2016 Home Organization 101: Week 2 The Pantry

January 16, 2016

Home Organization Challenge


Welcome back to our 14 week organizing challenge. Last week was a huge success and many of you shared your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #2016abfolchallenge. You are doing an amazing job, so keep up the good work. I am completely inspired!


With the first week checked off our list, it’s time to finish off the kitchen and clean out the pantry.  If you are new, look over the challenge details then begin working at your own pace.  For encouragement, join our Home Organization 101 Facebook community and share your progress or struggles. Or simply look through the photos and read how others are doing. Don’t forget to print out the complete 14 week schedule and checklists below.

5.5 x 8.5

8.5 x 11


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry



For the perfect companion guide to our challenge, purchase The Complete Book to Home Organization. It includes all 14 weekly challenges as well as tons of pictures and tips that will help you organize your spaces each week. No need to log onto the computer for inspiration, this manual has it all!





Below are some updated photos of my pantry. This past fall, we yanked out the ugly wire shelving and cheap hollow doors.  We replaced them with wooden shelving (which we installed ourselves) and more stylish looking french doors. Installing the french doors has given me the push I needed to keep the pantry neat and orderly. Each week after I return from the grocery store, I spend a couple of minutes tidying up the space. Also, it has helped me to eliminate wasteful food and indulgent grocery shopping.  I try to stick with a list and only buy what we need for the week. It’s been a nice change from the overstuffed shelves full of food.


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


Mason jars are a great way to organize pantry staples.


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


These bulk food containers (a.k.a. cookie jars) are from World Market. They have a lovely vintage look to them.


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


We keep prepackaged snacks and bulk crackers in these baskets. It’s easy to grab and go.


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


We keep canned foods and large boxes/bags in vintage wooden food crates on the floor.


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


With the elimination of packaged boxes and bags, there is a lot more usable space to play with in the pantry. Anything that comes in a box usually gets removed when I return from grocery shopping. Oatmeal packets and granola bars go in our snack basket, baking staples go into jars and cereal bags get pulled out of their boxes and placed in a large wire basket. If you are lacking pantry space, this is a great way to gain more room.

Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry


Home Organization 101 Challenge Week 2 The Pantry



  • PLAN – Before starting, make sure you have a good supply of boxes, bins & food containers. You will need them.  If you do not have any, simply organize your pantry into “categories”.
  • SET UP – If you are using them, line up your empty bins, baskets & containers onto the kitchen table. If you don’t have any, you can still separate your food into ‘categories’ on the table.
  • PURGE & ORGANIZE – Take everything out of your pantry.  Check the expiration date and throw out expired or no longer used items.  Place “like” items in the baskets on the table. Organizing your food into categories (bins) will help keep your pantry looking nice and neat.  (Categories to consider: School, Breakfast, Pasta, Baking, Sauce, Bread, Snacks, Sides, etc.)  You can also empty bags & boxes into OXO containers or mason jars for a more uniform look.  If the unused food isn’t expired, you can donate it to a local food pantry.
  • CLEAN –  Once you are finished organizing everything into categories, you can wipe out your pantry, then sweep & mop the floor.  You want it all nice & clean before you put everything away.
  • PUT AWAY – Place all of your neatly organized bins, boxes, and containers back into your pantry
  • LABEL – Label each bin & container with a labeler or hang a tag on the baskets.

Here are several blog posts that will inspire you to get your pantry organized.

The 2016 Home Organization Challenge Instagram



  • Week 1 (1/9/16) – Kitchen
  • Week 2 (1/16/16) – Pantry
  • Week 3 (1/23/16) – Dining Room
  • Week 4 (1/30/16) – Launch Pad
  • Week 5 (2/6/16) – Living Room
  • Week 6 (2/13/16) – Master Bedroom
  • Week 7 (2/20/16) – Master Closet
  • Week 8 (2/27/16) – Kids Closets
  • Week 9 (3/5/16) – Linen Closet
  • Week 10 (3/12/16) Bathrooms
  • Week 11 (3/19/16) – Office
  • Week 12 (3/26/16) – Playroom/Toys
  • Week 13 (4/2/16) – Laundry Room
  • Week 14 (4/9/16) – Garage
  • Week 15 (4/16/16) – Car (Bonus Week)

Take the next seven days to clean your pantry from top to bottom.  Share your progress on Instagram using the hash tag #2016abfolchallenge, blog about the weekly challenges, and  share your before and after pictures over at my Home Organization 101 group here.  Hold yourself accountable and finish all 14 challenges! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.  Good luck. I’ll see you back next week for the week 3 challenge. Happy Organizing!



Disclaimer: You may find Amazon affiliate links within this post. Thank you for your support to A Bowl Full of Lemons.


16 comments on “2016 Home Organization 101: Week 2 The Pantry

  1. Linda says:

    I love the look and cleanliness of storing dry goods in glass jars. However I find that I have leftovers of flour, oats etc in their original bags that have to go somewhere! I squirrel them away in a small wicker basket in an attempt to keep everything neat and tidy, a mean feat in a home without a pantry as normal sized UK homes rarely have them. Bulk goods shops where I could fill my own containers would be so welcome.

  2. Barb says:

    I love you “new” pantry. The solid wooden shelves look nicer than the wire shelving and I LOVE the beadboard!! I also love all of yor vintage treasures that are on display.

    My pantry is not a standard size. So my husband had to custom make the doors. I wanted screen doors and I absolutely love them. They force me to keep my pantry looking neat and organized and offer a “cottagey” feel.

  3. Danielle says:

    Beautiful! I’m curious though, what makes you go back and forth between glass/mason jars to oxo? Do you use the old oxo containers from your previous pantry? I have mostly glass jars and a few oxo for things like cereal. But I can’t decide which I should stick with.

    • Toni says:

      I don’t go back and forth. I use both. My OXO containers are in my kitchen cabinets and are full of beans and pasta. 🙂

  4. Shannon says:

    What label maker do you use?

  5. Bambi says:

    I love that you make the pantry just as beautiful as the rest of your home! The glass jars mixed with the crates in the bottom of your pantry add so much texture. I’m definitely inspired to go organize my pantry!

  6. Bambi says:

    I love the way the inside of your pantry is just as beautiful as the rest of you home. The glass jars with the wood crates add so much texture. I am definitely inspired to organize my pantry! Thank you

  7. Zan says:

    The pantry looks really nice and clean. How nice it is to be able to see what you have so there’ll be no wasteful spending. My pantry is old but I try to go through and clean it out on a regular basis.

  8. Sue Ann says:

    I have a pretty large pantry with wire shelving. I keep telling my husband that I want to put in wood shelves. Yours looks so neat and tidy…I love it!!!

  9. Anne says:

    I love this. Someday, i would love to have a pantry.
    However, I have to deal with cupboards in my kitchen..and I do have one that is, more or less, a pantry.
    Have you ever posted on organizing a pantry that “isn’t a pantry?” Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

  10. Daria says:

    Your pantry is beautiful! I love the glass jars. My pantry is very organized but I’m using plastic Tupperware containers purchased at a party 13 years ago and I’m now giving myself permission to upgrade. I’m in and out of the pantry countless times each day-I want it to be pretty as well as functional!!

  11. Michele says:

    Where did you find your cute baskets?

  12. Mathilda says:

    This is so perfect! I’m currently redoing my pantry. Could you possibly tell me where those lined baskets are from? Thanks

  13. Jules says:

    Anne, I don’t have a pantry either (they aren’t as common in the UK), I do have a tall cupboard but I am really struggling with the narrow but deep space.

  14. I am in love with your pantry! Mine is really messy and needs cleaning too. I am planning to take care of it this weekend. I have to see what is left from the winter and to organize everything so it is easy to access. Thank you or the ideas!

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