One of my Hols’ Healthy Habits, (my SMART Resolutions) was about getting (more) organized. I tackled my fridge first and dreaded tackling my pantry. My pantry is definitely huge and as Cooking with Jax would say, “it’s what dreams are made of.” The dimensions span 7 feet by 8 feet and it houses all my ridiculous Costco and bulk buys because frankly when the bulk stuff costs 4x as much in your small town, you buy and you buy big!
Previously, we had a much smaller kitchen cupboard set-up and I had bulk buys in a stockpile room downstairs. Since that room is in the process of becoming Mr J’s new big boy room, it needed to move. My laundry detergent stash moved to the furnace room and all of the food stuffs moved upstairs to my massive pantry. It holds all of my stockpile and then a giant Costco trip. Well done, large pantry, well done.
My Healthy Pantry Organization
The Mister and I actually spent a lot of time before we even bought our pantry planning what each shelf would hold. I know it sounds a little anal but this allowed us to customize this large pantry to exactly what we needed. When we installed it, we actually measured all of my jar collection to see what would fit where and adjusted the shelves to maximize shelf space.
My pantry is divided up as follows:
- Appliances: The entire left side is filled with all of our kitchen appliances (eg. juicer, blender, crockpot, Kitchen Aid Mixer, etc)
- Baking Supplies
- Canned Goods
- Bulk & Extra: All the additional bottles (eg. the extra bottle from 2 package of ketchup), extras from baking supplies (eg. small bag of brown sugar that didn’t fit in jar)
- Garden Bounty
- Mr J Snacks
- T-Discs & Formula
Easy 3 Step Organizing Process
My process for organizing anything is really simple and can be summed up in 3 Easy Steps:
- Take EVERYTHING out: Line it up on a surface or the floor for easy access.
- Group objects that are similar together: Lots of flour, put it together. Obsessed with cupcake wrappers like me? Put them together. Remove anything that is expired that you find in your search. If there is something that isn’t serving you anymore then donate it to charity, give it to a friend or throw it out! Add bins and boxes as need be. I usually dive into my recycling bin for some boxes to help organize or upcycle containers from the local thrift store. This helps corral all of those little things like cookie cutters.
- Clean the space you’re putting things back into – and the things if necessary. Line it with fancy contact paper if you wish or a dust catcher. Put everything you’re keeping back in. Put the most used items at the front of the cabinet and the least used at the back.
Here is my outcome from each side of the cabinet along with a list of what’s contained in each drawer, just in case you need inspiration on what to stock in your own healthy pantry!
Healthy Pantry: Left Side
Healthy Pantry Staples: Baking Supplies
- An assortment of gluten-free flours & starches, including my favourite all-purpose gluten-free flour from Cuisine Soleil.
- Ready-to-mix healthy option gluten-free cookies, cakes and brownies
- Baking basics like guar gum, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, corn starch, salt, molasses
- Coconut oil, coconut palm sugar and other bulk specialty items
Healthy Pantry Staples: Canned Goods
- Canned salmon & tuna for a quick protein pick me up
- Kirkland Chicken Broth (gluten-free and low-sodium) for making homemade soups (my recipe coming Saturday!)
- Canned tomatoes & pasta sauce
- Canned beans
- Canned soup (watch the sodium & small portion sizes).
Healthy Pantry Staples: Grains & Pasta
- Protein powder
- Rice wrappers & nori wrappers for sushi & easy lunch rolls (little to no carbs!)
- Gluten-free pasta
- Rice noodles, chow mein noodles
- Couscous, rice, sushi rice
- Sprouted risotto mix, dried bean mix
Healthy Pantry Staples: Garden Bounty
- Canning goodness from the summer & my garden: rhubarb, reduced sugar jam, pickles, tomato sauce, salsa, peaches, pears
- Seed saving to help with next year’s garden
Healthy Pantry Staples: Breakfast
We’re not the brightest in the mornings, so we group all the possible breakfast foods together for easy access.
- Almond butter, reduced fat peanut butter
- Oatmeal, instant oatmeal
- Granola clusters for yogurt
- Local honey
- Box cereals
Healthy Pantry Staples: Snacks (& Mr J Snacks)
- Popcorn kernels with paper bags (easy for the microwave)
- Rice Cakes
- Dried fruit, nuts
- Veggie Straws, Snapea Crisps
- Tortilla chips
- Love Child Organics pouches
- Baby cookies
- Baby organic oatmeal cereal
- Mini water bottles
- Annie’s bunnies & organic animal crackers
- Organic fruit snacks
Whew! What a list. What’s in your pantry? Are you planning to organize yours anytime soon?