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Reach-In Pantry Tips

Cherry Creek | Denver, CO

I love a good pantry project! It's always so satisfying to turn food chaos into food bliss because EVERYONE in the house uses the pantry and benefits from the system. Who doesn't like to find food faster in a moment of total hangry or meal prep time?!

Quick Pantry Organizing Tips

Here are some quick tips to organizing a pantry that not only looks pretty but will keep you and your family organized longterm:

  • Create zones (i.e. choose one spot for snacks vs. having them scattered)

  • Contain like-items together (this gives everything a home)

  • Buy containers based on size of the space (critical to maximizing space)

  • Buy containers that are consistent in color and match your home decor

  • Decant wherever possible (saves a ton of space)

  • Label (to remember where to find/return items)

  • Only buy food according to what you have space for

  • Or, if you like to stock up but don't have space in your pantry, create a separate spot in your home for back stock or duplicate items

Stair Step Approach

If your pantry is tight like this one, where the shelves are all the same very narrow depth (in this case 11"), you can create more space by using the "stair step" approach.

The trick is to start with small bins at the top and increase your bin size slightly with each shelf below, allowing your bins to extend past the edge of the shelf.

This method helps you maintain the ability to see into the bins below on the next shelf and easily access what you need. If all the bins were the same depth and hung off the shelf by the same amount of space, it would make it difficult to reach in and/or see what you need.

Turn Tables and Tiered Displays

I use turntables and tiered displays in almost every pantry I work on, but especially tight pantries. The turntables make it so much easier to access liquids, such as oils and vinegars, without taking up a ton of space. All you have to do is spin and grab. And the tiered trays are great for displaying cans, or in this case, herbs and spices!

Labeling is a Game Changer

Be sure to label! Labeling makes it easy for everyone in your household to find what they're looking for AND return items to their proper spot. I like the Brother P-Touch Label Maker, but if you don't have a label maker, you can always use a Sharpie and write on a piece of masking tape or use an erasable marker.

Grocery Shopping and Meal Prep Simplified

You'll also find that it's much easier to meal plan and grocery shop, because now that everything has a place, it's very easy to see when you're running low or out of something. The second you realize you're out of Captain Crunch, add it to the grocery list!

Once you have a good system in place, you'll be amazed at how organized the system will keep YOU. Good luck!

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