My Pantry is a Mess

Hello FlyLady,

I need to clean out my kitchen pantry closet!! It is not a walk in but it is deep shelves, and I can not fit anything else in it!!

What is the best way to get it organized and clear  it out and keep it organized! I need your help!!

I feel over whelmed whenever I go to take something out or put something in the closet. I have to get this organized! Thanks for all your help! Look forward to hearing from you!


Dear Friends,PantryKat

Kat and I have been emailing each other all day. I finally asked her to send me a picture of her pantry.

A picture is worth a thousand words. She also has sent me the size of the shelves and the distance between the shelves.

17- 1/2 deep
31 inches wide
11 1/2 inches between each shelf

While we were talking to each other, she had an emergency clean-up in her guest bathroom. There is nothing worse than having your heart set on doing something when you have a fire that needs putting out. I am going to lay this out for everyone. Next week we are in Zone 2 our kitchens.

Pantry Clean-out and Organization

1. Gather up some boxes for sorting, give away, and trash. Also grab a Magic Marker to label the boxes.

2. You can’t organized clutter; you have to get rid of it. This means you are going to get rid of many items in your pantry. This is going to make organizing your pantry easier.

3. Pick up one item from only one shelf and stay focused on that shelf. Check the expiration date and toss it into the trash or sort into a box with like items. Do not donate expired food. The charity will just have to pay for disposal.

4. When your timer goes off; take a break and dream about what you want your pantry to look like from a decorative prospective. When the break is over; jump back in to our sorting and decluttering. You can do this several times. Pace Yourself!

5. Now to put things back. I’d put heavier items on the floor to protect you if they were to slip out of your hand.

6. The Top shelf should be used for laundry baskets to organize light bulbs, paper towels, napkins, and other paper products. Since the items are not heavy, you can pull the basket down to get what you need. You can probably acquire most everything to organized your pantry at the Dollar Store. If you need to watch your pennies then use some boxes that you can spray paint white and reinforce with duct tape. Don’t forget to label them.

7. The rule is to use the oldest item first. The newest item goes toward the back of the box or shelf.

8. On the center shelf, place the items that you use daily; cereal, cracker, and snacks.

9. Stand back and admire what you have accomplished in just 15 minutes at a time.

If you don’t have a pantry eventually you can declutter to make room for one. Many years ago Leanne Ely taught us how to create a pantry from our linen closet. I will have to pull her essay on this.


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