Organizing a pantry is half art and half science. Neat Little Nest enjoys exploring both aspects when creating beautiful pantry spaces for our clients. When architecting a more functional pantry design, we always start with the science part paying attention to the parameters of the space itself. Once those considerations are mapped out, then we add in the artsy half by bringing in a nice aesthetic mix of materials to fit with a home's decor and the occupant's life style.
To that end, let Neat Little Nest take you on a short journey of how to balance form and function to create visually pleasing + organized pantry spaces.
start with a vision
Just like every other project you start, it's important to begin by thinking about what you want to get out of your pantry space. Spend some time really thinking about what you need (storage space for dry goods? a place for less-used appliances? etc.) in your pantry and combine that with your hopes and dreams for the space.
group like items together
Our overarching principle for designing a pantry is to aim for using the golden rule of organizing —have a dedicated place for everything. When you follow this principle, it is much easier to find what you have on hand and know by quick glance when you are running low on something you need. To do this, grouping like items together will
Grouping like items together is especially important in a pantry. Place snacks with snacks, pasta with pasta, oils with oils, et al. Storing like items together makes it a breeze to find things without much effort. Put smaller items in bins so they stay together— this is a terrific method in general but especially if you have kids who are grabbing their own granola bar or squeeze applesauce packet.
When putting like items together, consider how bins and baskets can help you corral what you need and display what you have in a way that is sensible but easy on the eyes. Neat Little Nest's favorite pantry organizing products can be found here.
ditch packaging + convert to clear
Boxes and bags take up lots of space, so for efficiency, remove unnecessary packaging and place products in clear containers before putting them away in your pantry or fridge— it also simplifies cooking and baking.
Keep dry items like flour, sugar, rice and coffee in clear, air-tight containers. They will stay fresher longer, and using clear bins allows a quick scan to see when stock is low. No more overbuying — you will know exactly when it’s time for more lentils. And while you should invest in good containers, if you choose high-quality, it should be a one-time purchase. Here are some more of our faves.
pick a design aesthetic
One of the most fun things about organizing a pantry is deciding on how it will look since there are so many beautiful options available now for home organization. For Neat Little Nest clients, we usually take a cue from the design aesthetic of their home for the design aesthetic of their pantry.
This means that if the client's home is modern, we would select pantry organizing items that compliment that. This might mean more black and white along with streamlined finishes. On the other hand, if their home has a more farmhouse feel, we would opt for more natural materials to support that particular design aesthetic.
Think about your organizational items as investment pieces. We've all purchased impulse buys where we let price drive the decision only to have to replace those very items in the future. Buy the best products you can afford now and they will last you a long time.
It is all too easy for a pantry to become an out-of-sight, out-of-mind catchall for unnecessary clutter. A well-organized and streamlined pantry is a game-changer for any kitchen and home. And, to compliment the organization, a beautifully designed pantry can bring you a little bit of joy just by peeking into it each day!
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