Pantry Organization

I’m going to tell you a story about Husband. My husband is a very intelligent man. In fact, his sharp wit and our intelligent conversations were one of the first (of many) things I fell in love with. He’s an extremely logical and capable man. He just can’t find a damn thing in the house.

Don’t think it’s all my fault. I don’t (intentionally) place things in illogical places and I’m pretty consistent about where I store things. He just doesn’t look for things very successfully. I think this is a common husband problem, or am I mistaken? I’m mainly asking the ladies in the audience.

Once, long ago, Husband requested I pick up some grape jelly during my weekly trip to the grocery store. I happily obliged. After I unloaded the groceries and put the new jar of grape jelly in the pantry, I decided to rest my weary feet and lay on the couch for a bit. Husband went to the kitchen to fix himself a PB&J sandwich but, alas, he could not find the grape jelly.

“Honey, I thought you were going to pick up some grape jelly for me while you were at the store,” Husband calls out.

“I did. It’s in the pantry,” I replied, quite perplexed. I knew I had bought jelly and even remembered putting it in the pantry. “Check the pantry,” I yell from the comfy couch.

“I am!! It isn’t in here!” Husband yells back, becoming increasingly annoyed and hungry.

Grumbling and confused, I force myself to leave the sanctuary of the couch and find the elusive grape jelly. I peer inside, expecting to have to look in the darkest and farthest corners of the pantry to find the food my beloved so desires.

That’s when I saw, front and center and at eye level, a bright purple jar. I turned the jar around to reveal the grape jelly label. And then walked away without a word.

All of that was to tell you I have to label and keep my pantry very organized, for the sake of my intelligent husband. (Who I love dearly, my Wesley!)

Tiny but mighty.

Husband likes to have lots of little snacks with him during the day. He drives around a good bit for work, so he needs snacks that travel well and won’t spoil in the car. He also likes a plethora of choices. The boxes for all of his different snacks just couldn’t be accommodated in our small pantry with immovable wire shelves. So, I bought a clear over the door shoe organizer to store and display his snack options.

Can be purchased here and pretty much everywhere.

This gives him a complete view of our snack stock and frees up so much valuable space in our pantry. I also use it to store small packets and what-not that would otherwise be lost in the ether. Our pantry door is smaller than a standard door so I had to cut off a row pockets.Gotta love a custom fit!

On the very top shelf, we keep paper towels, wine bottles, bar tools (in the brown box), and breakfast items. I used a metal bookend to keep our stack of paper towels from rolling around and damaging our wine tools. We have priorities here, people!

Working from top to bottom, I keep all of “dinner” items stored on this shelf. A simple shelf extender (found here) makes finding the canned veggies easier. I got the pop up containers from Bed Bath & Beyond as a wedding gift, just one short year ago. Unfortunately, our non-adjustable shelves do not fit the tallest container, so it rests on its side. No biggie.

Next is our favorite shelf, the snack shelf!

We like a lot of cookies.

I think this shelf is pretty self explanatory. It is the go-to shelf when midnight (or anytime, really) cravings hit.

This is Ty’s favorite shelf. His treats are kept in a candy jar that we also received as a wedding gift. (Thanks MAO!) He has his paper towel rolls to the side; something he loves to tear up and is actually allowed to destroy. We keep his food in a white Itso bin from Target. I don’t see the bins on their website any longer but I still see them in the store. Peculiar.

I love this bin because you can open the top without having to pull out the container. We keep a measuring cup in there to make feeding times easier.

Ty gets 1/3 a cup, 3 times a day, as part of his diet.

 I don’t think the diet is working.

The following shelf is where baking items are stored. I keep the usual suspects in a basket to make it easy to pull out everything I need when the baking mood strikes, which is pretty much never. We're OK with store bought cookies, obviously. The containers that hold our flour and sugar are recycled from a couple of bulk snack containers from World Market. I also keep a few misc items on this shelf, such as the white vinegar I use to clean our dishwasher once a month.

Last but not least, on the floor, we store Ty’s towels. Our pantry is located right by the back door, so towels are easy to grab when we need to dry off a wet puppy. No muddy paw prints through this house, please!

I use metal key ring labels I picked up Wal-Mart for a few dollars to label areas of the pantry. They hook around the wire shelves nicely and make it easy for Husband to help me put away groceries properly. And find whatever kind of jelly his little heart desires.

And that's peek inside our pantry! Have you had to label your pantry for your husband/partner? Ever lost the grape jelly because it was turned the wrong way?

Quick Pick Me Up = Magnetic Spice Tins!

I've been working on some home projects that have been less than stellar. Hopefully, my ingenious (ha!) solutions will help me overcome the many obstacles I've encountered. Posts coming soon. I hope.

I needed a little organizational pick me up this weekend so I could feel something was going right in my quest for "perfection." Have you ever done this? Tackled a mini organizing project just to feel like you've accomplished something? I do it all the time. It helps keep me going so I don't just throw my hands up, saying I quit, in a very dramatic fashion.

My spice cabinet seemed like the perfect place to seek out a little ego boost.

This little cabinet is located above the stove, to the right. It's small so I have to keep my spice collection to a minimum. That hasn't been a problem before but, since I've started trying my hand at fancier cooking (as in fancier than Hamburger Helper), I've started acquiring more spices. I added a couple of turntables to make it easier to see things, especially on the top shelf. I also taped a box in the middle of the turntable to elevate some of the containers. That was necessary given the high cabinet and my short self.

This worked out well for awhile but, with new some new additions, things began to fall behind.


Spices would fall to the back of the cabinet where I couldn't see and suddenly I had three jars of rosemary and two containers of thyme. Not good. It was just too crowded in there.

While I was shopping around at World Market, I found these lovelies:

Available here.

They sell them individually in the store for $1.99 each. I bought six with a "$10 off a $30 purchase" coupon. I bought a few other fun things that day. Ah, retail therapy!

Tools of the trade.

I had the thin metal sheets on hand from a long ago project. $3.17 at your local Hobby Lobby. I cut the tin sheets to size and glued them to the inside of the cabinet door. I considered covering them with some pretty paper but I remembered reading a post from Jen at iHeartOrganizing. Here's the post. She surmised her decorative paper made her tins less . . . sticky? Yeah, sticky. So I opted to leave the sheets bare. Maybe when we repaint our kitchen cabinets (ugh) I'll paint over them for a seamless look. I actually don't mind the metal though.

While I left the glue to dry overnight, I picked out my six most popular spices. I reach for these flavors at least  twice a week, regardless of what is on the menu. I'm nothing if not consistent!

Then, I wrote out each spice name on a piece of paper and used double stick tape to attach the label to the front of the container. I know, I know. They would look so much better with some pretty printed labels. I have a confession. I, Cheryl Comeaux, do not own a label maker.


Yes it's true, my friends. What organizing fiend has two thumbs and no label maker? *raises hands* That would be me.

I've asked for one for my birthday (which is next week) and if I don't get it then, I plan on buying one myself. For real this time. Any recommendations? I think I like this one:

Cheap but seems effective.
Anyway, back on track . Here's my spice cabinet after the glue dried and the shoddy labels were taped to the tops.

Labels aside, I love it.

Now, it's easy for me to grab my popular spices and see everything I have so I don't buy duplicates. I even have room to grow! I can easily add two more spice tins to the top of the metal sheet and there is space on my turntables. Hallelujah! A project that was easy and done in minutes!

Don't mind me. Just basking in the glory of success.

Now it's back to my less than successful (so far) projects. I'm hoping to get those done this week. Thanks to my uber-supportive husband and a successful organizing high, I'm feeling optimistic.

PS - I totally opened my spice cabinet twice this weekend, just for the sole purpose of gazing at the organized bliss. I needed the boost.

Back to Top