Organizing a pantry is a bit of a guessing game. While it makes logical sense to measure it out to see what will be able to fit in there, that usually doesn’t happen.
Our third shelf in our pantry needed to be broken up into a few different bins. It was in one big bin and starting to overflow and there was space on both sides that wasn’t being used. Something needed to change. I knew breaking them up into a few baskets was the best option. The next quest was finding the baskets I was looking for. I had Home Goods in mind because they tend to have the best prices on baskets. However, I had stopped in Michaels first for something else and they had baskets on sale. Their selection is much wider than Home Goods and the chances of them having what I was looking was higher than Home Goods. I came across these storage baskets that have chalk labels. I love chalk labels especially for the pantry because we don’t always buy the same thing every week and things change. Chalk Labels make it very easy to change because you wipe it off, let it dry and write on the new label.
Home Goods, Ross, and Michaels are great places to get pantry baskets because they are very affordable. If Michaels isn’t having a sale, they still have a weekly coupon that you use getting 40% off a regular sale item. The other great place to find storage baskets is Costco. This one is a bit tricky because they don’t have a plethora of options like the other stores do.
Baskets can really take your pantry to the next level. Using baskets will make opening your pantry more enjoyable.
Here’s how you can easily makeover your pantry:
- Empty out it out. Take out every thing in the pantry. This will give you a clearer visual of how you want it to look. If there is quite a bit of space between the shelves, try stacking bins to create more space.
- Group your current items into categories. Keep all of the breakfast food together, snacks together, etc. Keep the categories broad, getting too detailed will bring you more problems and leave you frustrated where to put things. Once you have the foods organized by category, take a picture of it. This will help you when you begin your search for baskets and bins.
- Check current bin selection. See what empty baskets you have around the house that aren’t being used first. You’d be surprised with what you might have that can be used again elsewhere.
- Plan your shopping trip. Now that you have your pantry empty and categorized, it’s time to purchase the bins and baskets. I prefer shopping for bins in baskets in store, it really helps give me a better visual than what’s online. Start with Ross or Home Goods or TJ Maxx. They tend to have the best prices for baskets. The selection is limited so if you can’t find anything there you’ll at least know you gave a shot. Michaels and The Container Store are the next best choices. Make sure to check their sales first to see if you can find a coupon online.
- Labels. It’s important to consider your labels when you are out shopping too so you don’t have to make more than one trip. Some baskets and bins come with labels while others don’t.
- Execute your plan. Once you’ve purchased or found the bins you need, put the food items in the basket, label it, and put it back in the pantry. Before you know it, you’ll have a pantry that you love looking at.
Here’s a before and after of our pantry makeover. While it was fairly organized beforehand, you can see the difference in the bins and baskets being used.
You really only need a few types of bins and labels to get your pantry organized. Here’s what I recommend and why:
- Wicker Basket: These hold mismatched items well such as bread, trail mix, and baby food. They are sturdy, durable and look great in the pantry.
- InterDesign Linus Pantry Binz: These are one of my favorite bins. They can be used almost anywhere. I love them for the pantry because they are clear which is perfect for storing multiples of a food item (like cereal bars). They are made of good quality and are easy to take in and take out.
- Metal Stacking Bins: These are awesome for fruits and vegetables. Plus they stack which allows you to create more space if you have the room to go higher. The stacking bins that are in the picture are from Costco and are only there a few months out of the year. I’m recommending a similar one.
- Bin Clip Label: Hallelujah for these labels. For such a long time it was tough labeling wicker baskets and bins because no label would stay on them. These clips are legit and have worked on every bin that I’ve need one for. There are a few ways to label theses. You can use the label that comes with it, you can write on there with a Sharpie oil-based marker (for permanent use) , a dry eraser marker (flexible use), or a label from a label maker.
- Sharpie-oil Based Markers: These are excellent to use for permanent use. Another great thing about these markers is it’s easy to use and you don’t have to make a label. If you don’t plan on changing a bin much, I would recommend using these. They do come off with a magic eraser but it does take some time to get it off and you’ll be scrubbing hard. If you don’t like your hand writing, I wouldn’t use these.
- Label Maker: You almost can never go wrong with a label maker. They give you a consistent and uniform look which always looks nice.
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