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My Faithful 5-Step Method to an Organized Pantry

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Below is the method I use to create a beautiful, functional pantry, as well as additional tips and direct links to my favorite products! Regardless of the size or shape of your pantry, you can utilize this process to create a system that works uniquely for you.


Before beginning your project, I recommend identifying the issues you have with your current system and setting goals for your future pantry! For example, a common problem people communicate to me is not being able to easily see their inventory. As a result, they purchase items they already have! If this is you, make it a goal to utilize clear bins to ensure your inventory is clearly visible.


Also, don't forget to take detailed measurements (length, height, and depth) for each shelf. Take a photo of your pantry and write the measurements using the "mark up" tool on your phone or write it out on a piece of paper!


Now, if you're ready to become your own #pantrygoals, let's get started!


#1 DECLUTTER


Decluttering is arguably the most important part of organizing any space. You know the flour alternative that you bought a year ago to make healthy cookies that ended up tasting like dirt and never touched again? Or the sad can of pumpkin puree that's seen three Thanksgivings come and go? Yeah, go ahead and toss 'em.


Bring your trashcan with you and a box for unopened goods that can be donated to your local food bank. Check expiration dates and consolidate any duplicate items you find. You'll be AMAZED at the amount of expired and nearly empty items you throw away!


If you realize that you have a surplus of food in your pantry that is not expired, challenge yourself to cook meals with the items over the next week or so, while simultaneously organizing the space! This will reduce food waste, create space in your new pantry, and maybe spark a culinary fire within 'ya. The last one is a stretch, but hey, you never know!


As you declutter, place the items outside of the pantry. Even though it might (*cough* almost always *cough*) creates a big mess, your pantry needs to become a blank canvas in order to create your new system! Take a deep breath to remind yourself that it's temporary and totally worth it.



#2 CATEGORIZE


Ignore the mountain of granola bars slowly sliding off the counter behind you, and marvel at your empty pantry! With your inventory laid out, begin organizing your food into categories you want to create within your new pantry!


Example:

  • Baking (flour, sugar, baking soda)

  • Snacks (snack bags, popcorn, granola bars)

  • Healthy living (protein powders, supplements, protein bars)

  • Pasta + pasta sauce

  • Grains (rice, quinoa)

  • Sauces + condiments + spreads

  • Canned goods

  • Breakfast (cereals, pancake mix, oatmeal)

  • Beverages (water bottles, soda)


Don't put away your items just yet, because in the next step, you'll utilize the blank canvas to create your new system!



#3 PLAN


There are multiple ways to plan your new system: 1) draw it on a piece of paper, 2) use Canva to create a mock-up of the pantry, 3) use the Notes app on your phone, or 4) use sticky notes to place categories on each shelf in the pantry.



Tips for deciding placement:

  1. Place seldom-used items at the top of the pantry.

  2. If you have children, think about putting their snacks on the bottom shelves for easy access!

  3. Designate an area for backstock (surplus of product) if you have or would like to get canisters.

  4. Place frequent-use items within arms reach, at middle or eye-level shelves.

  5. Place similar items like sauces + spreads or health foods + supplements in the same area.


If you plan on ordering your storage solutions, you can place your reduced inventory back into the pantry. If you live near a store that has all of the products you need and online shopping won't be necessary, feel free to leave everything out until you've arrived back with the product!



#4 SHOP


After creating the pantry layout, you can focus on purchasing storage solutions. The best products for pantries vary greatly depending on one's pantry goals, lifestyle, and budget, but some examples of popular solutions include bins, canisters, turntables, and tiered shelves. When shopping, don't forget to take into consideration the aesthetic that you want. (Pinterest can help you decide which style you prefer.) Loving the look of your pantry will motivate you to maintain the order you worked so hard to achieve!


I gathered a few inspiration photos below, and at the very end of this post, you'll find links to shop the photos!



Tips for choosing storage solutions:

  1. Think about your specific needs. If you have tall shelves, you may need to buy shelf risers. If you have deep corners in your pantry, think about purchasing a lazy Susan to improve the functionality of the space.

  2. If you host a lot of gatherings and you have the space, you may want to dedicate a basket for flatware, plates, and cups.

  3. Think about long-term maintenance. Do you have the time and/or desire to refill canisters? If so, great! If that's not your jam, don't worry about purchasing them!

  4. Buy more than what you need. Yikes $$$, I know, but you can always return the extra.


TIP: Labels are an incredibly important component to an organized pantry, so don't forget about them when creating your system! Some storage containers come with pre-made labels, but you can also buy them on Etsy and The Container Store website. A Cricut machine also creates beautiful labels (as seen in pictures 5 and 6 above). Lastly, a budget friendly option is to print your labels out on a piece of computer paper and use a paint marker to trace them onto clear acrylic bins.



#5 ORGANIZE



That feeling when the product arrives at your front door.


(Don't be discouraged when your partner gives off Gimbel's manager's vibes. They'll like it when it's done.)



In this step, you get to see all of your hard work come together!


Organize food into your new storage solutions, following the plan you created in the beginning. These plans may change, so be flexible and save labeling for the very end!


TIP: Don't take the tags off of anything until you are absolutely happy with your pantry! Rotate any lazy Susans with your items on top to ensure functionality. Leave a couple of bins without labels for random items you may acquire in the future.



Aaaaaaaand you're done! Cooking dinner just got easier, grocery lists got shorter, and, as a bonus, you created something beautiful to look at!


 

I hope this 5-step method helps you feel more confident in creating a pantry system that works for you. Make sure to tag me and use the hashtag #bycheyennepaige if you organize your pantry using this blog post!


Also, don't hesitate to message me on Instagram or Facebook with any questions or if you'd like me to transform your pantry for you!



Happy organizing!


Cheyenne Paige





P.S. Depending on your time and resources, you can rearrange the order of the steps. For example, if an individual wants me to complete their pantry transformation in one visit, I will carry out the process like so: categorize, plan, shop, declutter, organize. By looking at a pantry, I can get a rough idea of the categories it holds, then, with those in mind, I create a plan, shop for products, declutter, and organize.

 

Inspiration Templates


Large glass jars with wood lid

Small glass jars with wood lid

Set of 4 glass jars with wood lid


Large glass jars with wood lid

Small glass jars with wood lid

Set of 4 glass jars with wood lid





Acrylic bins (set of 4) 11.25" L x 8" W x 6" H


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