I was so excited when we built our home to create my dream pantry! But there was no specific plan (mistake number 1). I just imagined a highly organized walk in pantry, so I asked for built in shelving, a built in spice rack, an electrical outlet and plenty of space.
(Update 6 Months Later: I minimized our walk in pantry even more, see that here)
After we moved in, I was like a girl in love for the very first time. I didn’t know how to take it slow, so I gave it my all right away! Everything came into the pantry. Not just food- appliances, our dog supplies and his crate, all our extra shopping bags, all the things. A year later and my dream walk in pantry had turned into an unorganized problem.
I worked on a budget- I didn’t want to clean out my bank account on baskets. Actually baskets are a great thing to waste your money on, but Jose would not be okay with that idea.
My goal to get our walk in pantry organized was to make it pretty but also functional. I also wanted it to be simple.
Prep Work for An Organized Walk In Pantry
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? Are bins really necessary? For us, we go through a TON of breakfast cereals. Pouring each different cereal box into a container every time we buy a new box would be annoying. But we buy oatmeal in such bulk, it made sense to store the oatmeal in an oversized jar with a scoop.
My Tips For An Organized Pantry
- Put healthier, kid friendly snacks right at eye level for the little guys.
- Airtight jars are your friends, especially in humid climates where bugs are an issue. Don’t try to save money here. The air tight pop jars from OXO are amazing for items like brown sugar which hardens easily, or seeds, etc. that you want to keep fresh. I ended up putting our snacks in them too because the kids never close snack bags all the way. I LOVE the OXO POP line for keeping foods fresh (that link is the one I bought from the container store- but here are some from Amazon!), and the POP lids are fabulous- the kids can open and close them easily with no spills or leaving the lid ajar so you find your pretzels are all stale. Highly recommend!
- If your pantry is small, avoid the temptation to buy items in bulk that you won’t go through quickly. If you have the space, stock up!
- 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.
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.
Kitchen Drawers and Other Useful Organization Tips
This little doodad collects all the bags in one spot. I believe it holds about 40 bags. Don’t nail it to your wall I stuck it on the door with Command Velcro stickies!
Bamboo drawer organizers are the best thing ever, but especially 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.
The white two decker guy on the right is great but I wish he fit better under the sink. I really just like this plastic storage bin that corrals everything together. I plan on just putting two of those under the sink.
Organizing items I found useful:
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