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A Professional Organizer’s Guide to Organizing Pantries

We don’t know the actual stats, but we’d place a bet on the fact that organized pantries are one of the most pinned and Instagrammed spaces. There’s something so gratifying about seeing a perfectly pretty pantry with its decanted jars of dried goods and labeled baskets of snacks. What we do know is that there’s a lot of work that goes into the behind the scenes of those photos. And that, unfortunately, not every pantry is easy to organize.

They come in all different shapes and sizes. Some clients may be blessed with a full walk-in pantry while others are working with just a cabinet in the kitchen. Then, there’s everything in between. With the amount of organizing products out there at the moment, there’s a lot of approaches you can choose to take. We’ve gathered some of our all time favorite supplies and, in this blog, will demonstrate how Sortifi can help bring it all together in less time and with less effort (aka struggle!).

Psst! Many of these tips can also be seen on our Instagram page!

The Design

Obviously, the type of pantry space you’re working with will vary from project to project. But there’s one decidedly important factor that will dictate what products you choose to use and that is the depth (or depths) of the shelves. While some rectangle containers can be versatile due to the different length sides, other things such as lazy susans won’t be so forgiving.

After you have the measurements of the space – and before you start product sourcing – it’s best to have a plan for the ever important zones. While every client is unique, there are some basic methods to follow:

  • The most often used items should be placed at eye level.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner items should be kept together but on separate shelves whenever possible.
  • Always reserve at least one backstock basket for clients to easily see what they have before they shop. Ideally, it should be placed on the bottom of a pantry but if that’s not possible (or, the client doesn’t like it there), place it on a shelf with a clear label.
  • If kids live in the home, ask the parents what snacks they should have access to and, more importantly, what they shouldn’t be able to easily reach.
  • Lightweight items and/or baskets should go on higher shelves while heavier things, such as drinks, need to be placed lower to avoid accidents.

Like we showed you in our previous blog post, A Professional Organizer’s Guide to Organizing Bathrooms, you can create a template within Sortifi with a list of common categories which can save you time with each new project!

To Decant or Not to Decant

That is always the question! Chances are your client has a preference but is it in their best interest? Many people love the look of decanting and the benefits of it are absolutely worth it in our opinion. However, if they lead busy lives, the upkeep might be overwhelming to them and, therefore, they won’t maintain it. Make sure they understand the commitment that is decanting before taking the plunge. If anything, it might be best to decant the items they use less often so A they stay fresher longer and B the client doesn’t have to refill the containers frequently.

Our top three go-to products for decanting include:

  1. OXO Cereal Dispensers

The standard in cereal dispensers. Need we say more?

  1. Neat Method Canisters

They are made with recycled plastic and come in a variety of sizes and colors to match any aesthetic.

  1. mDesign Airtight Glass Canister by Home+Sort

These are stylish and are available in a large size that works better for bulk items.

See these products on our Instagram page

Before we get into the rest of our favorite products, here’s an example of a pantry design using Sortifi:

But first, we can’t show you the end result without that familiar before photo:

Photo courtesy of Lisa Eckerle of Sort Support

A whole organization system was created in Sortifi to maximize this pantry closet, both internally and on the inside door:

Design courtesy of Lisa Eckerle of Sort Support

Drumroll for the after photo, please…

Photo courtesy of Lisa Eckerle of Sort Support
Lisa offers product sourcing and space planning services to professional organizers. Contact her via her website for more information!

The Products

Finally, here’s a list of our favorite supplies for ultimate pantry organization: 

Bins and Baskets

1 Neat Method Grid Baskets

These baskets come in a variety of sizes and colors and have a removable acacia base.

2 The Home Edit Large Bins

These are great for shallow pantries plus are a great quality for the price!

3 mDesign Lattice Bins by Home+Sort

The Home+Sort sisters knocked it out of the park with this bin design! They are seriously awesome and come in two colors.

4 Plastic Storage Bins with Handles

These bins are by far our favorite low-budget products for pantries.

5 Hyacinth Baskets

Like the plastic bins, there’s a good variety of sizes to choose from which makes them work for a variety of pantries. These are also a more earth friendly option if that’s something important to your client.

Specialty Organizers

6 Neat Method Acacia Riser

We love the look of this riser and that it expands to fit cabinets perfectly.

7 Brightroom 15” Turntable

This is great for large pantries that have deep, awkward corner shelves. They can also work for corner kitchen cabinets if that’s where you store pantry items. Of course, they work best when organizing round items.

8 mDesign 11.5” Turntable

If you’d like to add a bit of a boujee look to your client’s pantry, opt for these pretty turntables!

9 Bin Clip Label

The OG label clips for hyacinth baskets and more.

10 Elfa Door Rack

Not just for doors, this solution can also work on a bit of empty wall space. Ideal for small items like grab and go snacks.

If you haven’t tried out Sortifi yet for your professional organizing business, sign up for a free one week trial HERE and simplify your design process.

*Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission.