The Pantry

Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!— Ecclesiastes 9:7 NLT

The pantry looks different for all of us. It may be a few small cabinets or a large and airy closet. Whatever the size, it’s the dreaded space we put off cleaning. (One time, I think found candy sprinkles from my childhood. Just kidding!)

We all need grace in the pantry.

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but as a child, I took it upon myself to organize the pantry. I was fed up with the piles of cereal boxes, random cans, and bags. In reality, it probably wasn’t that bad, but I still remember beaming with pride after organizing that pantry, knowing my parents would be thrilled with the outcome. Yes, firstborn over-achiever here!

When we moved into our current home, I knew I wanted our pantry space to be clean and organized. Baskets and containers helped me achieve that. As we make Saturday morning pancakes, I tell them, “Bottom basket for the flour, boys!” And after they get home from school a little peckish, I can say, “Snacks are in the snack bin on the third shelf,” a place where they can reach them. Cereals are in clear dispensers on the counter, making it easy to see what needs to be refilled. But my biggest tip for the pantry is to first get in there and clean it out!

So come on, take a deep breath, and let’s dive into that pantry together.

LAYOUT AND STYLE

As you think about the layout of your pantry, consider these questions:

  • What space do you have to work with?
  • What foods do you consume the most?
  • How can they be organized a little better for your needs?

The next step is to pull out all the food and organize it by category. Baking goes in one pile, cereal and breakfast food in another, and so on. These piles will tell you how many baskets you need. Get items off the floor and consider adding hanging storage organizers to your pantry or cabinet doors. I can’t say it enough: a pantry can be clean and organized if and only if items have a home and everyone knows where to put them.

Remember, organization can be pretty too. Look for baskets that complement tones in the rest of your house. Choose containers that match your overall design choices. Glass jars are an attractive way to store flour, sugar, and cornmeal. Choose something sleek and simple for a modern home, classic white for traditional, jewel tones for an eclectic style, and chipped enamel or vintage jars for a more rustic look. Having clear containers helps you see when supplies are getting low and need to be replaced.

Use matching, box-shaped containers all in one color, or use baskets to add a woven texture. Paint your pantry walls or add pretty shelf paper to dress up your space. I’ve found the more I like a space, the more I want to keep it organized. So if your pantry is pleasing to look at, you’ll be more motivated to keep it neat and clean, and it will feel more like a part of your home.

Keep It Tidy

Every so often, we need to purge the pantry by clearing it out and organizing it anew. But in between those purges, try this trick: whenever you bring in new groceries, throw out the old things you no longer need, dump the crumbs from the chip basket, and toss any stale or expired items — along with potatoes that have started growing eyes. Do this each time you put groceries away, and it will keep the pantry from getting out of hand.

Style on a Budget

Baskets and bins are crucial to organizing the pantry. Once you’ve decided what you need, shop around for those that fit your style. Do you want natural baskets or galvanized metal bins to fit your rustic style? Or perhaps simple, monochromatic baskets for a more traditional style? If modern is more your vibe, sleek glass containers might be just the thing. For an eclectic look, use colors and textures that complement the rest of your kitchen area.

Where to Shop

Jars and Containers

  • TJ.Maxx
  • Walmart
  • Wayfair

Baskets and Bins

  • Amazon
  • Dollar Tree
  • TJ.Maxx
  • Walmart

Excerpted with permission from She Made Herself a Home by Rachel Van Kluyve copyright Rachel Van Kluyve.

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Your Turn

Whose pantry needs a good scrubbin’ and organizing? I’m ready to get mine ready to be a space I enjoy and keep tidy! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear your ideas for your pantry! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full

Rachel Van Kluyve

Rachel Van Kluyve is a blogger and designer with a deep love of repurposing and decorating on a budget. Her blog, Crate & Cottage, features a gallery of her personal farmhouse renovation projects and fun seasonal DIY décor tutorials. She and her husband own a real estate company in the Nashville area and flip homes together. She has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens and has partnered with Wayfair, Pier 1, and Cracker Barrel.

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