Organized pantries are having such a MOMENT right now on Instagram and Pinterest! Hyper-organized, everything decanted into matching glass jars, chalkboard labels on every surface — this is THE look everybody wants right now. But how do you get there? Here is how to organize your pantry step-by-step:
1. Clear off your counters and dining room table, so you have room to sort all your pantry food.
2. Take everything out of the pantry and group it into categories on the counter/table. (See category ideas below.) If you don’t know how to categorize something, ask yourself, “What is the name of the aisle it is stored in at the supermarket?” Be sure to check expiration dates and throw out expired food. Unopened food that you know you will never eat, but hasn’t yet expired can be donated to your local food bank.
Categories you will probably need to sort your food into:
- Lunch foods
- Oils, vinegars
- Sauces and condiments
- Crackers and chips (or call it Snacks)
- Canned food
- Box meals
- Rice, pasta, grains
3. Wipe down the shelves in the pantry and sweep the floor.
4. Now it’s time to put things back. Put each category of food into its own white plastic bin. I like these bins from The Container Store because they are inexpensive and look nice on the shelf with either the wide end or narrow end facing out. Label each bin with a stick-on chalkboard label. For especially big categories, you might need two bins each labeled with the same category.
5. You can choose to decant bulk food from bags to jars. Or not. It looks nicer to have them decanted, but it is way more maintenance long-term and costs more to purchase all the matching bins. You can also simply hide the bulk food in bags within each white plastic bin. If you choose to decant food into jars, these jars from Ikea are some of the most cost-effective ones I’ve seen. I’ve also seen food attractively decanted into plain old Mason jars, which would be another cost-saving choice.
6. On the floor, you can place two of The Container Store’s square water hyacinth baskets, one for folded paper bags, the other for plastic bags. A third basket could even hold boxes of garbage bags, Ziploc bags and sandwich bags, if you want to store them in the pantry.
7. Do you need a spot to store potatoes, onions, and garlic? You could get matching wire baskets and designate a shelf for these root vegetables in your pantry.
8. Finally, if you have a walk-in pantry big enough for a door, you might want to store your broom, dustpan and Swiffer or mop on a rack mounted to the inside of the door.
And there you have it! A magazine-worthy pantry! To maintain this look, you will need to be mindful of quantities that you buy when you shop, so you don’t end up with more food than will fit in each basket/bin. And you may want to leave some space empty on the shelves in case you need room to store extra food around the holidays. Happy Organizing, everyone!
All pics credited to The Container Store.
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