Pantry Perfection…

February 15, 2013



When I’m working on-camera, for the A&E TV show, Hoarders, the question I’m asked most often is, “Where do we begin?”  My answers vary depending on the client but I think for most people, with or without a hoarding disorder, the fridge and the pantry are both good excellent starting points.  Neither the fridge nor the pantry is too large and the ingredients (ha) are easily put into obvious categories. Plus, all the keep-or-toss decisions are determined by expiration date which has nothing to do with sentimental value.  In short, this means the process is much less stressful for most of us. The pantry is also one of the quickest ways to get your family organized, save money, save time, and free-up shelf space.

Below you’ll find a few tips to get started and get your pantry organized in a jiffy.

  • Begin by discarding rotten, stale, spoiled, and expired items.
  • Wash and dry the shelves and walls.
  • Use glass or sturdy plastic containers with tight fitting lids to hold dry goods and remember, square containers take up less space and fit better on shelves.
  • Group like items together just like the grocery store does it:  breakfast items, snacks, baking goods, etc.
  • Whether your home is sleek and sophisticated or warm and traditional, there are many options for containers, which can help make your kitchen pantry appear more stylish and organized.  Splurge on containers; they are an investment and will last a very long time.
  • Make sure your lighting is excellent. Install a stick-on light if necessary.
  • The back of the door is the perfect spot to hang a lightweight shelf for spices; don’t let that vertical space go to waste.
  • Have a basket that your children can reach; stock it with kid-friendly snacks. Examples include: applesauce cups, pudding, fruit chews, pretzels, and fresh fruit.
  • Restock your pantry with only the most commonly used items such as: Canned Goods, Baking Supplies, and Pasta.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Pantry


Finally, a list of helpful places + products for organizing products:

Stacks and Stacks

The Container Store


California Closets


Lowes Home Improvement



Geralin’s Website:


7 comments on “Pantry Perfection…

  1. Linda Stoll says:

    I LOVE those wire mesh baskets, the chalkboard labels. Way too FUN!

    One of the first posts I ever wrote was how our little pantry saved us when times were lean … and the only storage containers I had were the big ol’ Pampers boxes.
    The three links have some super helpful hints … hey, right about now I’m really missing that tiny room!

  2. oh gosh, I’ve been working on my pantry for a long while…clearing out food I’ll never eat (but food that Dave loved), trying to make everything fit ON the shelves and not just stashed everywhere, making it useful…once again. It’s going to take more than a week with one reason being, the ceiling “tiles” need to be replaced. Around here, I could spend a month on each room and be done by this time next year.

  3. Monica says:

    Good ideas and it doesn’t seem to be so overwhelming to start there. Think I’ll tackle the pantry this weekend!

  4. Thanks for the tips! I don’t have a pantry in my kitchen (except a small under-cabinet space I use to store some pantry items), but I’ve added some shelving to my home’s laundry room where I store canned goods, etc. I like the idea of using metal bins to combine like things together. The metal bins would be great because it would be easy to tie labels to them, like the ones shown in the photo.

  5. Katie says:

    I love the chalkboard labels that you have used in your pantry and bathroom. Where did you get those at?

  6. Joanie says:

    I, too am a professional organizer and I have found similar organizing bins for the refrigerator. They are easy to clean and prevent jars and food containers from being lost at the back of the fridge! I have used them with clients and love them in my own refrigerator and freezer. You can see them on the photo page of my website,, or by searching for “refrigerator bins” on Amazon Prime.

  7. Emily says:

    Hi! Love your site. I have a question. I live in a older Condo, that wasn’t set up for a dryer. So when the last owner added the dryer hook ups, the only place for it was in my pantry. Can I still store my pantry goods in there with all the heat from the dryer?

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