I have a problem, I am a compulsive organizer. My kitchen pantry is the subject of this weeks obsession: Pantry Organization. I like my pantry to be “merchandised” like a corner store. When I walk in or glance in at my pantry I want to be drawn in to a neat, clean, well stocked space. A space to inspire me to whip up a yummy treat or grab a quick snack.
Note: if you would like to tour my Midnight Beach Kitchen, check it out HERE.
First of all, you must be able to see well in your pantry. When we built our current track house, the builder wasn’t going to put a light in the pantry! I insisted on a fixture being wired and then we purchased and installed a light from IKEA for $19.99. I LOVE it because it gives off tons of light (and of course it is incandescent, NOT florescent).
Another essential ingredient for a great pantry is an electrical outlet. This means that my husbands protein shakes can stay in the pantry, just pop the shake cup in the dishwasher.
An extension cord taped down taut keeps the ever useful toaster oven hidden out of sight in the pantry as well. Meanwhile bottom half of an orange box from Costco holds my KitchenAid Mixer attachments. My most used binder cook books are close at hand.
I like to keep chip bags, bottles and other not uniformed packaging in larger bins or baskets. Light weight or rarely used appliances are kept up high. And, although it is kind of boring, I have opted for white or stainless appliances for the last 15 years and love the way they all blend in.
The popcorn machine is neither rarely used or light, BUT when we had it with in easy reach, we ate 3X as much popcorn. At least this way we get some exercise getting it down before we gobble up the corn and popping topping…mmmm. Note: I highly recommend this Paramount popper from Amazon.
I also have a strange addiction, you know like the ones on the TLC show? Yes, but mine happens to be: using up a product and throwing away the empty packaging. Weird right? When every I finish a tube of toothpaste, shampoo, milk container etc. I get a strange satisfaction from throwing it away and knowing I used every last drop. I’ve even bought smaller sized packages knowing I could throw out the package sooner! Yikes, my secret is out. ANYWHO, my pantry actually feeds this addiction as explained below.
I love going shopping (with my handy dandy list found HERE) and then coming home and stocking my pantry store. I like it to look neat, tidy. I open and unload each of the boxes of cereal, fruit snacks, granola bars, what ever into a cute, neat container. Then, I throw all of the cheap packaging into the recycle bin. The good looking packages are cleaned and added to my inventory. Repetition allways looks great when merchandising and a pantry is no different. I love having the cereal all the same shape and size (note: these are from IKEA, $3.99).
Keeping kid snacks down low and easy to grab helps my four boys feed themselves. Again, repetition of baskets helps keep things looking fresh. I found these little beauties at Ross years ago. The small ones were $3.99 and the large one was $5.99. They have removable liners so I can wash them and keep things fresh.
If you are looking for FREE bins, look no further than your Costco orange boxes. HERE is a tutorial for making them pantry ready.
I love these bushel baskets I picked up at a yard sale. Keeping root vegetables in baskets helps the air flow keeping them fresh longer (note: these are often at yard sales and thrift stores).
I know I’m sounding repetitive, but repetition in these large storage bins looks clean and they were freeeee! Check out my post on recycling bulk food containers from club stores HERE.
I love these bins that I made for my nursery years ago from the janitorial supply center at Home Depot (read about them HERE).
Come on, isn’t this bin much cuter than the bag or box that the little chip bags come in?
I like keeping as much off the floor as possible so I can run my Swiffer vac around when the kids drop any crumbs.