Hello and Welcome everyone! January is a great time to get organized. Somehow the weight of winter is lightened by the activity, and the results, of organizing the most commonly used spaces in your home. Yes, I am talking about your kitchen! Today we are taking a look at my pantry. I don’t have a large pantry at all, it’s just a closet basically. But I have maximized the space by utilizing bins for storage and a door-mounted shelving unit that I almost tossed during our renovation – but I am so glad I didn’t! Let’s take a look at how to organize a pantry.
Let’s start with the spice rack. Yep, that’s the door-mounted shelving unit that I thought was ugly and nearly tossed during our renovation. But painting it black really helped! And I very quickly realized that I absolutely needed it. it’s low profile, yet it provides a ton of space and its wire frame allows me to easily read the labels.
Let’s start at the top. I organize my spices by type, or purpose rather than alphabetically. Since I rarely bake, I keep the spices most commonly used for baking on the top shelf.
Next, the dried herbs and paprikas go on their own shelf since many of the dried herbs are often used together in recipes.
The next shelf down holds savory spice like Chinese Five Spice, Togarashi and Sumac; as well as whole seeds, like Sesame, Caraway and Mustard seed. These spices are used less often, but if I put them up too high, I will forget I have them, so I do want to keep them within my eyesight.
Then I have all the spicy seasonings: various ground chiles and peppers, red pepper flakes and the like. This is a go-to shelf, so I also keep my flavored salts here. Like keeping the less-used things on a top shelf, this is an organization strategy of use.
Powders and flavor boosters are next. Store-bought spice blends and meat rubs are together on the next shelf down. Alex does so much grilling that we use these spices often.
The bottom two shelves have a lot of clearance between them, so this where the bottles of vinegar have landed. With the oil, cooking spray and other tall bottles on the very bottom shelf.
Now, my spice organization system may not make sense for you, and that’s because we all have our own ways of thinking through a recipe. Grouping things by type or frequency of use is what works for me and I find I never have to search around for a spice, because I have organized them in the way my brain works when I am thinking out a recipe.
Let’s move on to the pantry. I have this closet-style pantry and I also have a pantry built-in, outfitted with drawers, instead of shelves. We added it in the renovation. It’s located where the refrigerator originally was and I will show you that next week, when we tackle how to organize your refrigerator.
This closet is where I keep my homemade spice blends, storage containers, bulk items and a few pieces of kitchen equipment. The top shelf contains items I rarely use, for obvious reasons. The next shelf down holds my bulk spices like pepper, salt, and flour – items that I only need every so often, but not everyday. I also keep my bamboo steamer and bread proofing baskets here.
Next, I have my Cambro storage area. This is where I keep all of my empty Cambros. I also keep a few items such as Nori, Corn Husks, Rice Paper Wrappers and unopened Miso packages. Those items are best to stack vertically like books, which allows me to see what they are more easily.
Just below my Cambro shelf, I keep baking supplies, like chocolate, and gelatin. I also keep baking powder and baking soda here. When it makes sense, I put items in clear Cambros. I do this for baking soda, because you know, those boxes don’t seal. I keep my homemade spice blends, whole chile peppers and various dehydrated and fermented items on this shelf, all stored in jars or one-quart Cambros.
Stack and Label
The shelf below the homemade spice blends Is where I keep all my flours. I store flours and grains in clear 4 or 6-quart Cambros. Storing flours and grains this way keeps everything well organized, clean and it’s easier to measure from a bin, rather than a bag. Use a strip of masking tape to label the side of the bin, and you will always know what you have and how much of it is there.
Below my flour shelf, I keep the box wine. Hahaha! I also keep a clear bin with random and small things like cookie cutters, pastry bags, and other stuff that just doesn’t fit neatly. All of Alex’s lesser used grilling salt rubs and jugs of oil and vinegar are stored here, as well.
Rice bins, large jugs of bulk oil, the dog food bin, and a large stock pot all sit on the floor. I will usually store bags of potatoes here, too. Buying bulk items and keeping the smaller containers in your pantry and the bulk containers tucked away in the garage, or laundry room can make a big difference.
How to Organize a Pantry
A well-organized kitchen is a functional kitchen. If you make the most of your storage areas, a small pantry becomes more functional and therefore, more enjoyable to use. As you can see from this tour of my pantry, Cambros are my lifesaver when it comes to organizing my space. They’re uniform and stackable, which alone makes a big difference in overall organization. I hope you all have enjoyed this look at my Pantry, and my tips for how to organize a pantry. My goal is that you found a takeaway you can apply to your own space. Let me know your organization tips and tricks in the comments here, or on facebook and Instagram.
If you missed having a recipe today, check out one of my recent Sunday Suppers. I will see you all here again tomorrow, with an all new Pizza and a Movie. Take care and be well, everyone. xo Kelly