Easy Pantry Organization System (+ What’s always in mine!)

Ever find yourself lost on Pinterest? You started with a specific need or question in mind – like a recipe for the best strawberry pretzel salad or tips on design a modern farmhouse dining room in your home – and you end up in a rabbit hole of ideas. I swear last week I was searching for a quick recipe and 45 minutes later, had Olivia’s third birthday party planner for October. ๐Ÿ˜‰ One of the most popular Pinterest search is for a good pantry organization system, but from my own hunting, I was struggling to find a pantry organization system that felt (+ WAS) realistic in a “normal” pantry – ha! While we are so, so lucky in our new house to have a beautiful, functional pantry, it’s still essentially a closet – not some crazy elaborate room like many Pinterest pantries might be. 

So while it’s nothing revolutionary, I still wanted to share the progress in my new pantry organization system, since it used to be a hot mess express and now feels functional, practical, AND pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

THE BEFORE:

Pantry Organization System - THE BEFORE

 

THE AFTER:

EASY PANTRY ORGANIZATION SYSTEM - our small pantry organization system with before/afters! EASY PANTRY ORGANIZATION SYSTEM - our small pantry organization system with before/afters! EASY PANTRY ORGANIZATION SYSTEM - our small pantry organization system with before/afters! EASY PANTRY ORGANIZATION SYSTEM - our small pantry organization system with before/afters! EASY PANTRY ORGANIZATION SYSTEM - our small pantry organization system with before/afters! EASY PANTRY ORGANIZATION SYSTEM - our small pantry organization system with before/afters! EASY PANTRY ORGANIZATION SYSTEM - our small pantry organization system with before/afters!

First, I took out EVERYTHING. (Hence, the crazy first shot – ha!). Take a wild guess how old the most expired thing was that ended up getting tossed?? GUESS.

2016.

Y’all I kid you not, I was graduating college and apparently took old quinoa with me to THREE HOMES THENCE without a.) cooking it or b.) pitching it. I mean…heavens.

Once everything expired was gone and we had a clean slate to start again with, I started grouping things into categories to get a sense of how much of what was most popular in our pantry already. For us, that looked a bit like:

  • Canned goods
  • Baking
  • Cookies (LOL)
  • Snacks
  • Granola bars/grab-and-go packaged goods
  • Pasta
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • PB/Nutella/Marshmallow fluff
  • Breads/other breakfast foods
  • Oatmeals/rolled oats

These ended up being the looser categories for how containers were grouped then, too, depending on how much we had in each. And our pantry organization system is a bit of a top-down approach, in that the lesser-used bins went up top, followed by more heavily used as you head down…with the exception being anything hidden from a toddler. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I picked up these bigger baskets from Target from the new Studio McGee line, which is GORGEOUS; they’re pricey, but well-made and worth it for the right functional storage, I think! So for us, the bottommost right basket holds unopened snacks. Clearly, we have a lot. HA. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Both J and I have this problem of not being able to go to grocery stores hungry, lest we impulse buy the entire snack aisle. SO, a new house rule is not being allowed to open a new one from the bottom basket until we finish a bag from the basket right above it, which hosts already opened snack food. Bonus being seeing all of those unopened, brand new snacks makes us think twice when mulling over a cheese puff purchase. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The baskets were also a great option at that shelf height since a certain Little Miss in our house loveloveloves her snacks. Like mama, like daughter. HA. But girlfriend likes to open the pantry and help herself, so we needed to make sure that certain things were at higher heights or not visible, so we wouldn’t find her elbow-deep in a bag of chips.

For our clear plastic binswhich I shared in-depth in yesterday’s Amazon Live…click here to tune into the replay of that ICYMI! – I just added these cute script labels. The script labels came in handy for these containers with baking essentials, too.

And then of course, our pantry organization system also includes my candle collection…because why not. Ha!

Pantry organization Studio McGee baskets

EASY PANTRY ORGANIZATION SYSTEM - our small pantry organization system with before/afters!

No, I have not (and will not) empty every single box or package into a clear container. For some things for me, that’s just not practical. But in grouping + organizing things in similar categories it definitely helped, and everything (more or less) has a place now. It’s already undeniably lessened our impulse purchases while discouraging waste, and helps us better enjoy what we have!

So, beyond the actual pantry organization system + storage itself, there are a few staples that are ALWAYS in our pantry. And they are…

Our Pantry Organization System: What’s always in our pantry!

  • Blue Diamond Nut Thins
  • Twizzlers
  • Apple chips
  • Dot’s pretzels
  • Boom chicka pop
  • S’mores mix
  • Cheddar + caramel popcorn
  • Beef jerky
  • Dry pasta
  • Mac n’ cheese
  • Canned goods (with low sodium + no added sugar whenever possible)
    • Cut green beans
    • Chick peas
  • Lipton Extra Noodle soup boxes
  • Extra fudgy dark brownie mix (although Pamela’s brownies are THE BEST!!!)

 

Do you have a pantry organization system that you love?

What works best for you? I’m always looking for ideas + inspiration, so I’d lovelovelove to know in a comment below!

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