When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, experts say the difference between success and failure comes down to having a plan that breaks down bigger goals into smaller achievable tasks.

If getting organized is one of your resolutions, we’d like to suggest getting started in your kitchen pantry. Make it more productive, of course, and prettier, too. It’s a doable project that won’t take a huge time commitment, and it will make a difference in your daily life.

Before you get started, it’s important to think about how your pantry plan will work for your lifestyle. Blogger Katey McFarlan, who writes about lifestyle, fashion, and beauty at Chronicles of Frivolity, has some great advice on how she put together her pantry here.

As for the basics of pantry organizing, here are five tips that will help to get you started.

Empty and evaluate
To clean things up, you need to mess them up first. Take everything out of your pantry and sort the contents. You might set aside a few things to donate to your local food pantry and make another resolution to do this every month. With everything out of the pantry, it’s the perfect time for a fresh coat of paint or adding some personality with our Parchment Stripe Wallpaper. The subtle signature stripes will brighten the space and will be the first layer of vertical organization, a concept that we expand on below.

Think vertically
A typical pantry is organized with horizontal shelves. Use those shelves as the building blocks for additional vertical organization. Add smaller stacking shelves, including those that look like mini bleachers, for items like canned goods. A tiered lazy Susan saves on space and spins around to offer access to items like spices. You can even add baskets that attach to shelves to further maximize the vertical space.

Clear things up
Opt for clear containers that allow you to see the contents. Our Courtly Check Kitchen Canisters are perfect for storing a variety of items, and there are silicone rings inside the lids that seal them.

Group like items
Gather items that you have multiples of (snack bags, granola bars, and drink and recipe packets) and group them (maybe in our Courtly Check Kitchen Canisters). You can also organize items like common baking ingredients in one basket or tray so you don’t have to hunt for them all through your cabinets.

A place for everything
Put the items you reach for the most at eye level. Items that aren’t used as often, like baking trays or special serving pieces, can go on upper shelves. Utilitarian items, including recycling bins, can go at lower levels.

Need a little more motivation? Think about how good you’ll feel when you don’t have to hunt for that jar of Cornishons (again) and you can find your favorite granola bar snack. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to take on the kitchen cupboards, your bedroom closet, or even the garage (one project at a time, of course!).

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