An Organized Pantry

When I first started using Houzz I posted a picture of a pantry I designed at a transitional center for homeless foster youth.  Venice Beach is home to hundreds of runaway teens. The crash pad, right off the boardwalk, aims to provide them with a haven to help them restore their lives.  The project included redoing and organizing a pantry for the home.  I posted a photo of this pantry on Houzz and it has been the single most shared, clicked photo on my feed.  I think it’s because everyone deep down wants an organized pantry but I believe it’s a struggle for any busy, normal person.

Wouldn’t it be lovely when it was time to plan dinner if you could walk into your pantry and find everything at your fingertips?  Instead, I am sure many of you, like me, have to sift through bags of rice, jars of oil, maybe even some sprouting potatoes.  I am here to help with some pantry organizing ideas.

Baskets/Clear Jars:  Use decorative (but sturdy) baskets and clear jars to organize items that would otherwise be free floating or roll around, such as fruit, potatoes, snacks and even cans.

Wallpaper:  If your pantry is walk in or if you just want it to look pretty when you open it, consider wallpaper between the shelves.  We used a cool blue Kravet pattern for a calming, uniform effect.

Organize like items by shelf:  Perhaps one shelf is for goods that are more perishable, another is for grains like rice, grains and flour and another is for snacks and treats.  Create whatever system makes sense to you but making sure that like things are placed together will help the pantry stay clean.

Labels:  Use the labels on the items as a helping hand.  Make sure like labels are next to each other and make sure that they are facing out and easy to read.  Stack boxes and cans if possible to save room.

Air freshener:  Make sure that there is something keeping the air fresh.  I like something simple and safe like a diffuser on a shelf.

Lighting:  If possible, add lighting to the space so you can see everything.  The modern pendant from Lumens adds a modern touch to this pantry.

Inventory:  If you have time, perhaps the most important element would be to take inventory of what you have on your shelves and clean things out before you go to the grocery store.  You can even plan recipes around these items to make sure you are really using what you have.  I recommend doing this every month or so.