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Pantry Makeover in One Afternoon

How to Reorganize Your Pantry Fast!

 I turned this…


Into this…


In only ONE afternoon!

I love to have an organized pantry but somehow every few months something happens, complete chaos takes over. This past weekend I completed my fall pantry makeover and was able to do it in one afternoon! In the past I have spent an entire weekend trying to make it pretty and perfect. I have finally come to the realization that “Pretty” and “Perfect” is the last thing I need to be worrying about in my pantry. Functionality and kid friendly are much more appropriate as priorities for my small pantry. Changing my focus has allowed me to cut down my reorganization time in a HUGE way! Check out my tips below for making the process fast and functional for your family.

Speed Tips:

  • Place all contents on a table, floor or somewhere you can spread out.

fma-everything fma-mixer fma-more

  • When you are laying out all the contents of your pantry, group everything in categories (baking, cans, pastas, etc.). It makes it much easier to decide where to put things and gives you an idea of space needed.

fma-cans fma-boxes fma-baking fma-oils

  • Take this time to check expiration dates. I try and do this at minimum each spring and fall yet I still came across an item the expired in 2012! How the heck did that happen!
  • Only keep what you expect to use regularly. I tend to rotate a bit during the changing of the seasons (example: blender in the spring/summer, crock-pot in fall/winter)



  • Choose function over beauty. No more pretty boxed and drawers that you can’t see through. Opt for clear containers and open shelves. This will not only make finding things easier, it will also give less room for excuses from the kiddos for not putting items back in their place.


Things to think about when organizing:

  • You should never store your potatoes and onions near each other. If you do, both will prematurely sprout and possibly begin to rot.
  • I always keep my home canned goods in the pantry as well. Over the years I have found that if I put them down in the basement or out of easy reach I forget about them and don’t use them. I can’t stand finding a hidden box of my prized canned goods that are years old.


  • Get rid of too many duplicate items…from flour to soup mixes. Even making a point to use these items more than normal, they will expire on me before they are gone. Time to take some staples to family and friends!
  • Have a ton of lunch boxes like we do? Use the largest to store the rest in. Now you can find them all in one place and not have to search under, around and behind shelves full of cans and boxes.
  • Keep heavy appliances on a lower shelf. You will use it more because you can actually get it out without hurting yourself or breaking your precious appliance;)

Items I used to make my small pantry functional:

This post contains affiliate links. All options are my own and these are items that I use myself and would recommend to others regardless of affiliate opportunities. For more information please see my disclosures here.

  • Expandable and Stackable Shelf Organizer My favorite features of these shelf organizers are the stackability and expandability. Though the icing on the cake was the small grid-like pattern on the top rather than the traditional rows, which don’t allow items to sit level. 
  • Plastic Storage Stacking Bins These work great for snack packs, granola bars or puddings. I keep them on the lower shelf so that the kiddos can easily reach them:)

  • Round Mesh Baskets I have always been so annoyed by bags of potatoes and onions laying on the pantry floor. They always leave debris all over the floor, just yucky! So, I came up with a genius way to keep them contained (separately of course;), a wire basket! 

  • Plastic Food Storage Boxes with Measuring Cup OK, these are amazing! I only had one at the time I completed my pantry makeover but, I have ordered four more since. These are awesome for rice, sugar, flour, pastas and even cereals. The only down fall to these contains that I have come across so far is the extra height where the measuring cup is located. After a one small shelf adjustment I was easily able to rectify it.

  • Plastic Storage Baskets These are perfect for holding your crackers or anything else that you need to remove from a box (hint: extra boxes mean extra space which you don’t have!).


Well there you have it! A complete pantry makeover in one afternoon. I’d love to hear about tips or trick you have found helpful during your organizational ventures!




Hi, I’m Jessica, founder of Follow My Arrow. Besides being a blogger I am a wife, mother, baker, and obsessed crafter all while working on my organizational skills;). This blog will share with you our daily chaos, both good and bad, as well as many of my favorite crafts, sweet treats, organizational tip, and of course, happy thoughts!

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Hey There!

Welcome to my neck of the mitten (Michigan humor😜)! I’m Jessica, a wife, mother, baker, and obsessed crafter working on my organizational skills. Most days, you’ll find me homeschooling my two girls while working at home and, of course, here sharing how you can make everyday life easier.