Summer Refresh: Time to Organize your Pantry

June 24, 2022

Summer Refresh: Time to Organize your Pantry

Busy homes often have cluttered pantries. It's a natural side effect of cooking quickly, stocking groceries quickly, and always keeping a little extra supplies in the back of your pantry. In a new house, that pantry clutter is comforting, knowing there are always a few boxes of stuffing or cans of beans for a rainy day. But over time, pantry clutter can start to weigh you down.

Why let that happen when you have warm summer weekends and spare time for home projects? If you're refreshing your home and your mindset for summer, why not refresh your pantry? Builder-grade pantries are especially susceptible to clutter, but they're also easier to get organized when you roll up your sleeves and get started.

So let's get started! The following steps will make it easy to fresh your pantry and get organized this summer so your pantry is more productive and ingredients more at-hand for the rest of the year.

Take Everything Out of the Pantry

The first step in any pantry refresh is to fully empty those shelves. Take everything out of your pantry, every can of fruit and every bag of dried beans. Remove all your used and unused spice jars, take out the boxes of dry goods and the cans of backup proteins. Don't leave a single garlic bulb or box of crackers behind. Lay it all out on your counters, island, and kitchen table. Use as much open space as you need to get every single item out of your pantry.

Clean the Shelves and Baskets

Now is your perfect opportunity to clear out any non-food debris that has accumulated in your pantry. Wipe down the shelves and shake out the baskets. From flakes of onion skin to jar spills to mysterious crumbs, everything can go now that your pantry is clear of food storage. Get in there with rags, sponges, and anything else you need along the way to ensure your pantry storage shelves, racks, and baskets are clean and refreshed for the new organization system.

Sort Your Pantry Items by Category, Size, and Use Frequency

Now sort your pantry items. You know how you cook and what you cook with. You know the items you use most often and those that take up the most space. Sort by produce, boxes, recipes, or ingredient types - whatever makes the most sense to you. Also consider how your pantry is arranged. If you have a builder-grade pantry already fitted out with baskets and smaller shelves, be sure to sort by size as well as category so that your groups fit into similar sections in your pantry. Sort also by how frequently you use ingredients, preparing to store less-used ingredients behind items you use and replace every week.

Toss or Donate Unused Pantry Supplies

Sort out anything that you probably aren't going to cook with this year. It's one thing to have a few spare bags of beans and rice in the back of your pantry. But if you're just never going to fry up that old can of spam or cook up that picnic-sized can of baked beans, maybe they would do better going to the next local food drive. You can get rid of a lot of pantry clutter by sorting out what you probably won't cook and setting it aside to donate

Remember to check expiration dates as you go. Some things, like flour, don't really go bad if the container is sealed. But other things like boxed mixes can go bad over time. Toss anything that is bad.

Label Your Pantry Organizers

One of the best ways to keep your pantry organized is with labels. When you're tossing dry groceries into the pantry at speed, it can be tempting to drop cans and boxes wherever there's space on the shelves. Instead, carefully make yourself some beautiful and clearly printed labels for each section of your pantry. Label your shelves, racks, and baskets indicating what goes in each section when you're stocking, restocking, and searching for lesser-used ingredients for holiday cooking.

Labeling is not only fun and productive, it also helps build your new organization plan into your mind so you remember it more easily with each new batch of groceries put away in the future.

Add In-Pantry Storage Lighting

If your pantry is too dim to see what you're doing, now is a great time to add in-storage lighting. Pantry lighting is all about pointing at your shelves and racks. Many home chefs decide to have under-shelf lights installed that shine down on the shelves and baskets below. Strip lights can completely transform your pantry from a shadowy recess of ingredients into a beautifully lit and perfectly organized space.

It becomes so much easier to keep your pantry organized when you can see every shelf of ingredients, possibly all the way to the back of each shelf and section.

Restock Your Pantry by Label

Finally, with your pantry clean, labeled, and well-lit, you're ready to load everything back onto the shelves. Start with the furthest back and least-used items and follow your own labeling system to guide your choices in where to put things.  You'll love the feeling of everything having a place and neatly fitting into their shelf, slot, basket, or row. However you have organized your pantry, filling out the items to fit that organization is a great way to embrace the fresh new season of summer cooking and home redesign.

Refreshing Your Pantry Design with Urban Ambiance

There are few things more satisfying than a well-organized pantry and a well-spent summer weekend getting organized. We love to embrace the summer with fresh designs and home improvements, and we know you do too.

Are you getting ready for some serious kitchen and pantry improvements? Once you have organized your pantry, take a look at your sink. Contact us if you would like help choosing a new Farmhouse Sink for your space.

Also in Ideas & Inspiration

Invest in Your Home: Renovate the Kitchen!
Invest in Your Home: Renovate the Kitchen!

June 17, 2022

Right now, the housing market has never been so hot. Homes are being snapped off the market almost instantly, when bidding wars don't slow down the process. This is a great time to currently be a homeowner, outside the market chaos. Of course, if you've been dreaming of a change in scenery, your best option is to invest in changes to your house. Kitchen renovations, in particular, can transform your experience of the home and have great potential for return on investment (ROI) - if you know what you're planning for.

Let's dive into a few kitchen renovation ideas to invest in your happiness and the long-term value of your home.

View full article →

Luxury Gardening? Try an Outdoor Farmhouse Sink
Luxury Gardening? Try an Outdoor Farmhouse Sink

June 10, 2022

With the weather warming up, many people are headed back out to the garden to nurture life from the soil. Whether you are a whiz with seasonal blossoms or manage a delicious home vegetable garden, there are definitely a few home features that can enhance your gardening ability. Preexisting flowerbeds, a patio made for planters, nice areas of rotating sunlight and a very deep sink all make a difference.

At Fossil Blu, we believe a deep Farmhouse sink can enhance your gardening capabilities. Many people build themselves a deep-basin sink outdoors--or in their potting shed-- to make gardening easier on the go. This also keeps the potting mess outside of the house.

View full article →

Ideas and Uses for Home Composting
Ideas and Uses for Home Composting

June 03, 2022

Composting at home can be a great way to help the environment while creating fertilizer for your garden. Composting does take a little work, but overall it is easy to do once you get started. Here are some ideas and uses to keep in mind and help you create the perfect compost pile. 

View full article →