It’s always energizing to de-clutter and freshen up the house as winter fades into spring. If you’re like Lolli and me, always looking for a better way to get organized, stay tuned throughout our SPRING CLEANING WEEK series! We’re sharing a post per day this week with tips and products for rooms around the house, and we’re also offering A GIVEAWAY A DAY to go along with each day’s theme! We hope some of our ideas are helpful with your own spring cleaning goals. This will all lead up to my master closet reveal, featuring Fashionomics‘ Debby Jett Allbright and her “tricks of the trade!” Subscribe to our mailing list here to be the first to receive our daily posts and giveaway information (Scroll to end of each post to enter!).
When I was most recently pregnant, my “nesting hormones” drove me to organize the whole house before baby’s arrival. I hadn’t been able to focus much on organization since moving into our new home a little over a year ago, so it was time to purge and put some better systems in place. I started with one of the biggest messes (since we’re in it all day!): our kitchen and pantry. It’s all too easy to let things pile up in kitchen drawers and cabinets and on pantry shelves, so today we’re sharing some alternatives to the clutter and giving away a set of fridge/freezer bins to jumpstart your own kitchen and pantry overhaul!
For the Pantry
The best way to thoroughly reset your pantry is by taking everything out, throwing away anything expired or never used, categorizing, then “re-stocking” the shelves in a more organized fashion. Different types of containers are helpful to have out as you’re categorizing, so you can see what fits best where. My organization kick hit just after Christmas time, when we were receiving lots of holiday gifts in boxes, baskets and tins. Instead of tossing those, I saved many of them to use as pantry organization tools! One of the larger gift baskets became our “snack basket,” which I put at a level the children can reach on their own. For other loose items, I found some plastic refrigerator/freezer bins I like since they are clear and come in an assortment of sizes.
It’s important to think through where you place items in the pantry according to what makes sense for your family. We keep juice boxes and water bottles on a lower shelf where my boys can have easy access, as well as a bin of snack bars and fruit. (They can also reach through our “butler’s door” that connects to the family room and easily grab something, too!). I store kitchen appliances on the pantry’s top shelf so that they are easily accessible to me as needed but not at the level a child can reach. We keep extra water bottles, paper towels, boxes of trash bags and other household essentials on the floor of the pantry, since they are the bulkiest and heaviest items to store.
I bought some plastic food storage containers to keep our dry cereals fresh and and to avoid the clutter of half-opened boxes. To label the containers, I actually used leftover Christmas gift tag stickers that I had on hand, but any type of sticker label and a marker will do the trick! A lot of professional organizers recommend the look of these chalk labels if you want something erasable.
For the Fridge
Storing food in the fridge often can feel like putting together a puzzle, and it’s so much easier when the puzzle pieces are all made to fit together! I mostly use stackable Ziploc storage containers to stash leftovers, minimizing the struggle of fitting different sizes and brands of plastic containers on shelves. They are also great for when you need to take food to a friend or a party. At less than $3 for two large containers, you won’t mind if they get disposed or aren’t returned, and you can find them in most grocery stores!
The plastic bins I like using in our pantry are actually made for the refrigerator and freezer, and I interchange those between spaces as needed. I put similar items together and also keep butter in a pretty Le Creuset dish and stock eggs in porcelain crates, which look better than the store packaging!
For the Cabinets
Kitchen cabinets and drawers hold multiple sets of everyday china and glasses, silverware, mugs and more, so it’s best if you can categorize strategically to maximize space! There are many options for drawer organizers in the kitchen to stow utensils and other items, but I also found some products that help move traditional drawer items onto cabinet shelves, like this adjustable cookware rack. Instead of stacking cutting boards, baking sheets and muffin pans in a drawer that could better fit other everyday items, “file” them on a rack in a cabinet where you can more easily see them. You can even use this type of rack for serving platters and pans!
When it comes to kitchen organizing, keep in mind that you want to be able to reach what you need while cooking, especially. So, I store pots and pans near the stove and oven but keep dish towels and cleaning supplies near the sink. We also keep our children’s cups, straws, plates and containers in a lower drawer (organized using the same, clear fridge/freezer bins we love for the pantry and refrigerator!) so that they can help themselves to a cup of water or set their own places at the table for meal times.
Here are the products I used and some other suggestions for your own home organizing projects in the kitchen and pantry:
For our GIVEAWAY of the day, we’re offering a free set of fridge/freezer bins! As I mentioned earlier, these are great for organizing your fridge and freezer, pantry, and even kitchen drawers and cabinets! I like that they’re clear, so you can see what’s inside, and they are super durable! I have loved the extra order they bring to several spaces.
To enter to win this set of fridge/freezer bins, just provide your email address below! The winner will be announced on Saturday, April 14, at 10 AM CST via Instastories, so make sure you’re following us at @lolliandme! Winner must respond with shipping address within 48 hours.