Professional Organizer
blog image

Revisiting Pantries

April 01, 20224 min read

APRIL 1, 2022

Revisiting Pantries

The first thing you are going to want to do with your pantry is to take inventory of all of the items that you have. Figure out what you have duplicates of, what is expired, and what categories are going to be your largest. Anything that is expired needs to be thrown out, and anything you know you won’t use (but that is still unopened) can be donated to your local food pantry.

Once you know all of what you have, and have gotten rid of the things that aren’t edible or that you won’t eat, you need to see which categories you are going to need. Here is a good starter list of category ideas that we often use on pantries (remember, you may not use all of them!)

Pantry Categories

1. Canned goods

  • Soups

  • Fruits and Vegetables

  • Beans/Legumes

  • Jellies and spreads

  • Meats

2. Pasta, rice and other grains

3. Baking

4. Snacks

5. Breakfast

6. Nuts and seeds

7. Mixes

8. Vinegars, oils and cooking wines

9. Sauces and condiments

10. Sweets and Candy

11. Boxed Meals (like mac and cheese)

12. Spices

13. Drinks (tea, coffee, bottled waters)

14. Root vegetables (onions, potatoes)

15. Breads

16. Paper Goods

17. Dried beans or legumes

18. Pet Food

19. Small appliances

Look at your largest categories, these are what you are going to want to find space for first.

Then, think about where you can piece in your smaller categories. Spices, for example, can go in a drawer. Pet food might have a better home near the rest of your pet supplies.

Now - Let’s talk about containers.

  • Ditch packaging to give more space and a more cohesive look.

  • Get rid of cereal and oatmeal boxes as well as packaging that single-serving snacks come in to optimize space.

  • Use airtight containers and bins to keep everything in one place.

  • Combine duplicates in larger containers - recommend using canisters and jars for flour, sugar, cereals, nuts, grains and crackers.

  • Clear bins or canisters make it easy to see what you have, and know when you are running low on something.

  • Use baskets and bins to group similar items together for easy access (snack basket, baking goods, sweets and treats) as well as to keep things separate from one another.

Lazy susans are great for sauces and things that are above eye level since they allow easy access to items you frequently use. Cans are ideal for a step shelf, and spices can either go in a spice rack, or in a drawer organizer if you have an extra drawer to spare (just remember to keep all labels facing upwards so that you can clearly see what each spice is.)

Fill open shelves with clear glass jars of sugar, coffee, pasta, and other items you use frequently. They are functional and add interest to an otherwise empty wall or counter space while still keeping the area looking clean and tidy.

Keep potatoes and onions tucked away with their own baskets. It’ll be a breeze to just grab what you need when you’re cooking dinner.

Kitchen appliances go fabulously in an appliance garage - but can also easily sit on the floor of your pantry. Lesser used specialty appliances can be put on the top shelf that otherwise can be more difficult to reach.

Sliding shelves allow you to use the back of your cabinets more efficiently. You can also stack things like canned goods farther back without losing the ability to see them all. Consider putting shorter things in front of a stair organizer for your cans.

When you are putting things away, remember that there is no reason to jam everything you possibly can into your pantry. Save yourself some stress by making sure there’s some space so everything can be easily located.

Finally, remember to label everything as the last step in the process! Use uniform labels to ensure the space looks clean and tidy. Basket clip hangers for labels are great and clear bins work well for adhesive labels.

Final Tips to Take Away:

  • Pull-out racks (we recommend from The Container Store) in lower cabinets so every inch is fully accessible and visible

  • All cooking oils and vinegars in a single basket immediately inside the pantry

  • cut back on duplicates in our drawers – kitchen gadgets

  • Give every item a purpose and a place

  • Put all water bottles and plastic cups into a single basket in a pull out drawer for easy access

  • Individually labeled baskets in the pantry to corral paper products, barbecue tools, baking supplies, etc., while maintaining a streamlined aesthetic.

home organization
Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients.

Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

Karen Swart

Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients. Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

Back to Blog
Professional Organizer Logo

Organizing-Etc. - Professional Home Organizers - Serving Johnson County and Greater Kansas City

© 2024 Organizing-Etc. LLC

“I cannot recommend Karen Swart and her team enough! We were in the Kansas City area for a full summer, filming “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” and Karen and her team were our behind the scenes death-cleaner helpers! They helped our Death Cleaners move quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly through people’s homes - and they did it with heart. Thank you, Karen! Stay Gentle!”

— J.J. DUNCAN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF “THE GENTLE ART OF SWEDISH DEATH CLEANING”