PHOTOGRAPHY // Erica J. Simmons
If you asked me how to organize a pantry like 6 months ago, I would’ve been clueless. And while I’m not an expert, I’m certainly more confident about how to organize a pantry now. When my friends at The Container Store sent me some items to organize from the new collection with The Home Edit (who virtually organized my master closet) I was up for the challenge. And that’s exactly how it started: challenging.
The long and the short of it is, you can not halfass this process. When you want to really get serious about pantry organization then you have to take everything out of your pantry. It’s not convenient or fun, but necessary.
Once you start with a clean slate, you can identify your needs and what items will serve your household best. I pulled out everything out of the pantry first and that allowed me to purge what wasn’t needed, wanted or good. (It makes a big difference!) Then I was able to group and categorize my items before figuring out what would go where which is a huge help.
Because I have 3 kids under the age of 6, we have lots of snacks. I like to encourage independence so it was important to me to have the individually wrapped snacks on the bottom shelf so they can reach them whenever they want a snack. We put snack bags of chips and baby food in stacking bins which are easy to access. My plan is to remove the wire shelves in here and have custom shelving in here at some point to maximize space. The bins being stackable is so great.
Small and medium plastic bins are great for so many different things. I prefer the white ones but they have them in clear and smoke as well. I use them for an array of things in the pantry and throughout the house. On the bottom shelf, I use a medium one for dry snacks in boxes (I can fit 5 boxes perfectly) and a small one for baby food pouches. A couple of shelves above I use medium ones for dry snacks in big bags. I can usually fit 3-5 bags in them depending on how full the bags are.
On the ingredient side of the pantry (to the left) I use the same small bins for everything from oil, sauces, rice, baking items and dry snacks overflow. For bulk ingredients like oats, rice, beans, popcorn and short pasta like these small/medium sized canisters. For long pasta, I went with these but like this as well.
On the second shelf of the snack side I was able to display individually wrapped snacks and clear containers. There’s a mix of them – for the taller snacks (or to maximize the shelf space), I opted for these narrow bins. For the rest of the snacks, I went with these clear bins. Going with clear bins for the cute snacks was strategic – the kids like what they like so the snacks don’t change much. However, going clear for everything isn’t realistic or ideal.
Above the pretty shelf (ha!) is where I keep bulk dry snacks like trail mix, nuts and cookies (and Hostess cakes). For the trail mix, cookies and cakes, I opted for these clear canisters that seal tight to keep food fresh. I found this assortment of canisters super useful. The variety of sizes is great for the various things in your pantry.
The top shelf of the snack side is where I keep cereal, candy and sandwich cookies.
I’ve always kept cookies nicely stacked in large glass jars – it’s just aesthetically pleasing. These small canisters are perfect for individually wrapped candy (that I very intentionally keep at top). Cereal boxes aren’t always the same size and end up looking junky no matter how hard I try, so I put each cereal in these dispensers. Worth it if you ask me.
Naturally, there are things like gallons of water, everyday appliances and paper towel rolls that didn’t fit (or looks so great) on the shelves. To eliminate the clutter, I put each category of things in these oversized baskets. So happy with them. There’s an outlier basket that holds the oversized appliances (like the griddle) that I scored from Home Goods. However, there’s many alternatives like this that totally work.
All in all I am super happy with how the pantry is currently organized. It’s actually lasting (thank you Lord) and keeping up with it has been super simple. If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading. I linked to everything mentioned.
This post is sponsored by The Container Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.