Mikaela J

5 Tips on How to Organize a Small, Builder’s-Grade Pantry

We have been in our house for about 4 years now and I am just starting to get things organized. We moved in when Hayes was 3 months old and I basically shoved things in closets and in our garage to keep them out of the way. This spring I have spent my weekends emptying out those closets and re-organizing.

One of my biggest challenges has been our small pantry. When we purchased our home, I never thought twice about the size of the pantry. Now that we have two growing kiddos, it has definitely had its challenges.

Last month I emptied out all of the food, made a trip to The Container Store, and got to organizing. Here are some of my top tips for organizing a small pantry!

Empty out all the snack boxes. Most of our pantry consists of snacks for the kids. When I was cleaning out the pantry, I had no idea how much space those boxes were taking up. Oftentimes I found a huge box with only one or two items left inside. Instead of storing all of the food in the boxes, I purchased different sized clear baskets. This way we can easily see how many granola bars, etc. we have left and they are also super accessible for the kids.

Add extra storage. One of my absolute favorite things we did for the pantry was to add the door storage. This gave us so much extra space to store items that could easily get lost in a small pantry. Now I can see what cans and jars we have and they are all really easy to get to.

Take advantage of the height. When I was organizing the pantry, I didn’t initially take advantage of the height and space between our shelves. There was a lot of wasted space so I decided to start stacking. I bought storage containers that easily stacked from The Container Store and they keep everything fresh and organized. Just make sure your containers are clear or labeled so you don’t have to take everything out to look inside.

Use the floor. My kid’s favorite part of the new pantry is our “snack basket.” We buy snack items in bulk at Costco and this basket is awesome for tossing them all in. The snacks used to live in our garage because our pantry was too small for the large, bulk boxes. Now, we recycle the boxes right away and all of the snacks go right into the basket.

Only buy/store what you need and what you will use. If you have a small pantry, you might not be able to keep a ton of non-perishables on hand at all times. We have found that if we only buy what we need or know that we will use, it has cleared out a ton of clutter and we actually use everything we have. Before the pantry clean-out, we had many jars and cans of items we hadn’t used in years. Now we only buy what we know we will use in the next couple of weeks.

Our pantry clean out has made meals and packing lunching SO much easier. I no longer despise our small space and I look forward to opening it every day. Do you have any spaces in your home that you have had a hard time organzing? What are some of your small-space tips?