2018 Challenge Week 2: Pantry

January 13, 2018


Welcome back to A Bowl Full of Lemons. Week one is finally over! You survived the most challenging week of all and you made it.  Week 2 is pantry week, so we’ll spend another 7 days in the kitchen. If you don’t have a pantry, clean out the cabinets that you store your food in. If you missed the first week, you can find it here. Take the next 7 days to finish off the kitchen and get your pantry in order.

If you’re new to the challenge, we’re happy you’re here.  Print out the free challenge kit below and join along. For encouragement, join our Home Organization Facebook community to share your progress, struggles, or questions.

PRINT –>  Free Challenge Kit

For the perfect companion guide to our challenge, purchase The Complete Book to Home Organization. It includes all 14 weekly challenges as well as a ton of inspiration and tips about the spaces we will be organizing. No need to log onto the computer for ideas, this manual has it all!



If you need more guidance on cleaning your house, be sure to order the sister book The Complete Book of Clean.  It has tons of tips and checklists that will teach you how to get your homes sparkling clean.




This week should be pretty straight forward. Empty the pantry, wipe it out, toss expired food, and put it all back in an organized fashion.


  • 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.


A couple of years ago, 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.



THE LAYOUT. Categorize your pantry into zones for easy access and order.


COOKBOOKS. My cherished recipes line the shelves of my pantry.

DRY GOODS. Mason jars are the perfect way to condense boxes and bags into uniform food storage.


You can also store dry goods in OXO containers. 



CONVENIENCE FOODS. Open baskets are great to store convenience foods and quick snacks for the kids.



BULK GOODS. Large open mouth jars are the way to go when storing bulk foods. I found these at World Market.



CANNED GOODS. Canned goods are heavy and should be stored near the bottom of the pantry. Large bins or baskets on the floor are great to store overstock items.



Here is a photo of my canned goods before we remodeled our pantry. I love these bins. You can see more photos here.



DECOR. Not only can your pantry be functional but it can be pretty as well. Bring your home decor into the pantry and add a little charm. I love to display vintage scales and old mason jars.



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


This week, let this blog post be your guiding force. Take as much or as little time as you need to complete the challenge.  If you need it, you can find more pantry inspiration in my book. Let’s get organized!

Share your progress on Instagram using the hash tag #abfolchallenge, blog about the weekly challenges, and  share your before and after pictures over at my Home Organization 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.

8 comments on “2018 Challenge Week 2: Pantry

  1. Organizing a house as per everyone’s need is always on top in the priority list. Great suggestions! Will follow your book in this regard now onward. Waiting eagerly for week-3 post!

  2. Jan says:

    Where did you purchase your canned goods bins?

  3. Kathy M Scherlitz says:

    Will you be making more videos on Youtube?

  4. Kathy M Scherlitz says:

    Will you be making more videos on your Youtube channel?

  5. Ilona McFerrin says:

    Beautiful photos Toni. Would love to see how you store your appliances. You mentioned on Instagram that another pantry is for your appliances. Thank you!

  6. Julie says:

    My food pantry has 5 pull out drawers, which I love. The 1st drawer is our snacks, the 2nd is my girls’ snacks, the 3rd is cans, jars, etc., the 4th is cereal boxes and other boxes, and the 5th is rice, pasta, and onions/potatoes. Last year, I purchased two sets of basket sets for the top two snack drawers, which definitely helps to keep those drawers organized. I want to purchase more basket sets to help keep the canned goods drawer organized.

  7. Gabrielle says:

    Your pantry looks perfect! I’m regularly organizing mine but I think it will never be so good as your! I don’t know what I’m not doing right… 🙁

  8. I loved what you did with your pantry! It is so organised and fun to look at. It’s a mix and match of DIYs and creative ideas. I loved how you used the crates and put them into good use. I did’t know that a pantry could be both functional and pretty. Will make sure to try your ideas as well. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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