17 In living

5 Tips for Creating a Neat Pantry

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While I’m a pretty tidy person, my pantry has been perpetually disorganized since we moved into our house. I use the word pantry loosely, as we don’t technically have one—just a bunch of cabinets to use for all storage, including food. I could honestly never find what I was looking for and ended up with duplicates all the time when I’d come back from the store, resulting in food waste as things expired. Not very minimalist of me.

So when my friend and neighbor Katie—a professional organizer for NEAT Method—offered to organize my pantry for me, I was thrilled. She did such an amazing job I asked her to share a few tips with all of you who might find yourself with a messy pantry like I had. But first, I shall humble myself and share a bit about how she improved my dire pantry situation.

BEFORE

I’m sort of embarrassed to show you these photos—I didn’t realize how chaotic my pantry situation really was until I started working on this post! Wow. Thank God for Katie’s help! Clearly there was no rhyme or reason to where anything went, and I just stuffed everything in the cabinets or left it out on the counter, hiding behind our fridge. The post it notes labeling my containers are the icing on the cake, haha.

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AFTER

Now everything has a place and I can finally tell what I have or need to restock on. In addition to making my original pantry space more organized, she also added a drawer for coffee, tea and hot chocolate; a cabinet for snacks; and a space to store my cookbooks (which she put in color order—so fun!). I absolutely love all of the clear containers, as well as those gorgeous wire baskets Katie used to corral similar items like dried fruit, snacks, chips, bars and breakfast items.

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Find yourself in a similar position, with a pantry full of disorganized chaos? As promised, here are Katie’s 5 tips for a neat pantry…

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1. Purge expired items // It happens to the best of us! After you have purged these items the rest of your space will come together perfectly. We also promise it won’t happen again.

2. Think clear // We used plastic for Natalie’s space because she has a baby. If you don’t have kids in the home glass is a great option too. If you can see your items, you will use them!

3. Categorize // Keep like items together. Baskets are great for grouping items like sweet treats or salty snacks.

4. Label // Labels are great for putting the finishing touches on your pantry. Using chalkboard labels and a chalk pen allows you to make changes down the road as your tastes change.

5. Shop your pantry // Before you go to the store, make a list, then look and see if you have anything at home already. This will help you use items before they expire and will save you room and money!

17 Comments

  • Reply
    sarah
    March 9, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    This needs to be added to my “to do” spring cleaning list. Looks so nice!

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      March 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      It’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Do it!

  • Reply
    Jamie
    March 9, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Gorgeous!!! Totally swooning over how neat and clean it looks. Any chance you can share where she got the wire baskets from?

  • Reply
    Emlyn
    March 10, 2015 at 5:59 am

    So here is my own question… I have always loved the look of putting flour and sugar etc. in containers, however I wonder what do you do with the bag when you don’t use the whole thing? It always drives me crazy to have half a bag leftover. What did you do?

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      March 10, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Katie bought containers that would fit the whole bag of flour/sugar so we wouldn’t have that problem. But if you’re buying in bulk, that does present an issue!

  • Reply
    Kira Culotta Semple
    March 10, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Amen for organization! We too, overhauled our pantry and miraculous things have been happening. We experiment more instead of making the same meals over and over. We don’t buy duplicates on accident, because we can see everything. And we aren’t shopping as much, overall. Love the idea of the coffee/tea/hot chocolate drawer. They should be mandatory, no? ;)

    Kira

  • Reply
    Kate Boriack
    March 11, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Love this! I am totally in need of spring cleaning my pantry! I know you answered about the wire baskets and I am pretty sure the press button top containers are the oxo ones but what about the flip lid round containers holding your sugar/flour, etc. Where are those from? I have been looking for plastic ones but only seem to find glass. Thanks in advance for the help!

  • Reply
    Yvonne
    March 11, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Looks amazing. Where did you get all the containers and labels?

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    March 11, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Absolutely LOVE!! Especially the labels, but I would need your impeccable chalk pen handwriting skills to make it look so perfectly uniform!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Love love love this! Where are the flour/sugar containers from? I didn’t see them at the container store.

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      March 14, 2015 at 7:33 am

      I’m pretty sure that’s where they’re from. Maybe they were sold out?

      • Reply
        Amanda
        March 17, 2015 at 3:42 pm

        Thank you I’ll try checking again!!

  • Reply
    Catberine
    April 30, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    I’m interested in learning about neat method. I live in Spring Valley.

  • Reply
    Gail
    August 11, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Wondering where to find those labels? Finally got around to applying some of these organizational tips!

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