Updated: Jun 22
Have you ever wondered if it is realistic for a normal family to have a pantry that looks like it came out of a magazine? Or have you ever thought that picture worthy pantries look picture worthy but impractical and that there is no way that it could function for you and be easily maintained?
I want you to know that not only is a beautifully designed pantry realistic, practical, and functional for you, but you can do it yourself with just a few tips! Once systems are set up and set up in a way that caters to you and your needs, it is easy to maintain, and oh so pretty. Do you have a pantry? You don’t need a pantry to effectively and beautifully store your food. So, pantry or no pantry, these tips are to take your food storage from meh to the heart-eyed emoji in a matter of a few hours.
Tip #1– Take everything out, and I mean everything! Throw out anything expired and make piles of like items. You might be surprised about that hidden jar of Nutella that was hiding behind the spaghetti sauce or that there are three half eaten boxes of the SAME cereal in your food cupboard.
Tip #2 - Once you are working with a clean slate you can see your space in a new way. Pull ideas from pinterest or your favorite organizers and decide what look and feel you want to create. Yes, food cupboards can have style!
Tip #3– Measure your space and buy products to better serve you. The more packaging you have the more cluttered and less efficient your space. We love clear, airtight containers for bulk items. Container Store and Target have some of our favorite plastic airtight containers, but glass containers can be found almost anywhere and are also beautiful.
Another pantry essential are open bins or baskets. This is where we put everything that can’t be easily emptied into a clear container. As you analyze the things you have pulled out, decide if you need tiered shelving for cans, lazy susans for hard to reach corners, big baskets for Costco sized packages, etc. Because we want our pantry space not only be functional, but beautiful as well, try to keep the looks of the products consistent. For example: if using clear acrylic, pair with natural woven baskets and perhaps some black wire baskets. If using glass containers, match the lids of the jars to other materials in the pantry. Too many looks will make the space feel cluttered and not as custom.
Tip #4– Put everything back in. Empty packaged items into your new bins and containers. Keep like things together. Do you have a way to keep spreads and bread by your toaster? Can you keep teas by your mugs and tea kettle? What do you use the most? Make sure it gets the prime real estate and put less used items up high or down low. More unsightly packaged items that don’t make sense to empty into their own container can go in solid bins or baskets (did you buy lots of different chips for the Superbowl? Or leftover candy from movie night?).
Tip #5– Label! Label! Label! You can write directly on the container with chalk markers, use a label maker, order custom vinyl, or print labels off your computer…but labels will help you (and more importantly, all those less invested in your beautiful new space) to keep things where they belong.
Following these 5 tips will set you and your home up for success! Not only will your pantry be pinterest worthy, but it will be functional and make your life easier. Operation pantry/food cupboard begin!
Jen Martin is the owner of Reset Your Nest, Salt Lake City home organization company. She brings the world of interior design and professional organizing together to create luxurious spaces that are also functional and custom tailored to each client.