A walk in pantry was one of the creations I was most excited about when we built our home! I actually thought the pantry organization would happen naturally if we had the space we needed.
So despite my excitement, all I asked our builder for was the vague plan of deep wood shelving, some sort of designated shelving for spaices, an electrical outlet, and just overall lots of space.
Our Walk In Pantry
(Update: I minimized our walk in pantry AGAIN when getting our home back to school ready)
The dimensions of our walk in pantry are 10.4 x 6.4. It includes 5 built-in shelves that loop around two walls, an electrical outlet, and a built-in spice rack.
The electrical outlet is key for a walk in pantry – this is a great spot for charging a Roomba, a dustbuster, or other appliances you don’t want to keep out. And if you end up adding cabinetry one day, it’s already there for your appliances!
Keeping The Door Closed
At first our door was constantly open and showing the world our mess. I hated how it looked. Even when the pantry was organized, I didn’t want the door open on that! We later went back and put the door on a swinging hinge. SUCH a good move!
Full disclosure though, my husband doesn’t appreciate the swinging hinge. The kids sneak in and quietly eat in the pantry now that the door routinely stays closed! He thinks crumbs on the floor in exchange for the closed door and making the kitchen prettier is not worth it. So, think about which way you might feel.
Keeping the Light Off
And lastly, we put the pantry light on a motion sensor switch. If the family can’t remember to close the door by themselves, of course they will leave the pantry light on all the time! This is such a simple fix, and we have had zero trouble with ours!
Built In Spice Rack
Our spice rack measures 28″ x 26″. Our trim guys built it, and it’s super simple and so genius! We love having this here.
Walk In Pantry Regrets
Of course this space isn’t a scullery (read all about What Is a Scullery and Why It’s Your New Favorite Room In The House), so I was limited on space!
But, I added hooks for our central vac, mop and broom in the pantry thinking I was clever- but didn’t put them inside cabinetry. All of these items would have been prettier and easier to stash away behind a simple door in this area.
We do have special command hooks for brooms/mops that look nice and function well. I would, however, prefer a cabinet door.
My other regret is not taking the shelves all the way around. Although the room is spacious for a pantry, there is still some wasted space.
I rejoiced at how much space we had on move-in day; and everything came into the pantry! Alllll the thinngs! Not just food but appliances, our dog supplies, and his crate, kids’ art supplies, etc. A year later and my dream pantry had turned into a disaster.
I’ll show you how I cleaned this out – while trying to stick to somewhat of a budget. I didn’t want to clean out my bank account on baskets. (Actually, I might argue baskets are a great thing to spend money on, but that’s a discussion for a different day).
I hope sharing this gives you some walk in pantry organization ideas!
5 Items I Use In My Walk In Pantry
My goal is to keep our walk in pantry organized, pretty but also functional. I have 4 children. I need simplified organization, above all!
1. Metal Baskets
These are the 4 kinds of white metal baskets I liked when searching for baskets with open sides to corral dry goods. I like the way the white metal looks on the shelves!
The flat bottoms are great for dry goods in boxes, but also cans too. Examples of how I use my metal baskets are the snack baskets, a pasta basket, condiments basket, rice and grain baskets etc.
2. Woven Baskets
I preferred to mix up the look of all the white metal- so we used woven baskets for dry goods, and grouping like items (napkins, etc). My exact woven baskets are no longer available but these look like great, similar options from Amazon. I REALLY like the cute baskets with the chalkboard label!.
Shop them here:
The Container Store also has beautiful woven baskets:
3. Air Tight Containers (A Must!)
I rave about these OXO Pop containers to anybody who will listen!
Click to find: pink letter board
I bought this OXO set right off Amazon. You can choose the size and the kind of container you want all here!
Airtight jars are your friends, especially in humid climates where bugs are an issue! Personally, I wouldn’t receommend trying to save money for a knock off brand here. These air tight Pop containers are amazing for items like brown sugar which hardens easily, or seeds, etc. that you want to keep totally fresh. I ended up using them for all our snacks because the kids kept leaving the snacks partially open- such a bad surprise to find.
But the POP lids are fabulous- the kids can open and close them easily with no spills or leaving the lid half way on so I don’t find my favorite snack all stale. Highly recommend!
4. Stackable Containers / Sauce Packet Bins
I didn’t make use of this, but as my pantry filled up I regretted not using stackable containers like these. These are so clever. Shop here:
4. Glass Jars
We buy oatmeal in such bulk and go through it at a slower pace, it made sense to store the oatmeal into a 2.5 gallon oversized jar with a scoop (Over 3,000 reviews on the jar? I love it too but apparently this jar has a cult following!)
And some items you will prefer in glass jars – cookies, for instance.
5. A Clear Bread Bin
I REALLY like having a clear bread bin. Truthfully, I have no idea if it actually extends the freshness date. I just love that breadcrumbs are all contained together and you can see if it’s moldy! With our old metal bread bin we would forget about what was inside.
Prep Work For Pantry Organization
Consider your family’s eating habits and how you want to store items. Do you want to keep your pasta in their boxes, or do you want to display it in pretty glass containers? What kind of bins are really necessary? Will you actually want to keep your cereal in a bin or will that end up not getting used?
Walk In Pantry Tips
- Put healthier, kid-friendly snacks right at eye level for the little guys.
- Use airtight jars- but especially in humid climates where you need to bug proof.
- Make a plan for cans. They can be grouped together in the metal white baskets I spoke about earlier, where you can see the can label- but this won’t work if you have a lot of canned food like us. We use a soup can expandable shelf.
- If your walk in pantry is small, avoid the temptation to buy items in bulk that you won’t go through quickly.
- Labels are optional- they do make for a clean, organized look! For now, I found them unnecessary; the 6 of us simply go through food at such a fast rate that we are often switching baskets around. Again – above all, keep it simple!
Kitchen Drawers and Other Useful Walk In Pantry Organization Tips
Bamboo drawer organizers are the best thing for your utensil drawer! Previously these drawers held items rolling around aimlessly. I definitely had a moment of “Wow. I am a person with organized drawers”.
The wood gives a custom look, and they truly improve the functionality of your storage space- even in junk drawers it will instill organization.
I like the plastic storage bin on the left because it corrals everything together and I can pull it out neatly.
This bag collector doodad collects all the bags in one spot. It holds about 40 bags. Don’t nail it to your wall- stick it on with Command Velcro stickies!