Foolproof Pantry Organization

Tips to Make Your Space Functional and Stylish

Back-to-school season is here, which means it’s time to start making lunches again and having that giant supply of snacks at the ready. If your pantry tends to have boxes stacked on top of each other and a mix of canned goods, chips, and drinks together without any rhyme or reason, then today’s post is for you. Read on for our favorite ways to make pantry organization a cinch – you’re sure to have easy breezy morning school prep (and maybe a little extra time for yourself to enjoy that first steaming cup of coffee each day).

 

Tip #1: Go for Easy Accessibility

Have you ever noticed that the cereal aisle in the grocery store stocks all the kid-friendly (and sugar-y) cereals on the bottom shelves? That’s what we call kid-height friendly, and your pantry should definitely embrace that same concept. Use those upper shelves for the non-essentials or the items you don’t need every day (we’re looking at you, paper towels), and keep the lower shelves and drawers dedicated to easy-to-grab snacks and food. Not only will your kids love it, but they’ll also be way less likely to accidentally tip over that container of flour or break open your olive oil bottle (less mess is always the goal, wouldn’t you say?).

In this pantry, non-essentials like cookbooks are stacked on the top shelf out of the way; bottom shelves are reserved for baskets of snacks and easy-to-grab items for the whole family.

In this pantry, non-essentials like cookbooks are stacked on the top shelf out of the way; bottom shelves are reserved for baskets of snacks and easy-to-grab items for the whole family. / Source

 

Drawers make this pantry a total organization station with snacks at the ready and easy-to-reach for kids.

Drawers make this pantry a total organization station with snacks at the ready and easy-to-reach for kids. / Source

 

Kid-friendly snacks stay on display on the lowest shelves of this pantry, and by grouping them according to color, it makes the space both accessible and fun.

Kid-friendly snacks stay on display on the lowest shelves of this pantry, and by grouping them according to color, it makes the space both accessible and fun. / Source

 

Tip #2: Use Drawers Whenever Possible & Create Countertop Space

Speaking of accessibility, to make your pantry as functional as possible, we’re big fans of incorporating drawers and countertop space. Aside from looking sleek & keeping the clutter out of sight, drawers eliminate you having to bend over to reach a bottom shelf or crawl into a cabinet to find what you need. Countertops, too, work wonders for a pantry by essentially extending your kitchen’s space; they provide an easy space to pack lunches or do a bit of meal prep right then and there, and it’s also a great way to store your extra small appliances in a convenient spot without cluttering your main kitchen countertops.

This farmhouse-inspired pantry space incorporates a spacious counter for everything from baking essentials to small appliances that make school morning prep quick and simple.

This farmhouse-inspired pantry space incorporates a spacious counter for everything from baking essentials to small appliances that make school morning prep quick and simple. / Source

 

This butler’s pantry keeps the microwave, toaster, mixer, and espresso machine all in one place, leaving the main kitchen with beautiful open and spacious countertops.

This butler’s pantry keeps the microwave, toaster, mixer, and espresso machine all in one place, leaving the main kitchen with beautiful open and spacious countertops. / Source

 

In this stunning butler’s pantry, breakable dishware is kept on the highest shelves, but a sliding ladder still provides easy access when needed.

In this stunning butler’s pantry, breakable dishware is kept on the highest shelves, but a sliding ladder still provides easy access when needed. / Source

 

Tip #3: Simplify It Visually

As much as a pantry is at its core a space meant for function, it’s also nice to keep it looking sharp visually so there’s a seamless transition into the rest of your kitchen. The easiest way to do that is to first invest in uniform bins, containers, or baskets to give everything a streamlined look. Then, go ahead and ditch all those boxes and containers that all of your snacks and essentials come in. By keeping your items on display in individual wrappers, it makes it easier to know your inventory and it’s a lot quicker to find when you’re looking for at any given time. Oh, and one more thing – for an added organization trick, consider color coding your items. Your pantry will look like it’s straight out of a magazine (and the kids will love the fun color arrangements, too)!

Identical glass containers give this pantry a beautiful and crisp aesthetic while also allowing for easy identification of cooking essentials.

Identical glass containers give this pantry a beautiful and crisp aesthetic while also allowing for easy identification of cooking essentials. / Source

 

A color-coded pantry is both convenient and visually appealing, and by keeping all the kid-friendly foods on the lowest shelves, it offers the highest level of functionality for the space.

A color-coded pantry is both convenient and visually appealing, and by keeping all the kid-friendly foods on the lowest shelves, it offers the highest level of functionality for the space. / Source

 

Black, grey, and white serve as a chic color palette for this pantry, making it visually beautiful while also providing convenient areas for storage.

Black, grey, and white serve as a chic color palette for this pantry, making it visually beautiful while also providing convenient areas for storage. / Source / Shop this image

 

Tip #4: Create a Menu/Note Area

Need a convenient way to keep a list of items to stock up on during your next grocery run? Install a menu/notes area right in your pantry. You can get creative with this, too, and use everything from a chalkboard or whiteboard to a calendar or a sleek roll of butcher paper.

A convenient chalkboard and corkboard duo offers an all-in-one organization space to keep track of lists, upcoming family events, and recipes to try.

A convenient chalkboard and corkboard duo offers an all-in-one organization space to keep track of lists, upcoming family events, and recipes to try. / Source / Shop this image

 

A convenient chalkboard and corkboard duo offers an all-in-one organization space to keep track of lists, upcoming family events, and recipes to try.

A convenient chalkboard and cork board duo offers an all-in-one organization space to keep track of lists, upcoming family events, and recipes to try. / Source

 

A small butcher paper roll, this beautiful brass number is ideal for smaller pantries that need a notepad area but can’t sacrifice on space.

A small butcher paper roll, this beautiful brass number is ideal for smaller pantries that need a notepad area but can’t sacrifice on space. / Source / Shop this image

Tip #5: Label, Label, Label

Finally, the key to making and keeping things organized in your pantry is to label everything. Whether you’re using a pared down label maker like you’d find in any office setting or investing in beautiful chalkboard signs that you can change up as needed, labels will make your life so much simpler. No more endless searches for that long lost tub of peanut butter or the extra package of sugar you swore you had on hand. Label everything, and voila! Your essentials are always easy to spot. 

An easy-to-access spice drawer with clearly readable labels makes cooking an enjoyable task.

An easy-to-access spice drawer with clearly readable labels makes cooking an enjoyable task. / Source / Shop this image – drawer organizers, spice jars, labels

 

Stylishly-labeled baking items gives this pantry area a streamlined and contemporary look.

Stylishly-labeled baking items gives this pantry area a streamlined and contemporary look. / Source / Shop this image

 

Classic labels for both the clear glass storage containers and storage baskets helps to keep things organized and neat.

Classic labels for both the clear glass storage containers and storage baskets helps to keep things organized and neat. / Source / Shop this image

 

So, here’s to keeping things simple – because life’s too short to spend it digging through stacks of cheese crackers and pudding.

(Note: this post contains affiliate links.)
By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Sneak Peek Design

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