You probably use your kitchen pantry every day, so it needs to be functional and easy to access.
This pantry had been organized previously, but as with all systems, it needed to be updated as the household's cooking pattern changed.
Two key organizing changes were made to this pantry that made a huge difference in increasing ease of access and maintenance.
1. The pantry was painted a light color to reflect light and brighten the back corners.
2. Shelves were re-positioned to allow for stacking of the larger drawers onto one shelf.
The only lighting for this pantry is from a spotlight in the center of the room directed into the pantry. Between the dark walls of the pantry absorbing the light and the piles of miscellaneous food stuffs, it was hard to see what was available. But by painting the walls a lighter color, even food items in the back corner have a chance of being seen and used.
If your shelves are movable, move them. Don't let the previous owners determine how you organize your food pantry. Move the shelves to your benefit. By stacking the larger drawers on one shelf and the smaller drawers on another shelf, we were able to free up one whole shelf. Now we could pull some of the items off the floor and all the miscellaneous piled items had a home. The stackable drawers allowed stacking the canned tomatoes on top of the bags of dry beans and ensuring access to all of it, even the cans at the back of the drawer.
Next Steps for this pantry:
It does take time to pull everything out, paint the pantry (two coats), and then put things back in an organized fashion. It took three days. Two of those days were waiting for the paint to dry. But while you wait for the paint to dry, sort through your food and toss expired items, give away foods that aren't in your food plan anymore, and take stock of what you need to add so you can easily cook at home when you have your pantry up and running again.
If a full blown pantry make over this weekend isn't an option or it's just too overwhelming to think about, here are some smaller steps you can take to organize your food.