Today is pantry reveal day. The pantry has been a project on my list for a long time. Spring is always a great time to clean and declutter. You can check out my Spring Home Tour here.
My plan has always been to tear down the current shelving and make something that fits our family better. However, with other projects looming, this has stayed on the back burner. Having a bit more time on hand, gave me the opportunity to clean and declutter the pantry and make larger changes down the road.
Here is the before picture. The system we had prior did not work for our needs. We had baskets, containers et al but things were not organized, keeping the pantry door open was a challenge. When a pantry is in this state, it is almost impossible to keep track of what you have which then turns into waste. We really needed a system that we could maintain and keep tidy for a long time.
With the project to clean and declutter the pantry on my to-do list for a while, I did a lot of research on kitchen pantry organization ideas and especially like the NEAT Method. I knew in order to achieve this look; I would need to plan over time to get the items that I needed. As such, I have been sourcing items for a couple of months and keeping an eye out for sales etc. I will discuss my options in more detail below.
Starting out, I removed everything from the pantry shelves and took inventory of what I had. When embarking on a project like this, it is important not to miss this important step. This allows you to figure what works for your space, how much supplies you need to keep it tidy and get rid of expired items or things that you do not need. I also had a cute helper 😊
Once the space is cleaned out, clean the shelves, walls and floor. I used mild soap and water for the shelves and magic eraser to remove stains. The floors got a good sweep and mop. If you are adding shelf liner and covering for walls space, this is the time to add these items of your choice. In my case, I opted not to include these things, as I do plan on remaking the space in the future with pull out drawers. To that end, keeping cost to a minimal and purchasing items that can be reused was priority.
It was important to have items in spaces that worked well for the family, this helps keep things tidy and organized. I played with the layout until I came up with an optimal layout that worked for us. Canned goods, spices, starches on higher levels. Snacks, drinks and majority breakfast items in the middle for easy access. Bulk storage and appliances on the top shelves and more bulk and storage below.
When figuring out what is needed, it is important to find items that are reusable and can transition from space to space. If you are planning a long term project like this, have a budget, source quality items and plan. The general list below is a good place to start:
Baskets are important in almost any home organizing closet project. It helps you group similar items together and in turn this keeps things clutter free, they can be used in closet as a shoe organizer, bath towel storage etc. Depending on your style, there are a ton of options to consider. I chose a combination of hyacinth and wire baskets in different sizes. I used the hyacinth for storage for grouping items such as baking supplies, snacks, tea etc.
The smaller wire baskets were a find from a couple of years ago. They came in handy for grab and go snacks like granola bars and drinks.
The stackable wire baskets were used for paper and perishable goods.
The OXO brand is my favorite because of the airtight feature to keep things fresh for dry goods. We already had several of these and built on or current selection by taking advantage of sales at our shopping club. You can find them at most big box retailers. There are also other brands that are similar as well.
Using anchor glass jars for cereal gave it such a classic look but had to go with plan B, as there was an accident waiting to happen. I used the OXO cereal containers instead. The anchor jars will be used in other projects.
Organization Tip: Buying these containers in boxed sets can save you a great amount. Always look for a special or coupon on these sets.
Using labels is an important detail in making sure your kitchen pantry/closet space stays organized. There are a variety of options out there to choose from. We used these bin clips and chalk board labels. These are very economical as you can reuse both.
I also considered making custom vinyl. Time will tell but the current labeling system works well.
Storage for canned and bottled goods
The 3-tier shelving system is a great solution to save space ensuring that you can see everything without having to constantly reshuffle items. You can find these in plastic, stainless steel, mesh wire and wire shelving options.
The lazy Susan is a great way to store bottle goods and sauces and maximize shelf space. I opted for these clear plastic ones. I love the clean look it provides while keeping the glass bottles secure. There are so many varieties and types on the market to fit your needs.
Crates, large baskets, or totes are a great way to store your bulk food items and save storage space.
In this project, I opted for crates and large weave baskets. The crates are used to store lunch boxes, oils, bulk flour etc.
I originally started out using these dipped Abaca baskets (from our playroom). This was a temporary solution until the weave baskets were delivered. I absolutely love these weave baskets, as they are such great quality.
The top shelf is also used to store large appliances, cutting boards and baking pans. Making it easily accessible when needed.
This space came together just as planned. We have been enjoying it for a couple of weeks now and the family has adapted well to the new system, making sure items go back to their designated spaces. It has also helped a ton in saving, it is easier to make a list of what items we have on hand before a grocery run.
Here again is the before:
Here is the after:
If you are planning on a project like clean and declutter the pantry, always derive a plan and make a budget. Here are some more pictures.
I hope you found this useful. Happy Organizing!!!
Baskets and Storage Bins