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.
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.
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.
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…
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!