorable canisters, like this clamp closing canning jar. I also just try to purchase snack foods in clear containers I can reuse and up-cycle for storage. The teddy bear jugs were from Target’s snack section. I up-cycle large peanut butter or trail mix jugs for storage too.

I also keep snacks and cereals in easy to pour canisters. A quick pop of the lid and I can shake them out to the hungry munchkins. Mine were a very lucky find on clearance, but you can grab this set of 3 for just over $20.

Baking and Canned Goods

Next, to help create usable space for the smaller items, I spent on some stackable split shelving. This is worth the minimal investment because it doubles your storage capabilities.

Creating smaller half shelves allows you to stack items for easier access. This is great for baking powder, boxed mixes, canned goods, etc).

These from Amazon are great. They’re stackable and come in both 10″ and 16″ lengths, so you can measure and figure out which size is right for your space.

I am a huge fan of shopping for what’s affordable. All of my white and brown basket storage are from The Dollar Store. The Dollar Store is amazing for baskets and containers. But if you don’t feel like hauling all the kids to the Dollar Store (which I totally understand, taking my kids to the Dollar Store is a literal nightmare!), here is a great set from Amazon.

I use my smaller basket storage to keep my smaller categories organized. In here you will find:

  • pastas and noodles
  • canned goods
  • smaller baking essentials (like baking soda/powder, vanilla, jello boxes, cocoa powder, etc)
  • cooking items (bulk salts, meat rubs, broths)
  • daily vitamins
  • drink mixes
  • Liquid cooking items (oils, syrups, butters, sprays)

Kitchen Odds and Ends

I utilize my top shelf for lesser common kitchen essentials. By storing them in easy to grab large baskets, they are easy to pull down, hidden from daily view, and pre-sorted into categories so I can find them super easily.

One box contains all our paper goods (plates, napkins, cups). One box contains baking supplies (cookie cutouts, sprinkles, food coloring, rolling pin, etc.). Another holds random tools (ice cube trays, muffin tins, bagel slicer). I also have my spare paper towel (and some wine) on the top shelf, easy to grab when needed.

I actually use totes similar to these 13×13 woven storage totes for my top shelf storage.

Hopefully this post helps kick you off to a great start for 2019, with a cleaner workspace and happier shelves! If you have any questions, leave them below in the comments and I’m always glad to help. What have you found that helps keep your pantry organized? Let me know!

Happy organizing!




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