6 Inspiring Pantry Makeover Ideas
Words Veronica Chan
Opening up your pantry or a kitchen cabinet only to find everything all neat and organized is a home cook’s dream. Take your pantry to the next level with these ingenious ideas and organization tips.
No more digging around to find the flour or accidentally knocking over the baking powder while reaching for spices. Keep your pantry organized with the help of OXO’s POP Containers, our popular line of airtight storage containers. Not only are they clear, so you can easily see everything at a glance, they also keep your food fresh longer. Check out this guide to POP Containers for help on finding the right fit for all of the foods you need to store.
Take Inventory & Choose the Right Containers
The first step to organizing your pantry is to remove everything in it and take inventory. Throw out anything expired or stale (feel free to do a snack taste test as you go!) and make note of anything you have multiples of. Have three open boxes of spaghetti? Combine them into one tall POP Container to save space. This is also the perfect time to see what size containers you’ll need. When The Faux Martha made over this pantry, after deciding what items were going to stay, she matched the foods to right size containers for both the items, and the pantry shelf height.
Adjust Your Shelves
Is the shelf you use the most, the one right at eye level, too short for the ingredients you use the most? There’s a simple solution—adjust the height. Did you know that most cabinets and many pantries have adjustable shelves? Make the most of your space by making things taller or shorter to fit the things you use the most on the shelves you can reach the best. When cookbook author Julia Turshen helped her best friend makeover her pantry, they adjusted her shelves to fit her breakables like wine glasses out of her toddler’s reach. And consider making a snack station on a lower shelf, so kiddos can help themselves to an afternoon snack without needing a parent’s help.
Save Space by Removing Packaging
Make your room in your pantry by taking items out of their bulky boxes and putting them in clear containers. Not only does it save space, you can see at a glance if you’re running low on something. Designer Jen Bryant, whose pantry is pictured here, says “Even with organizing it, without fail I double buy, find empty boxes and wrappers, or run out of things before I know it…[so] I threw out boxes and packaging to maximize space, and to keep an eye on everything I have in there! Shelves are in categories and everything has a place…This is an absolute game changer for me.”
Keep track of what you’ve got by using removable labels to mark each container, like food blogger Esteban Castillo. It’s especially helpful when you’ve got a kid or partner acting as sous chef—you can send them to the pantry for linguine and be sure they won’t accidentally come back with spaghetti. Or worse, ruining cookies with baking soda instead of baking powder. This label set also comes with mini stickies to keep track of expiration dates.
Creative Storage Solutions
Make your pantry work harder for you, like Cara of Goldalamode, by adding wire baskets to the door for easy access to frequently used items, like cleaning supplies. She also took advantage of helper shelves—those mini shelf-within-a-shelfs—to gather like items together and create more storage within the dead space above smaller items. Also consider turntables, to gather things like oils and vinegars, and make sure nothing gets lost in the back of your pantry.
Make the Most of Drawers
Have an unusual pantry situation? Blogger Molly Madfis, of almostmakesperfect, only had this space—a narrow, but deep cabinet of drawers. The problem? Everything got lost in the back. The solution? Stacking modular POP containers to make the most of every inch of space. To keep track of everything, she labeled them on the top, rather than the front, so she could see what she had at a glance.
Don’t have much storage space? Try these great ideas for organizing a kitchen without a pantry. Plus, check out our best kitchen counter storage ideas and organization tweaks that revolutionize your kitchen.