How to Organize Your Pantry!

How to Organize Your Pantry!

I’m someone who loves organization and being organized, but it’s not honestly something that comes very naturally to me. The reason is, I’m very creative and I like to start things, but not always finish them. Not a good combo! When I’m engaged in something, my mind is so focused on what I’m doing that it’s too much of a break in the thought process to have to think about where to put each item back as I go. Then once I’m done, I’m usually so ready to move on and get started with something else, that the idea of tidying up just isn’t something I’m focused on. Then add having little ones in the mix and usually it's just a matter of going from one thing to the next, leaving traces of projects all over the place!

So for someone like me, having a very clear strategy for my organization and tidying practices, as well as everything having a specific home, definitely makes staying neat and organized much more attainable! 

When we moved into our new home, it had beautiful and pretty spacious walk-in pantry. I just put our kitchen supplies and food in there and tried my best to achieve some level of organization, but I knew it wasn’t AS functional as it could be, and it certainly wasn’t as visually appealing as I had wanted it to be!

That’s something I really love... aesthetics! I’m someone who truly appreciates something beautiful and stylish and I’m fairly good at making it happen, but it’s also something that doesn't come completely naturally to me. I’ve seen beautiful pantries, I had the space to accommodate one and I had attempted to organize it, but it was still falling flat. I knew there were so many missing elements. Which was weird because I felt like I could go into someone else’s home and really help them style up their space, but for some reason, I just couldn’t nail it down with our new pantry. 

That’s when I hired professional organizers. The process was something I was decently familiar with, given my natural interest in organization and aesthetics, but their process really honed it in and gave me a thorough understanding of the outline that needs to take place in order to execute a really well-styled, highly functioning space, especially one as dynamic as the pantry. 

The process basically goes:

Purging what you no longer want or need

This is a matter of pulling EVERYTHING out of the space and going through to determine what you’re going to remove. Or “delete” as the pros like to refer to it! With this step it’s important to be very realistic with yourself and just let go of things you’ve been holding onto that you truly don’t need. Once you get over the initial discomfort, it’s so freeing. I almost find myself wanting to over do it and just get rid of it all. Ha!

Organizing by category

Once you’ve removed the excess, you're left with everything else. That’s when it’s time to categorize. In regards to a pantry, it would be things like cans together, all powders going together, the snack items, appliances, produce, supplements, etc. 

Determining frequency of use levels

When you’re working in a space with levels, like a pantry or closet, it’s important to be clear on how often you’re using things, so you can determine how accessible they should be. Less often used items should be placed higher up, and things you use daily should be within reach. You’re going to use this information towards the layout of the space.

Determining functionality of the space

This step is in regards to how the space should be staged in order to make sense and have a flow to it. For us, I didn’t want people to see our supplements on display in clear view when the door was opened. We determined that anything medicinal or of the sort, should go on the shelves behind the door. Basically anything that’s more unsightly. Another example of this part of the process was putting all like items near each other. If we were going to do some baking, we determined it would be nice to go in to grab your flours and such, and have your cupcake tins and sprinkles and whatnot right next to them for easy accessibility. We also needed to determine what we did want to see upon entering and when the door was propped open, as well as where we would naturally gravitate when needing certain items. This step was specifically important when determining the whereabouts of our kitchen drawer items. What makes sense next to the stove while you’re cooking on it, etc.

Determining aesthetic and container types

This step is the most fun for me. What I recommend is going on pinterest and typing in some key words around your project. In this case, I searched things like: “Pantry organization ideas natural aesthetic” or “Kitchen pantry inspo modern farmhouse” and sort of going from there. It’s important to make note of exactly what you like from each photo. Is it the products they’re using to store the items in? Is it the layout? Are you seeing photos that house the packaged items in baskets or are they emptying their packaged items into separate, new containers all together? Which is really a better fit for you and maintaining your space?

Once you have some ideas for the overall appeal of the space, you’ll need to get clear on your items and categories, then do some more pinterest scouring. Type in things like, “Baking supply storage ideas for pantry”, “Dry good storage inspo” etc. Once you have your desired storage and style preferences locked down, you’ll know how to shop for your space. You may have decided you want to store your snacks in a basket or in a container, you may want trays for things or you may want step shelves. 

Once you have all of your products in, you can start to put things away based on the layout you’ve determined and the ways you’ve determined you want to style everything. 

I apply this method to so much of my organization and even my daily tidying. I no longer look at the disaster of a well used play room with a sense of overwhelm, I just see categories waiting to be categorized. 

I hope this breakdown is helpful to you and if you have an organization project you’ve been thinking about getting started on, let me know! I’d love to hear about you and your spaces and be of any help if needed!

Thanks so much for reading!

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