organizing natasha's pantry
My friend (and C&S partner!) Natasha just moved and asked me to help her plan a pantry system that wouldn't dissolve into mayhem after a few months of use (as pantries often do). She's lucky to have a pantry space with pull out drawers, but even with this luxury, without a system these drawers could quickly become overloaded with food. Check out what we did below, hopefully it will help you get your pantry in shape, too. (And if you still feel overwhelmed, you can hire me to come do it for you!).
Tash is a chef and cooks a ton, so we started by designating the top drawer as a space for bulk ingredients. It's important to choose product that fits your space well, and a mix of square and rectangle OXO containers worked perfectly here. We filled them with her staple ingredients and I chose clear address labels with simple handwriting.
We designated the second drawer a "baking drawer." I used a combo of baskets and OXO containers to hold anything having to do with baking (except for the bulk items like flour and sugar, which are stored in the top drawer). We made a "baking" basket (with smaller items like baking soda, baking powder, corn starch and gelatin), a "chocolate" basket (needs no explanation) and a "dried fruit & nuts" basket.
For the third drawer, we chose to group all of the grains, pastas and legumes/beans together. Like in the baking drawer, we used a combination of large OXO containers to hold bulk grains (white rice, brown rice, pasta, and quinoa), and we categorized the baskets into "pasta," "beans," and "grains."
Lastly, we turned the bottom drawer into more of a miscellaneous pantry drawer. We used a few baskets labeled "canned goods," "jars," and "asian food" (she had many different kinds of seaweeds, rice papers and noodles that didn't fit in the grain drawer). This also left a little empty space so there's room to grow if the other drawers fill up quickly.
And that's it! Like with all organizing, the most important things to keep in mind are to 1) group like items together 2) utilize your space fully and 3) find a home for everything. And remember that everyone has different food in their house - so your pantry organization will be a very personal thing - what works for someone else might not be the right system for you. Just be flexible and open to doing what's best for you and your family.