Yesterday, one (of my two) kitchen drawers refused to open. It was jam full of cooking utensils, giant meat knives, soy sauce packets, dog food lids, and a bunch of non-sense. All I wanted was a butter knife for my bagel and it wasn’t working out. This little bit of frustration turned into a complete overhaul of not only my drawer, but of my pantry as well. My pantry and kitchen storage & organization tips has been a difficult since we moved in six months ago. Trying to figure out the best way to organize everything has been a struggle and a battle between my husband and I, but I think I have helped to solve at least some of the issues. I went to the store yesterday and spent whopping $25 on a few tools that have made amazing organizational strides in my kitchen.

I purchased a small set of plastic drawers, zip ties, wire shelves, and some foam shelf liner. Spending money makes me twitch, so this felt like a lot to me, but I’m so glad I spent the money. The biggest investment was the set of plastic drawers by far, but it has been a great solution to my serious lack of drawer space in my kitchen. The wire shelves and baskets are perfect for adding more storage space to my pantry. The zip ties help keep everything in place and the foam shelf liner keeps smaller items from falling through the wire shelve that I already have.

My first step was to take EVERYTHING from my drawers and pantry and to put it all on the floor in my kitchen (and to put my dogs outside so they wouldn’t get into everything). This step was scary, but a good idea. I got to see what needed to be reorganized and grouped together. Once the pantry was empty, I started placing my wire baskets and shelves and the set of plastic drawers. The wire baskets were placed to put my snack foods and small baking items. I was able to take all of the granola bars, fruit snacks, and trail mix packages out of their boxes and put them into hanging basket. Now my snacks are easier to see and those ugly boxes are gone. Then I put in the shelves for all of my plastic wrap, baggies, and trash bags. I started with those two categories because those were the biggest thorns in my paw. My husband could never find a snack and my food storage items were forever falling to the bottom of the pantry or getting shoved behind stuff. Once I got the shelves and baskets put where I needed them for the optimum visibility and storage space I zip tied them down. Zip ties are clean and efficient. There is no sticky residue like tape leaves and once the zip tie is tightened and the ends snipped off, you can hardly see it.

Next, I put in the foam shelf liner paper in parts the pantry where the little odds and ends kept falling through. I love packets of spices, mixes, and seasoning things, but they always fell through! Also, all of my half used bags of chocolate chips or coconut and other baking needs kept slipping through my wire shelving. Since I’m not springing for wooden shelves, I decided to use the shelf paper to keep things from falling through.

Finally, I put everything back in the pantry in a very careful way. I tried to place all like items together while focusing on keeping things we use the most around eye level. I even tried to hide the junk food from myself by putting it awkward places. (That might have to change, but my New Year’s resolution to be healthier needed that little boost.) I’m sure I’ll rearrange everything a million more times, but it was nice to put things together in a different way that seemed to make a little more sense (at least to me).

This process was annoying, frustrating, gratifying, and enlightening. I definitely increased my storage space and usable space in my kitchen, but it took some time. I went through about 50 zip ties because I kept changing my mind and replacing all of my shelves and baskets. I learned also that I have nearly 10 cans of tomato products and an intense amount of “cream of” whatever cans. We shall see what changes are to come, but for now, I am happy with impromptu project and the organization that happened in my kitchen.