blog series:: get organized for savvy savings::organizing the pantry

I recently had a kitchen makeover and had to remove all items from the cabinets and the pantry closet. I transferred everything to the walk-in pantry with the goal of reorganizing it when the kitchen was complete. To my surprise, I found three boxes of Ritz crackers. My area of issue in my pantry is the sliding, yet deep, drawers. I had purchased another box of crackers because I did not see the other two I already had. This lead me to my next savvy savings tip for this season and everyday- organize the pantry in order to know what you have, before you buy. Not only will you save by not making duplicate purchases, but you make room for the big holiday meal items.

 

There a super-fabulous designer pantries and then there are simple solutions everyone can follow. In just a few simple steps and a small amount of time, you can have an organized pantry. The goal for the pantry, regardless of the size, is for the function to be defined and for items to be easily accessible. Ask yourself: Does your pantry hold only food, or does it contain paper goods, cleaning supplies, and those catch-all items with no home? Can you see and reach all items? Once you determine the function of your pantry, it’s time to edit what you have.

 

Sort and Purge: Review all expiration dates, group like items, and remove any items you bought but are not using. Consider donating canned foods.

 

Containerize and Clip: Use tightly sealed containers for frequently purchased and used items; such as, snacks, cereal, coffee, flour, and sugar. If you keep items in bags, make sure to have clips to secure opened bags and prevent food spoilage. Place bagged items in  open bins.

 

Consolidate for Space: As you sort through your items, trash boxes that are almost empty. For example, oatmeal packets, snack bars, and wrapped crackers can be placed in containers.  I also use one container for grab and go snacks.

 

Group like items: Use small bins to group items that share a purpose. For example, keep sprinkles, icing, and other baking toppers together.

 

Organize and Access: Determine how you can utilize your space, create more space, and have quick access to see all items. This is where you will decide on what racks, sliding  tracks, dividers, risers, lazy susans, and clear containers you may need to accomplish your goal.

 

Maintain the Order: Make sure your family is involved in understanding where things go. Label what you can and demonstrate your new system.

 

Maximize your Space:  Use the pantry wall for mounting cleaning supplies and the interior side of the door for posting your grocery list-I suggest a magnetic board or cork board-chalk paint is a crafty solution too.

 

Here are some wonderful examples of pantries that use a variety of containers and have creative ways to maximize their spaces. The idea of adding color and style to a pantry is a greaet way to make it extra clean and special. I have also included images of products I use and that you see in some of these pantries.

 

thehouseofsmiths.com

bhg.com

amberlaneliving.blogspot

Crate&Barrel canisters

Container Store shelf paper

Amazon Magic-holder wall organizer

Amazon Madesmart expandable shelf organizer

 

Amazon Copco 2-tier turntable

Amazon Cereal Snapware

 

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blog series:: get organized for savvy savings:: toy storage

As I continue this series on tips to help you save by getting organized, I hope you see the savings potential of having order. A great place to start is with your childrens’ toys and their spaces. On the last post, hold a swap-out, I provided examples on how to hold a toy swap for savings. Not only do you save money by not making new purchases, but you rid the clutter in your space. Once you have completed your clean-up, it’s time to create a simple organized solution that you and your family can follow. Though there are fabulous designs to inspire us, I want to share some simple and affordable solutions, along with some must-haves.

The key to a successful toy space is for the children to participate in the process and find it easy to maintain. Here are a few ideas:

 

  • Choose your storage: Buckets, baskets, cubbies, and lockers all come in a variety of materials, colors and  prices. You can also be creative with what you already have in the home. For example, cover plastic bins, cans, or shoe boxes in fabric or paper and label.  It is important that your solution not require them to dig deep. If they can’t easily access items, they’ll be underused.

 

  • Hang it up: If space is an issue, consider a creative solution to mount storage bins or crates on the walls-be sure it’s within reach.

 

  • A place for everything: Staying organized means that all belongings have a home. Keep your budding artist in order by setting up a creative corner with caddies for supplies. Then, completed work can be displayed on wall mounted clips, magnet boards, or hung on twine…be creative.

 

  • Label it: Keeping storage labeled according to the contents is key to ensuring items make it back to their assigned home. Check out BHG free printable labels or make your own chalk labels like those shown on Hoosier Homemade.

 

  • Maximize your space: Consider an empty wall a wall of possibilities. Use hooks and a painted pegboard for hanging buckets, toys, and more.

 

  • Individuality is key: Children like their own spaces and have toys that are favorites. To head off sibling squabbles, create bins or buckets that are unique for each child. Be sure to create a meaningful label; such as, names, initials, numbers, or an object.

 

Start with some inspiration, review your space and needs, and select the tools to make it work well for you and your family. Keep it simple and affordable with a little creativity. Take a look at these…

See my Pinterest page for more ideas and photo credits. What creative solutions have you used? Be sure to leave a comment and share the post!

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