So happy to bring you these incredible pantry organization ideas from a professional home organizer all while sharing our kitchen pantry makeover – chock full of helpful tips and beautiful inspiration so you can organize your pantry today!
I am SO excited for this post today. Mainly because this tiny little room of our home is one of the spaces I was most excited to makeover!! I knew from the moment we walked through this soon-to-be-ours home (the day we looked at the house while house-hunting), this would be a perfect space for a pantry. Goodness, it was something I waxed on about in our very first House to Home episode as well. Clearly, I’ve been excited about this little project from the beginning!
There was no denying that a tiny closet in the kitchen would NOT be enough space to house a pantry for our family of six, AND on top of that… I wanted to remove that tiny existing pantry closet to make more counter space anyway.
As we noticed with many homes in Florida, the garage is a great space for a laundry area (since many Florida homes use a garage almost like a basement-type of space that we were used to up north; laundry, storage, etc.). We figured this would be the perfect solution for us and just about as soon as that first demo day, my husband set up a new laundry space for us out there!
Once we knocked down the popcorn ceiling, added lighting, painted and installed the new floors along, right with our kitchen reno, my husband spent an evening installing the shelving system we found… which are working out SO well. Of course, we didn’t organize right away, we just put everything in the pantry as we moved on and of course, it all became a mess. So I brought in some help. Professional help.
Here are some photos of the makeover and pantry organization, and also sharing the resources we’ve used along the way. Plus, a huge shout out to professional home organizing expert Barbara Proia of YOU. Organized… you won’t want to miss this House to Home episode where Barbara spills all of her essential pantry organization tips.
For our space, we reused a lot of the jars and organization bins we already had on hand from a previous pantry project (years ago, and with free chalkboard style customizable, printable labels!), yay!
Since there was already a water line run to the room for the washer that was previously there, it was a great opportunity to add in a small sink, which meant a perfect place to hold our water purification and alkalizing system. We also used the electrical outlets so we can charge and store our robot vacuum!
3 Essential Pantry Organization Tips
Once we had our pantry makeover completed, filled and began living with it for awhile, we could tell it was time to get it organized to fit and fill the needs of our family. Besides that, organization is super fulfilling to me and makes me do a happy dance, so it was a part of the project I was excited about.
Did you know that the average American spends 2.5 days a year looking for misplaced items? And we collectively spend $2.7 billion each year replacing items that we already have! Those stats are crazy… and plenty justification to begin organizing our home and spaces.
With all that said, according to my organization expert, here are three pantry organization tips, and really, they carry over to any other closet space as well!
1. Get Everything Out!
Even if it seems overwhelming, clear every last item OUT of the closet you want to organize. This will help you to truly see what you have (and how much of it)! With a kitchen pantry, we found multiples of items, which really speaks to that stat where we overspend on replacement costs. This also offers a great time to toss expired goods, move on from things that no-one likes or uses, re-home and re-purpose items from your pantry or closet.
2. Sort and Categorize.
As tempting as it seems, DON’T go out and buy a bunch of special organization containers before you get to this step or live with your space and items for a bit. There are so many things, items, canisters and containers you already have around your home to use to start with and then you can replace along the way once you’ve sorted if you want to build a little pretty into it. The key here is to sort and categorize according to your family’s needs, not buy items and then try to fit your lifestyle into that system.
Why? Because it’s different for everyone. I’ve seen people have a bin that contains all of their smoothie or protein shake ingredients because they use it daily, and for others, that just wouldn’t be practical. I have a bin for snacks for my kids… for others, they may sort the same items differently.
Do what works for you, sort how you see fit FIRST, and then find the containers that you like to fit your categories.
3. Label the Containers
Even if the containers are clear and you can see what’s in them, it’s SO important to label! The whole idea behind the labeling process is that you’re putting a retrieval and replacement system in place.
Think of it like a library… you know where the book goes and where to put it when you’re done because of the labeling system. It’s what gives you an organized lifestyle and not just having an organizing event.
In our home, we have a bin that contains breakfast items. For us, that ranges from protein powder to maple syrup… but it’s a range of our favorite and often used breakfast staples. Because of this, everyone knows where those items go, and we also can do a quick check to see if we’re out or if it’s an item we need.
It was important to me to keep items that the kids need at a level they can reach, and baskets were great for keeping loose items gathered, like kids cups, water bottles, etc. Here is a list of items that we used in case it’s helpful as a resource or starting point for you: