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I need help <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> I got really motivated to find/use coupons in a productive way (meaning I get a TON of food for free/very little). It just makes me feel better about the way the economy is going to have a closet full of food <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Anyway.... I've gotten some great deals. Now where do I put it all?!? Here's what it looks like <a href="http://stephandowen.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">right now.</a><br><br>
So... how do you organize your pantry? How do you keep the cans from just going into a jumbled mess. Show me pictures of your organized pantry for motivation (or of your messy one so I know I'm not alone! LOL!).
 

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No advice, but I'll be a cheerleader!!<br><br>
You can do it!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="carrot"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/broc1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Broccoli">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana">
 

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Here's what I would do! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Start out emptying one shelf and line up all your tall cereal boxes across the back.<br><br>
Then line up all the smaller/shorter boxes of pasta or what-have-you in front of those cereals. That way you can see the boxes behind each other.<br><br>
Do you have a lot of cans of the same thing? If so, I might stack those vertically on the floor--just b/c of the weight, you know? Otherwise, you might do those in front of the cereal boxes with front-to-back rows of like products.<br><br>
Once you get a couple of things rearranged and grouped and visible on one or two shelves, you should have some room on other shelves to start shuffling those things around and grouping them together.<br><br>
Good luck!!<br><br>
My pantry currently looks great. Unfortunately it's b/c a slight pantry moth invasion took place. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Soon it will be built back up and crazy, I'm sure!<br><br>
Post after pics??
 

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It seems to me that boxes containing similar items would help a lot - or even putting similar items on the same shelf. The hard part will be maintaining it once you get it organized. I would take everything out, and put it back in with like things together. Of course this will vary as different items go on sale and get stocked up!<br><br>
Is there any other place in the house where you can store food? My DH buys cereal by the case when it goes on sale. I built sdteel shelving in the laundry/utility room for large items: cereal, soup, crackers, etc. It is a little inconvenient to have to go downstairs to get a new box of something, but since we are all able and healthy, it isn't a big deal.<br><br>
I built shelves in the garage so I can stock up on toilet paper and paper towels when they goes on sale. It doesn't matter if they get cold!
 

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Definitely put similar things together! In my pantry I have one shelf for ds-specific food, one for flour and other baking goods, one for pasta, one for fruit cans and veggie cans, and one for beans (they're narrow shelves).<br><br>
Also, I keep a rubbermaid bin in ds's closet with triples of things, or doubles of rarely used things - and I babylock the door so ds can't get them.
 

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If you can, pull everything out. Put like with like, and be sure to put newer packages near the back, older in front to be sure they get used up before expiry.<br><br>
Organize by cuisine can also work (all breakfast together, beans with whatever you use them with, ditto spag sauce with the pasta, you know what I mean?).<br><br>
post updated pictures as you go, we'll cheer you on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the ideas! I'm hoping to tackle it tonight after ds goes to bed..... if he's awake he'll want to "help" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
This closet is the only space I can use. House rule (meaning dp is really anal about this) is food stays in the kitchen/dining room (shhh.... don't tell him I'm eating lunch in the computer room right now! LOL!). I may look into getting some sort of little shelving thing to go on the door though. That might help.<br><br>
I'll post pics as I get going!
 

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I think the key to simplifying a pantry that size is to either come up with another space to store some of the food or to streamline the kinds of things you buy.<br><br>
For example, wouldn't a single bulk box filled with pasta have more of a zen feeling than all of those pastaroni boxes? I bet you have all the additional spices it takes to make the same thing, anyway, and it only takes a few extra seconds. Do this with all the foods you eat, and you can make so much variety with a pantry filled with mainly the basic ingredients.
 

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First off, it looks to me like you have a lot of space that's not set up to be very easy or efficient to use. Are there shelf supports that go down closer to the floor (in that big space with now shelves)? If not, I'd go buy some and install those first. I'd also get another 2 or 3 shelves for use in the empty area and for making the top area more efficient.<br><br>
Then I'd pull everything out and group like with like into some basic categories like canisters, canned goods, bottles and jars, juice bottles, cereal, crackers, prepackaged meal boxes, and so on.<br><br>
When you look at your categories after you've sorted, you'll get an idea of how far apart your shelves need to be. I find cupboards and pantries are a lot more user friendly if the shelves are spaced for what you actually own. Then you don't have to stack stuff to fit it all in. This does take extra shelves, though, which is why I recommend that first!<br><br>
Rearrange your shelves and add new shelves to fit the stuff you have. I find a relatively short shelf works well for short things like cans. I line my cans up in rows of the same stuff (a row of black beans, a row of tomatoes, etc.) from front to back so that I don't have to dig around to see what I have. I can see them all.<br><br>
I like turning cereal boxes on their side to store because then they don't take up so much vertical space, and they fill up the whole shelf front to back, so I'm not tempted to shove stuff in front of them.<br><br>
I use baskets and bins for some things, like all my pastas are in a big basket, and all my teas are in a bin. Bins and baskets are useful for containing things like spice packets and sauce mixes that don't sit well on a shelf.<br><br>
Have fun with it! You'll smile every time you open that pantry door once you get it all organized!
 

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Get rid of the packaging! Boxes and bags take up so much room. Get some larger (but more efficient) storage pieces and consolidate. Take all the goldfish, rip those suckers open, dump into one container - voila - instant space. Same with other crackers, nuts, chips, cereals, pastas, flours, sugars, oats, beans, etc.<br><br>
Sure, it costs money in the beginning, but feels so good when it's done!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SAHDS</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11547256"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Get rid of the packaging! Boxes and bags take up so much room. Get some larger (but more efficient) storage pieces and consolidate. Take all the goldfish, rip those suckers open, dump into one container - voila - instant space. Same with other crackers, nuts, chips, cereals, pastas, flours, sugars, oats, beans, etc.<br><br>
Sure, it costs money in the beginning, but feels so good when it's done!</div>
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I agree. I'm actually going out tomorrow to buy a few more Lock & Lock pieces. I love the cereal keepers. My family eats a lot of cereal, but it's mostly the same kinds. I have two of them now and am going to start keeping the cereal in them.<br><br>
I have Sterilite bins on the floor of mine for back ups of things. One has backups of ketchup, mustard and applesauce. One has vegetable broth, peanut butter and jam, one has baking things- sugar, flour, brown and powdered sugar. One has condiments, oils and other miscellaneous jars or bottles of things. It's nice because I can just pull out the bins and sweep in there, where I used to just have stuff all over the floor.<br><br>
My next shelf up has pasta, each box lined up (spaghetti, rotini, penne) neatly and some miscellaneous canned goods- soup, cherries for pie, baked beans.<br><br>
Next shelf up on one side is cereal and the other side is snack stuff (popcorn kernels, crackers, graham crackers.<br><br>
Next shelf up is jarred baby fruit and cereal (again in a Sterilite bin), oatmeal, bread and on the other side is a bowl with onions and garlic.<br><br>
The next shelf up has one bin with medicines and vitamins and the thermometer and other things like that we use somewhat regularly. The next bin has all the lunchbox things (laptop lunchbox, wrap 'n mats, thermos, etc) for my son, aluminum foil/ziplock bags/canvas shopping bags, and my cleaning caddy with cleaning products.<br><br>
The top shelf is a bin of back ups of medicines (I buy extra when it's on sale), my borax and washing soda, my home management binder and my crock pot.<br><br>
We're vegetarian, so we use a lot of beans and tomatoes. I keep those in a cabinet. We have wire shelving in our pantry and I'm nervous that it's not strong enough to hold all the weight of the cans. It's convenient to have them in a cabinet too. On the bottom shelf of the cabinet I have spaghett sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and pizza sauce. The next shelf up has all the beans organized.<br><br>
I have an island, so all of my baking stuff is organized in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did it all last night (finally!). I got a little delayed because dp hurt his foot so he's been off it for a couple days (did take him to the dr who did x-rays and said it's not broken, thankfully). I'll try to post pics tonight! I'm loving it all clean and pretty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Updated pictures in my blog!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StephandOwen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11577540"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Updated pictures in my blog!</div>
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very nice! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:
 

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Fantastic job! And I'll bet you found stuff in there that you didn't even know you had.<br><br>
Keep up the good work!!!
 

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I stockpile from couponing too, and my pantry is alarmingly similar in size to yours. I do have a thing that hangs from the door and smaller ones that are mounted to the side walls inside. I use the smaller ones for spices, jello, brown sugar, etc. The door has mason jars filled with stuff, and is also where I keep olive oil, spice packets, etc.<br><br>
My biggest problem that I encountered was that the shelves were too deep and I kept losing stuff. I eventually cleared out that pantry and only use the top two shelves for storage and the rest is for every day use. I know your DP has issue with food being places other than the pantry, but perhaps you can compromise on one other place for stash storage. I eventually kicked DH's things out of the laundry room (it's huge) and took over the shelving in there. It's not so deep so I don't lose things, yet there is more of it.<br><br>
Just an idea.<br><br><br>
BTW, it looks very nice and organized now!
 

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Great job!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Wow, you did a great job! Good motivation for the rest of us!
 
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