Today we are talking about creating a pantry organization system. Recently I organized a pantry that needed to get in order. It had a lot going on in it and they wanted to be able to see everything.
Step 1: Declutter
This is a busy pantry and we needed to take everything out of there to see it all. This allows you to get an idea of what you have, plus you start with a clean slate. Items were first sorted by category then sorted through to see if they had expired.
Step 2: Creating a functional system
The goal for this pantry was to be able to see everything. During the initial consultation, I got the dimensions and what type of budget we were working with so I knew what type of bins were going to work. When crafting an organized space, creating zones is essential because it makes it easier to organize. I try to keep items in the same area they were at because change can be hard and it’s easy to fall back to our old habits. When items are in the same area with an improved system, it’s easier to keep up with the new changes.
Zones: Snacks, Mac N Cheese, Juice
The bins used at the bottom were Elfa Bins. These bins are large and come in a variety of sizes. They are mesh which also allows you to see what’s in there without having to take out everything. The items placed on the bottom of the pantry were based on usage. Mac N Cheese is something that I would typically keep with the pasta zone, this was a different scenario as they purchase it frequently. The packaging on Easy mac is harder than most to organize which is why they work great in these mesh bins, there’s enough room for all of it.
Zones: Treats, Snacks, Condiments
The first zone was for treats, snacks, and condiments. Packaging takes up unnecessary space and it doesn’t allow you to see what is available. These deep drawer bins maximize space and give them the ability to have everything at their fingertips.
The other side used the medium sized bins for the condiments, dressing, and peanut butter. These were places here because the bins matched from the opposite side giving that symmetrical look and feel.
Zones: Oils, Vinegar, Spices, Breakfast
Turntables keep items within reach. Oils and spices work great on turntables because it makes it easy to access items without shuffling them all around. The breakfast items stayed in their packaging as that’s how they wanted to keep it.
Zones: Cans, Jars, Pasta
It can be a challenge to see cans and jars in a pantry, a lot of shuffling happens to see what’s there. Tiered shelving works great for these types of items because it allows you to see everything. These shelves are adjustable and expand up to 25”.
On the other side is the pasta and rice zone. Decanting items is often a hot debate. For this scenario, it made sense for a few reasons. One, the depth and height of the shelves was large, the sizes of the containers maximized space. Two, decanting eliminates the guesswork, one can easily see what is there.
The rice and noodles are similar in category which is why they are in the same zone. These items come in packets which is why bins work well for them, they keep them all neatly organized together.
Zones: Food Storage, Baking
This zone was for food storage and baking items. The tin foil and ziplock bags stayed in their packaging. As for the baking items, Tupperware and clear stackable bins kept things visible and accessible.
Zones: Parents, Appliances, Serving Platters
The last shelf consisted of things not used often.
Step 3: Label
The last and most important step is labeling. Labels keep items going back to the right places. They are your guide to successful organization. Think of them like directions for a trip. You follow the map when going somewhere new, the directions get you to your destination. That’s what labels do, they get items to their destination.
Want more ideas on creating a pantry organization system? Check out this post