Very excited about today’s post! I love organizing and re-organizing my pantry again and again, because every cook knows that a good meal starts with a clean and well-stocked pantry. Plus, cleaning the pantry regularly keeps it in good order and eliminates unnecessary trips to the store.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), I don’t have a “before” picture because my pantry is one area that always stays organized. The kids and I use it so many times throughout the day that it drives me crazy if it gets messy.
A year into living in our house, I decided to invest in glass containers for our pantry. I wanted the pantry to be functional but also neat looking. Now, my husband and I have different ideas of investments. For him, anything that doesn’t produce a great return on investment (ROI) is not worth spending money on. I on the other hand, consider any item that I use over and over a great investment.
Alright, back to the pantry organization! I found that breaking down the pantry into a few categories and using glass containers, bins and a few baskets is the best way to condense bulky boxes and bags. Plus, who doesn’t love a simple, uniform, food storage look? 😉
The upper shelf holds our baking dishes and serving bowls. It’s within arms’ reach, and I don’t have to search for it in my cabinets. I love using the glass canisters from Crate & Barrel (similar glass canisters here) for storing pasta, grains, beans and rice. They are functional (you see how much you have left of the ingredient) and are pretty to look at, right!? As for the labels, I chose the chalkboard labels (that come with a pen). They have a simple look but stand out against the clear glass. The shelf underneath has all my flours and sugars stored in Anchor jars. They are clean, stylish, well-made and the perfect size for sugar and flour.
If you look closely, you can see my cake stand with small metal containers behind the Anchor jars. Here is a close-up.
The little metal containers (similar here) hold decorating tips, birthday candles and some sprinkles. You can also see my Wilton icing bottles that I wash and re-use whenever I decorate cookies with my own icing. And some lollipop sticks for making cake pops.
The next shelf holds 3 Lazy Susans on the left and 4 Anchor jars on the right, filled with oatmeal, crunchy corn flakes, Cheerios and my homemade granola. You can see my oils and vinegars on the first Lazy Susan, coconut oils and vegetable shortenings on the second and honeys, chocolate spreads and marmalade on the third. They allow you to access items without having to take things out that might be in front, and they make great use of the otherwise dead space in the corner of your pantry.
I love using scoops in my jars. They work great for scooping cereal into your bowl or ingredients into the mixing bowls. You can really use them for ANYTHING (e.g., pet food, ice cubes, bath salts, detergent, etc.).
On the left side of this shelf, you can see two small baskets holding our snacks (mostly our girls’ snacks) and treats (mostly our daddy’s treats). I also invested in a few, sturdy, metal, 3-tier organizers (see the link for a similar one) for our canned goods and spices, which I will share with you another time. I like these because they are wide and deep and store a lot. On the right side of the shelf, we have a willow tray holding our fruit, 2 small bins holding our storage bags, Saran Wrap, parchment paper, etc. By the way, opt for baskets that are not tightly woven to allow air flow in order to keep your fruit fresh for a longer period. I got mine from Sur la Table, but you can also find a similar one here and there.
These Container Store bins are amazing! They come in different sizes and are inexpensive, ranging from $3.99 to $6.99. We use a lot of different mustard and tomato sauces, and the kids have a lot of different drink bottles that would take up too much room in the pantry. I found that these bins are perfect for this job!
On the right side, you will see my beloved white crock pot that was a gift from my mother in-law and has been serving us for over 7 years now.
When I was originally creating a system and organizing this pantry, I wanted to make sure to use every corner and every possible inch of it. So, these rolling baskets were the solution for using the space between the floor and the bottom shelf. They’re charming and functional at the same time. One basket holds my kids’ plastic cups and plates and my freezable, BPA-free food containers. The second basket holds the roaster, salad spinner and our taco holders. They aren’t cheap but worth it! 🙂
Last but not least, don’t forget to use the valuable space on the inside of your pantry walls. We use ours for our aprons. My girls and I have a collection of aprons that we buy when we travel. Every apron brings back memories for us. Well, not really, mostly for me.
Well, that was fun! I love having an organized pantry and kitchen. It just makes me smile and makes my heart dance!