If you know me, then you know about my love for all things organization. There is just something about a clean organized space that makes it happier and of course more functional. When we first moved in, I worked with Neat Method + The Container Store to overhaul the pantry and you guys, they made dreams come true!! But with the babies growing up (cue the tears) and making some lifestyle changes, we were due for an update. So I called on them again and can’t wait to share their magic, plus a few tips to help you conquer + simplify organizing your own pantry!
So first up, I have to tell you a little more about Neat Method, because I am obsessed. I am a firm believer that every single person that works there has to pass a kindness test or something because they are all the nicest people and so amazing to work with. But beyond their kindness is their skill. They are so educated in what they do. I loved working with April from Neat Method, because she didn’t just come in with a cookie cutter plan of what to do. She got to know me + my family and our needs and really took that into consideration when planning out the layout. She was able to give me ideas for containers + storage I had never considered, and I love how it turned out!
We of course went with all things Container Store, because honestly there product quality cannot be beat. I love that they take the guess work out of what to use, and help you really maximize your space. Everything looks so clean and simple so you can get that uniform look throughout your space and avoid mismatched containers. If you time it right, you can hit one of their sales and score so many great products for a steal! And you are in luck because that happens to be NOW!! You can shop the kitchen + pantry sale NOW through April 5th and save up to 25% off!!
. . . SHOP MY FAVORITE PANTRY ITEMS . . .
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Now let’s talk organization tips! Some of these I’ve known for years and always tried to follow, but some I learned from the Neat Method girls and they have made SUCH a difference in our home!
:: CONSIDER YOUR STAGE OF LIFE
When it comes to organizing any space in your home, especially your pantry, consider your stage of life. As you know, we had our pantry all organized perfectly functional for us, but life changes. We no longer need a space for bottles, formula, sippy cups, or baby food. That is a lifestyle change and your organization needs to reflect that. Another example is how we have recently started putting a lot more focus on healthy living. When we first organized the pantry, we didn’t have a single supplement or protein powder, so of course we ended up just kind of throwing everything all together in one basket and hiding it. I love that everything has a home now that works and compliments our current stage of life.
:: MAKE IT USER FRIENDLY
When organizing your pantry, think about what you use the most often. That should be in the most easily accessible place in your pantry. When it comes to your kids, think about what you do and do not want them to have access too. Items like snacks should be accessible. If you want them to help out with making lunch or breakfast, make those items easy for them to reach, use, and be able to put back nicely. The flow and how you line things up with be specifically to your family so make it efficient to your needs.
Another way to make things more user friendly is to categorize + contain. Keep things that go together, together. It is as easy as that! So have a “baking station” where everything from flour + sugar to chocolate chips + sprinkles live. A lunch station for your kids that is home to the peanut butter + bread as well as side snacks. I love that with this revamp, we were able to include a “shake station” where I can easily access all the ingredients I use in my protein shake. Making things user friendly encourages you to meal prep more too!
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:: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
With toddlers running around everywhere, one thing I really wanted to change in this pantry update was their access to certain products. I was getting really tired of constantly cleaning up snacks they had gotten into and spilled everywhere, or finding out how many pieces of gum or chocolate chips they had consumed when I wasn’t looking. That is why I love these gray baskets. In most cases I like clear, accessible containers. But when I am trying to hide things from my kids, these are perfect. They are great for things that are multiple sizes, like medicines or “extras” too, because your eye still just sees the nice uniform container.
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:: THINK OF YOUR BUDGET STRATEGICALLY
Another pantry organizing tip is to think of your budget strategically. When we first did our pantry, I didn’t really think it was important to spend my limited budget on detail organization, like taking everything out of the package. But many stale bags of cereal and spilled chocolate chips later, this time around I am willing to invest in sealed containers I can transfer things over to. If you are starting small, you might just go with bigger baskets to categorize areas, and some labels. Really consider what is going to make the biggest impact on efficiency in your space and use your budget accordingly.
:: KEEP IT UP
Last but not least, is to keep it up. Don’t think that you are going to organize a space like your pantry one day and you are done. Take your kids on a “tour” of the space when its done. It will help them to how you keep it looking that way. Plan on doing a 10 minute “upkeep” every month to get rid of old food, take stock of what you need to replenish, and maybe reorganize spaces that aren’t working efficiently. It will take some maintenance but is so worth it!!
I hope these simple tips + tricks help make tackling your pantry just a little easier. And don’t forget you can shop The Container Store Kitchen Sale through April 5th to get some amazing deals!!
photos: aubrey taiese