Over the course of weeks and months, I know my pantry can quickly go from organized and Pinterest-pretty to a total disaster. Once every few months I roll up my sleeves, put on some good music, and attack.

Because, when it comes down to it, I love cooking and I love organizing. Giving my pantry some love means I feel more confident and calm when I’m cooking and helps me keep a better sense of what we have and what we need.

Here are 5 tips to tackling your pantry.

1. Start fresh.

As daunting as it may be, it means taking everything out of the pantry. Everything. Dusting those shelves and finding those stray noodles sets you up for success with step 2.

2. Categorize and toss.

Begin by checking all expiration dates. Throw away anything expired. Donate items that you know someone (else!) may get use of before the expiration date.

3. Consolidate and categorize.

Pick a categorizing strategy. I prefer to do them by item. Much like in the grocery store, I organize my food by canned goods, breakfast items, snacks etc. Some people prefer to do by dish with, for example, all the lasagna ingredients together. Which ever way you decide—keep it consistent and make it easy to put away in the right spot after you shop each week.

4. Clean and prettify.

Before you put that new strategy in action, give each shelf a thorough wipe down. Heck, maybe even slap on a fresh coat of paint to give those beat up shelves some love. Use contact paper—or even add a fun gift wrap “wallpaper” to the back of the cabinets for a fun pop of color or pattern.

5. Organize.

I like to think of this as staging and merchandizing—inspiring you to “shop” your cupboards. Display the items smartly and beautifully so you enjoy that feeling of opening your pantry and cupboards instead of dreading it.

Enjoy your newly organized space! You may just find you save money as you stop wasting food and resorting to take out and start using all those recipes you’ve been Pining!

Speaking of Pinterest, come follow me to see my planning and styling inspirations!

image sources: Vintage Ruby on tumblr, Homes.com, I Heart Organizing, House of Smiths on Homes.com, Remodel-aholic