Updated: Mar 30, 2020
There are plenty of gorgeous pantries circling the inter-webs feature beautiful, coordinating bins and jars with cute labels. And I'm happy to swipe through for hours when I'm seeking inspiration, but sometimes, it's nice to see something more realistic. So, I thought I’d get real with y’all & hopefully provide a little inspiration by telling you what I’ve done in my own pantry.
We don’t have a traditional dedicated pantry area in our kitchen, so I moved some dishes around to create this pantry-esq space. (We rent our apartment furnished & I have no idea what the owners did for a pantry). I added two white wire shelving units so I could stack items & create more space. We got lucky as the owners left a bunch of clear food storage canisters which I was able to utilize for decanting grains & pastas. The rest was sorted in small baskets by food type or use.
The top shelf has breakfast grains (cereal, oats, quinoa flakes) & bin for “sweets” - I prefer to keep cookies & such in a bin up high in hopes I’ll forget they are there - but hasn’t worked yet...
The middle shelf has things I typically use for lunch or dinner: the rest of the grains (rice, quinoa, pastas) & bins for “canned goods”, “sauces” & “soups”. The bottom shelf is all snacks. I love snacking - if it were just me here, I’d probably for-go actual meals and just nibble all day, every day. I have 4 snack bins that house “chips”, “crackers”, “nuts” & “healthy” (granola bars, quinoa puffs & some all-natural snack balls I found at Spinney’s), I also have 4 canisters for bulk snack items - “clean snax” (kind of like granola bites), popcorn, pretzels & goldfish.
Overflow/refill supplies are kept behind their respective canister or bin. When I’m low on something, I always check there before adding it to the shopping list. The only exception is tortilla chips - the bags are just too big to fit, so I keep the backup in the cabinet below (which houses extra canisters & miscellaneous countertop appliances).
In the photo above you can just barely see the labels on the bins, courtesy of my Brother label maker. Post-photo, I tried out chalk makers for labeling the grains & snacks canisters & it actually worked quite well. I also cut out the cooking instructions for the grains & tape them to the tops. I usually go through them quick enough I don’t have to worry about the expiration date, but I jot them on the instructions with a pen, just in case.
So there it is. Not the prettiest of systems but for our situation, it works.