I have had a "pantry makeover" on my to-do list for pretty much forever and I finally got around to making it happen. And now, every time I open my pantry, it feels like I am attending a party. Want to see? (this is where you nod your head or fist pump or something like that). Awesome!
Here is what we started with:
I'll wait while you pin that :) Even though it looks terrible, I just have to say that I loved the pantry from the moment we moved into this house. This home is the first place that I have ever lived that had a pantry so it was a really exciting thing for me (you know, because when you're 26 you get excited about things like pantries). I had made some attempts at organizing (the jars from IKEA, the plastic bins from the dollar store), but nothing really stuck.
Until one evening, fed up, I took everything out of the pantry...
Then I painted it, and did some serious editing and organizing. This was the result:
Placing all of the baking items on the rolling cart minimized clutter on the shelves and makes it much easier to access everything when I am baking (instead of walking back and forth from the counter to the pantry). You can read more about the baking cart here.
The items on the bottom shelf behind the cart are actually really easy to access, so I don't have to pull out the cart every time I need something from that area. But, when the cart is pulled out, it looks like this:
The paint obviously had the biggest impact, but I think adding the chalkboard labels to the jars added a lot as well.
Here is some info about where we store everything:
Finally, a few tips I have for pantry organizing:
- Make it pretty. Obviously that was kind of the whole point of this makeover, but I have found that since making everything look good, we have been much more deliberate about putting things back in their place and keeping it organized. Before, we had kind of a "it looks bad anyway" mentality and we would just stick items anywhere.
- Containers, containers, containers. It is sooooo much easier to access food items when they are in containers. Grains, pastas, sugars, etc. look great in clear containers and it is easy to see when things need to be refilled. Also, grouping items like onions and potatoes in a basket looks nicer and again, easy to see when you need more. Finally, plastic containers with lids are great for those random items you keep in your pantry (plastic cups and plates, candles, etc.).
- Take EVERYTHING out. Don't even start organizing until you have it all out. This will force you to reevaluate everything you put inside. When I did this, a lot of things got thrown away and I found a new home for a few things (like the crock pot you see in the "before" picture).
- Organize AFTER a grocery shopping trip. This will give you an accurate idea of the items you need to store in your pantry. There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours organizing, only to come home after a grocery trip with too many cans of black beans to fit on the "can shelf."
- Leave extra space. I don't know about you, but occasionally I come home with something random from the grocery store (blueberry turnovers, anyone?). It's great to have a little extra shelf space for those items.