The first home project that I wanted to address this spring was my pantry organization project. The reason it was the priority was to make healthy cooking easier and desirable. With the health issues that have arisen for me in the last year, making more home-cooked meals is necessary for me to feel better. At the end of the day, I did not want to walk into the pantry and see a jumble of products and not want to cook or feel anxious from the disorganization.
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Pantry Organization of Sorts
Unfortunately, the pantry had fallen into this chaotic state, even with two prior attempts at taming the clutter. During the first attempt, I mainly decluttered and sorted items without adding any new storage containers. It felt and looked good, but without proper containers throughout, it was not easy to maintain.
On the second attempt, I addressed two issues I saw from the previous sort, adding can organizers and some lazy susans. The can organizers were much needed so canned goods remained in order of their best-used-by date and did not expire in the back crevices of the shelves. Additionally, these organizers allowed for restocking ease, especially compared to stacking and moving cans to address expiration dates.
The lazy susans helped me gather similar items that had various shapes and heights and were not easily stackable. I added lazy susans for spreads, sauces, oils, and vinegars to the larger second shelf. Instantly, my higher shelves were more accessible because I could spin the lazy susans around and reach the back items without getting on a step stool.
Both the can organizers and lazy susans were perfect pantry storage solutions. When I accessed where I wanted to go next with my pantry, they were both must-stay items.
The Pantry Problems
Besides these two storage solutions I love, I also love the fact that the pantry is a walk-in. My previous two houses had pantries that were closets with wire shelving, so having more space and solid shelving has been a luxury I have enjoyed. However, the shelves are fixed and about sixteen inches or more apart, so I was struggling to take advantage of the height of my space. I needed organization containers that could.
Additionally, my pantry door is half glass with direct sight lines from my kitchen island. Having an open floor plan means that any guest that comes into the less formal areas of our house will see inside of my pantry, so I wanted it to look nice. I do not need an excuse to decorate any space, but this glass door had me wanting to do this space sooner rather than later. Plus, when a space is more beautiful, I want to use it more.
Also on the list of issues were the deep corners. I was not taking full advantage of this space because it was hard to reach items, especially on the lower two shelves because of their added depth.
The middle shelf that housed our microwave and toaster oven became a dumping ground. There was a lot of open space, so it was natural to put stuff there. I did not really have a system for backstock either, and most of that ended up there as well.
The Pantry Solutions
To address the height issue, I sought out tall containers or stackable ones. Tall, bamboo-lidded, glass jars and stackable, acacia-lidded glass jars were used to store my pasta, nuts, and breakfast cereals. Stackable bamboo bins and acacia bins were used to store soups, pasta, and salad items.
Outside-of-the-box items that had height and worked beautifully were water hyacinth multi-purpose files and acacia multi-purpose files. These were thin enough to allow me to have multiple containers, and therefore multiple item types, on the narrower shelves. I used them to store soups, shelf-stable almond milk, oatmeal cups, miscellaneous dried vegetables, and seasonal/party items.
As far as the problem of the exposure of this space goes, I tried to create an inviting room. I mixed several products for a textured and collected look—water hyacinth, acacia, bamboo, marble, ironstone. The overall palette is one of woods and whites. The addition of the kitchen-centric antiques creates character and charm to an otherwise utilitarian room.
Those antiques, especially the ironstone cake stands, can be quite the conversation starters as guests enter our kitchen and see the pantry through the glass door. Not only do the cake stands address the issue of aesthetics, but they also address the issue of the deep corners in the pantry.
In our previous house, my cake stand collection was stored in a glass display cabinet. That piece has since been sold, and I had several stands still in boxes while I figured out their forever placement. My largest ironstone cake stand had been unboxed during the pandemic, and I had it on my grandmother’s dining table. It was too heavy to move regularly for styling tablescapes, so that led me to search for a new space to use it. The pantry corners came to mind, and then I knew this was where I should put the others too. I love seeing them stacked in there!
On the lower shelves, I added marble lazy susans. I wanted heavier duty lazy susans here because these will be used for storing glass bottles of fruit and vegetable juices. They will not need to constantly be balanced because they will support the weight of the bottles naturally. Also, the marble ties into the cabinet base that is in this room and will become the dry bar.
I added a marble lazy susan to the middle shelf too. This shelf got a major decluttering. I put the toaster oven in an appliance cabinet since I rarely use it. I also removed all of my cookbooks from this space and stored them in cabinets on the baking side of my kitchen. Then, I added two-gallon glass jars for rice, a bin for miscellaneous grains, and several items previously mentioned.
Backstock got assigned to an acacia bin on the lower shelves. I love having a designated dumb zone for all of the extras! Below that, I added two lidded hyacinth boxes—one is a document box that I used for plastic flatware and the second one is a lined box (with the liner removed) used for paper plates and plastic cups. These items were originally in my dry bar cabinet, but moving them here has been the perfect decision and one of my favorite moments of the pantry organization.
Future Pantry Plans
I completed my pantry right before Easter, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. Already, I have been motivated to cook more meals.
I think this organization system will work well. In the future, I hope to add some more antique décor. The space above the pasta sauces comes to mind. Also, I would like to eventually get a skirt made for the bottom portion of the shelving.
I am still on the lookout for an antique Persian rug for the space to add a little color. Painting is a possibility as well. Oh, and I would love to add a peg rail on the right side to hold my step stool, broom, and apron.
For now, though, I have pantry peace thanks to organization, and I am going to bask in that for a while.
Your Pantry Organization
I hope seeing my pantry organization project helped inspire you to organize your pantry or gave you an idea of how to give it a refresh. If so, I would love to see it. Please tag me on Instagram @inheritedandco.
If your pantry is organized, but you are looking for containers for other spaces in your home, be sure to check out my Organization Shop Page for sources.
Also, if you are unsure how to organize your space, pantry or otherwise, you can see the steps I take when organizing any space in my Utensil Drawer Organization post.