Everyone has their pantry organization hacks, tips, and tricks. Will they work for you? Who knows. All I know is the pantry organization that works for us.
Shall we throw open the doors on this pantry cabinet and see what horrors, I mean, organizational gems await us?
Here are my pantry organization tips. Use any of these ideas that you can. Discard the rest!
Tip #1: Get yourself some glass-front pantry cabinet doors.
I know you’re thinking, “That’s a terrible idea!”
Oh, it definitely is. No question.
But this is the tough love approach to pantry organization and nothing will motivate you faster than the thought of everyone seeing not only what’s in your pantry but how messy the wild animals you live with have made it.
Ask me how I know.
Tip #2: Only put food you eat daily in your pantry.
Now I’m just making ridiculous stuff up to see if you’re listening.
Or am I?
I call this pantry our “working pantry” and it only includes the things we consume daily or almost daily: cereal, snacks, baking supplies, and fast lunch options. Fewer items crammed into one space makes it easier to keep organized.
The canned goods, pasta, extra condiments, etc. that we don’t use every day go in a separate place.
Is this a luxury? Maybe. Or maybe this particular pantry cabinet is smaller than it looks and that choice made the most sense for our home’s layout. Some homes have full walk-in rooms for their pantry. Other folks have no pantry at all.
Every home is different. Every family is different.
We’re all making the unique spaces that we have work for our household’s particular needs at this particular moment in time. That’s why what works for us might not work for you because our household needs and physical spaces are different.
Tip #3: Be selective about the food you decant.
Contrary to the first and second tips in this blog post, I don’t think this tip is controversial. Or it shouldn’t be.
You do not need to decant all of the food you buy. You don’t need to decant any food if you don’t want to. I like to decant some items because it looks better to me. If I like how a space looks, I’m more likely to continue putting effort into making it look nice. It’s how I’m motivated.
One of the reasons people stop decanting or moving pantry items from their original packaging into a canister is because it’s hard to account for every single thing you might ever buy that needs a canister. Plus, canisters can be expensive.
I only decant food and baking items we ALWAYS have on hand like flour, sugar, rice, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, raisins, etc.
I gave up on the idea of decanting crackers and the kids’ cereal long ago. It wasn’t worth the headache of managing that situation. They have learned, the hard way, if they leave an empty box of something in the pantry, I will assume we have plenty of that item and it will not get restocked on grocery shopping day.
I guess I’m back to the tough love approach. Ha!
Tip #4: Organize packaged snacks like a movie theater concession stand.
Do you remember being a kid and gazing into the concessions case at the movie theater and seeing all of that candy neatly lined up? It was amazing, right?
It was not the candy itself but the candy lined up in neat rows that did it for me. Take that extreme bias into account when I tell you this next part.
I use narrow wood boxes to group individually packaged snacks, like granola bars, together. It gives my pantry that movie concessions feel and it’s easy to see what we’re running low on.
I do the same thing with ramen noodles. A long narrow box keeps the ramen noodles all contained and helps me see which flavor we are running low on.
While these boxes are practical, I enjoy playing “concession stand,” and that’s the most likely reason why this method of organization works for me.
Tip #5: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
There’s a lot of outward pressure to have an organized pantry or organized life, especially at the start of the year.
On the list of life priorities, pantry organization is not even going to make the list. In fact, it might even be noise that’s distracting you from the real priorities you have.
If how your pantry functions provides friction in your life and routine, then go ahead and change it up. If it’s messy but you thrive on a little chaos, don’t worry about it.
What works for you and your household doesn’t have to be the same as what works for me and my household. Embrace that “good for her, not for me” attitude.
This pantry cabinet has been continually evolving in the four years we’ve lived here. It didn’t even look like this when we first moved in. You can read about that transformation here.
Just when I think I have everything figured out, something changes in our lives and I’ll need to tweak how we organize our pantry. It’s just part of life. Secretly, I’m always up for organizing. I love it!
Happy organizing (or not)!
Pantry Organization Sources:
Glass canisters with wood lids – 40 oz, pack of 4 (Amazon)
Glass canisters with wood lids – 50 oz, pack of 3 (Amazon)
Wood mason jar lids – wide mouth, pack of 4 (Amazon)
wood boxes – thrifted or handmade
wood bowls – thrifted
Thanks for hanging out with me today. I hope you had a good time. Maybe even laughed a time or two. Here are some other blog posts you might enjoy.
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