One way to make your pantry look cute and organized is to think about it as a little room. Not ‘little room’ as in small storage space, but as a space that can be decorated and not just visual clutter. Let me share with you my cute pantry organizer ideas.
Rethinking a Pantry Storage Space
The easy way for me to share ideas if to offer a case study: our current home. When we purchased this house, at first glance, it seemed like there was a lot of kitchen storage. Although there wasn’t a walk-in pantry (like our last house) there were cabinets aplenty in a room off the kitchen. After assessing the changes that would need to be made to make the house the way we like it, major changes needed to happen. Most of the current inefficient storage would have to go.
We had to relocate the laundry room, and expand the half bath (the current one was 28″ wide, I’m not even kidding!). Also, we removed a lot of cabinets and a closet that was pointless. This lead us to repurposing a few other closets in the house. The zones needed to work for the way we live.
When we set out to create our perfect dream kitchen (for this space) we needed tons of storage for not only food, but for dishes, china, and all the other things I like to hoard. Some of our needs looked like this:
- easy access for baking supplies
- pantry space
- storage cabinet for tablecloths, appliances, china, serving dishes, and platters
- pull out drawers vs. cabinets in key spaces
- place for snacks for the grandkids
- dry goods storage
- no lazy susan (total space waster to me)
- a place for display jars and baskets
More Storage Found
One day before moving in, I discovered a closet I hadn’t even realized was there! It was hidden in a spot where (no lie) three doors all came together and layered over each other. I had never even noticed it during the multiple walk throughs we did. This space was right off the kitchen and would become the perfect tiny pantry.
Since we were doing a full house renovation, happening throughout CoVid and most work was being done by yours truly, we had to work in stages. To become functional and to make life easier, I cleared the small closet. I then added pantry shelves so we could put food away. The cute stuff would come later.
Here I am later, and I finally got the ball rolling on on this storage area. This final step was done in a few hours and here is how I finally got it finished:
What I did to Make the Pantry Cute and Organized
- removed all the items from the pantry
- vacuumed and wiped all current shelving which had already been previously painted
- hung wallpaper on sides of pantry where it would be seen the most (this was also done because I was using a gingham wallpaper and knew it would be difficult for all sides to match up on the pattern going around shelves etc. plus you don’t see the back wall as much)
- caulked all shelves
- organized the food items and checked the expiration date
- made a grocery list while I was at it
- found cute storage solutions in the form of wicker baskets and burlap bags
- hung large hook to hang special charcuterie boards
I’ll admit, I’m a big freak about having labels match and facing front. The shelves aren’t too deep so it is easy to see what you have. This tiny pantry is only the area for canned goods, bulk snacks, reusable shopping bags, broom, and a few extras.
How to Assess Your Pantry Essentials
Think about your pantry storage needs and the way you like to live. Most likely, your pantry organization will need to be broken up. We aren’t all lucky enough to have a huge butler’s pantry!
The pantry in our last house was a very large walk-in that was perfect starting at the vintage pantry door. Inside were all the zones needed. We had an area for favorite snacks and vertical space for cans. I create a place to display platters and cutting boards. There were shelves for cute display, room for all the pantry staples and back stock. Large glass jars and storage bins held snacks. Items were displayed like a store in cute baskets and it was one organized pantry!
So when assessing, you may have to break up your needs into multiple areas like we have now. Our current pantry is only home to canned goods and the usual pantry items. The snack area is in the mudroom. We have clear storage containers that hold baking essentials in another cupboard in the mudroom (the only original ones we left). But all the display and serving items have been relocated to the kitchen nook.
Behind the Pantry Door
Let’s talk about pantry storage ideas. A few questions to ask yourself:
Can you hang items on the back of the pantry door?
Is there floor space for larger containers to corral small items?
Is there any wall space to hang useful items that are decorative?
What mainly needs to be easily accessible?
Can bulky appliances be stored elsewhere?
As an added bonus, what ways can you make it cute?
What About Shelf Space?
If you are starting from scratch, shelf space is very important. To me, I always prefer more narrow shelves coupled with other ways to maximize space. I do not like digging through deep shelves. Bins that can be removed from a shelf are a much easier way to find snacks. Let’s be real, isn’t that the reason we even bother with pantry organization? I gotta find my snacks quick!!
If you have deeper shelves that cannot be changed for now, consider storage containers. Items such as bins and baskets can make reaching the back easy. Airtight containers for staples, and food storage containers for large snacks will make them easy to find. Along with other custom containers that keep food fresh.
A trip to a Container Store can get your creative organization juices flowing. Although this maybe could squeeze your budget. It’s easy to go crazy there. Don’t worry! Gather ideas, and you can even turn cardboard boxes into storage solutions. Even the best pantry organization ideas can come from using creativity over spending on storage containers. Measure your shelves and figure out what works best for you.
Best Pantry Organization Ideas
I’m a bit weird and really like closets and storage spaces to be cute. This way, it’s easier for me to keep the space clean and organized if it feels decorated. I knew I wanted to wallpaper the kitchen pantry walls. I also wanted to create a bit of a uniform look for some shelves. Because my space was limited, I focused on what could fit in this particular kitchen pantry space.
My best pantry organization tips
- Purchase and group similar items. I buy in bulk at Costco, or try to purchase the same brand and face all labels forward when putting away on the shelves.
- Bins can be put up high and filled with lightweight items, as it is easy to remove the whole bin or basket from the shelf and grab what you need.
- Chip clips are important. I prefer this kind (which is not really a clip) I purchased from Amazon as they actually seal up the whole bag and keep the food fresh. Plus if the bag falls over in the cabinet, nothing is spilling out!
- I keep separate bags for potatoes and onions. These should not be stored together.
- Larger bins or baskets can sit on the floor and corral storage bags, paper goods, or other items that would look messy on a shelf.
- Search for the best containers that fit on your size shelves for maximum efficiency.
- Baking ingredients are stored either in food storage containers in a pantry or cupboard, with the smaller baking essentials in a cabinet near a prep area.
- Don’t wait to start organizing. Small changes can be made along the way and can result in an overall more organized pantry even without a major overhaul. Collect pantry storage ideas as you go.
Divide and Conquer
Evaluate your space and figure out what you can make more efficient, or move to another location. Think where things should be for ease and accessibility. Once you can do that, you are on your way to a more organized pantry. Don’t forget to add pretty details that will make you happy!
We now have distinct areas for storage, snacks, kitchen essentials, and more.
In conclusion, I hope you have enjoyed this little tour and redo of my pantry and can get inspired about ways you can organize and decorate your storage spaces. Let me know in the comments what pantry challenges you are facing, and we can figure it out together. Thanks for stopping by friend!