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A Pantry Makeover: Before and After from Mom 100's Katie Workman

Our friend Katie Workman from Mom 100 shares how she transforms her disorganized pantry into a tidy space that makes cooking and navigating her kitchen a breeze. Check out how she tackles her pantry. 

4 min read

My pantry was a total disaster.  A black hole.  A closet of chaos.

Despite periodic efforts to reclaim the area, my pantry closet looked like an eclectic and confusing supermarket had exploded, and someone swept up a large portion of the miscellaneous goods and thrown them onto shelves with no rhyme or reason.  Yes, the flour and sugar shared a shelf (most of the time), but they were nestled next to Halloween sprinkles, lentils, and spelt.  Tuna fish sat next to blackberry jam.  A jar of truffled mushroom spread from a trip to Italy in 2016 nestled up near ramen noodles.

And there were clipped-closed bags of farro, whole wheat pastry flour, white chocolate chips, and wheat berries scrunched up in various nooks and crannies.  Not to mention boxes of cereal and pasta in process, kind of just hanging out, waiting to be rediscovered.

Exactly the way you’d picture the pantry of a food writer right?

No, not so much.

I mostly knew where things were.  Kind of.  Mostly. But while I am not a resolution person (kiss of death, right?) I did know that it would be such a nice little gift to myself to get this pantry gulf in order once and for all.

But then I got a kick in the pants and a little help from some friends. Ok, a lot of help from some friends.  My buddies at OXO (without making one mean, snarky comment, for which I am grateful) offered to send me a plethora of their highly functional and highly adorable POP Containers(Opens in a new window) to let me turn my closet of shame into something….highly functional and fairly adorable.  Stackable, clear (so you can always see just where you are in terms of needing to replenish), so easy to open and close and scoop from – these containers are game changers.

(And just because I am not good at waiting, I will tell you that there is a sweepstakes afoot, and a chance for you to win a huge selection of these POP Containers for your very own self – why should I be the only one OXO showers their love on?  Plus a copy of The Mom 100 Cookbook(Opens in a new window) and Dinner Solved!(Opens in a new window) because I love you, too.)

Here’s the before and after...

Katie Workman Pantry Before

Pretty embarrassing, right? But aren’t you glad I’m not showing you, oh, I don’t know, stretch marks from pregnancy?  But seriously, the After makes the Before worth suffering through.

I had to employ card tables to hold all the food, and act as a staging ground for transferring everything to my pretty new containers.  I could not decide which version I liked better, the steel-toned or the white, so I ended up using a combo.  Also, check out how many different shapes and sizes the POP containers come in – there seemed to be just the right size for all kinds of different ingredients, big canisters for things like flour, small cute cubes for things like dried cherries.

At this point I can see the beautiful white light shining at the end of the tunnel.  And then I started the gratifying task of putting it all back into the closet (yes I wiped the shelves).

And then it was done…..and it was BEAUTIFUL!

If you’ve read this far, then it won’t surprise you to know that I have spent quite a number of minutes just standing in this closet, smiling stupidly.  And you’re probably not even judging me for it.  Because you get it.


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