I organized a pantry for a client today, so I thought I would share some tips on that since it’s fresh in my mind. I do write about a lot of things other than kitchens, but it just so happens I have felt like writing about them for the last few posts…!
1. Your pantry storage is all about VISIBILITY. Just like your closet, you need to be able to see clearly what you have so you can make selections. If you have too many things on a shelf and can’t see them, you won’t know you have them, and you will go out and buy more accidentally.
2. If you are having trouble with visibility because of very deep shelves, here are two fixes for that: First, turntables. These allow you to spin things around and make what was once behind everything now be in the front. The one I am showing here is a bigger one, 21", from Organize.com –sometimes the standard 10" ones are not enough. Secondly, you can fix a depth problem by using baskets as drawers. You can get baskets that are the depth of the shelf, load them up, and then pull them out like a drawer to get things in and out. Make sure you label the baskets, or you won’t have visibility to what’s in there.
3. If you buy things in bulk, like from Sam’s or Costco, always unwrap the outer packaging when you get home. You will rarely find a giant open spot to put a super-jumbo pack of paper towels, but if you unwrap them, you can easily find homes for the individual rolls. Also, when you get ready to use the items, they are easier to grab when you need them.
4. Always corral small items with bins. Individual packets of oatmeal, little snack bars and boxes of raisins, and those seasoning and soup mix packets are great examples. We really like these Sterilite bins as shown here in this photo from Sterilite’s website. We like this bin #1622 because it fits on a standard shelf and will still allow cabinet doors to close. You can get these at most major discount stores.