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Quarantine Clean: THE PANTRY

By March 20, 2020Quarentine Clean


The entire state of California has been put on a mandatory STAY AT HOME order. On top of that, the kids are out of school AT LEAST until May 4th, so I’ve decided that instead of using my time to be a worry wart, I would use it to be PRODUCTIVE!  I’m reorganizing my home, one step at a time!  Today, I’ll share with you the progress I’ve made on my pantry and how I did it!

Note: You also deserve an organized pantry, and the steps below will you just that!  Of course, every family's pantry is different, so customize the steps to suit your needs #quarantineCLEAN Click To Tweet. If you don’t have a dedicated pantry per se, use the same tips to organize whatever food cabinets or shelves you do have!

I’m hoping that by organizing my pantry, I can reduce food waste, and better identify what needs to be ordered sooner, rather than later. It also makes it easier for my family to unload and put away groceries. 


Before I started, I made sure I had a good supply of bins in different sizes to accomodate the different categories of items I wanted to rearrange. I chose to save as much money as possible on this project, and use The Dollar Tree near me to purchase my bins. Everything was only a $1! That’s what I’m talking about sis! I was happy the Dollar Store was still open during this crazy time in our lives (The Stay at Home Order); it truly gave me something creative and productive to do. I also felt in control, OF SOMETHING, so it relieved stress to do this project. Well anywho, back to how I planned this out. I realized that for my family, we have 3 distinct sets of food. I have my Kale chips and garbanzo beans, while the kids have their apple sauce and fruit gels, and the man of the house has his crystal light and fav “healthy chips”, etc.  So, with that in mind I decided to organize in several ways:

  1. By color – The kids bins are blue, my bins are red, and the man’s bins are white.
  2. By size- I bought a few different sized containers per color based on the packaging of each person’s fav foods
  3. By shelf- We somehow had already naturally divided the pantry 2 shelfs for the kids. 3 of me, and 1 for the man

Dollar Tree had several colors, sizes and container types to choose from. My 9 year old came with me, and together we determined which colors and how many of each size container to get per color based on the foods we purchase most often.  Check out the bins we used at the Dollar Tree (click here).  I did already have a few OXO containers and used those for things like cereal, chia and flax seeds.


We started with the kids shelves and removed all items from the shelf and then cleaned each shelf thoroughly. We lined the empty blue bins up on the counter as well.  Before returning an item to the shelf, we checked the expiration date, and anything that was expired we purged.


We began to create general categories for the items we buy for the kids the most.  Organizing your food into categories in bins will help keep your pantry looking nice and neat. Your categories will be specific to your family. In fact for me, each of us has our own categories. Each category had a specific bin size. I guessed at the number of bins needed per size.

  1. The Man- Chips & Popcorn, Crystal Light, Granola Bars, Twizzlers
  2. For Me Sauces & Tomato bases, Grains/Noodles, Canned Goods, Healthy Snacks, Healthy Condiments
  3. The Kiddos Chips & Snacks, LunaBars, Apple Sauce / Jello, Cracker/ Cookies, Grits, Pop Tarts

Chances are, you are like me, and you’ve got a lot of food taking up a lot of space.  Creating these groupings really helped me sort out this space that was traditionally a magnet for madness.  The kiddos and the man all approve of these changes. This process will make it easier for them to help me KEEP this space organized!


Shelf by shelf, I returned our foods to the pantry, but now using the applicable colored bin on the applicable shelf.  As I began to return items to the pantry I realized I didn’t have enough of each color and size bin, so I had to make another trip to the Dollar Tree to get a few more. I didn’t spend more than $25 on bins of all sizes (both trips included). You could take this a step further and label each bin, but the way my pantry is set up and the fact that the bins were see through, I didn’t deem it necessary.  You can also hang a grocery list in the door and ask the kids to write down when something is low or missing, but the pantry is so organized now, I can easily see for myself who needs what and how soon!





  1. Did this post help inspire you to get started on your own pantry?
  2. Will you be reorganizing your pantry during the quarantine too?
  3. Leave me a comment below and share your thoughts! #quaratineCLEAN

I sure hoped you enjoyed this post. I would love to hear your thoughts!



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