THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ORGANIZING YOUR PANTRY IN 7 STEPS:

Finally the long awaited and probably my most popular post on Instagram, the kitchen spice cabinet / pantry organization. This blog article offers free downloadable custom labels for spice and condiment jars that I designed for myself, as promised to many.

An un-organized pantry can become a challenge to deal with. On the contrary an orderly one is indescribable peace. I did not have a big fancy – Instagrammable – Pinterest look alike pantry. With time and my growing family needs, the limited space was becoming tough to manage. I had two goals to achieve, 1) get my spice cabinet in order and 2) make the most of the available space.

Let me take you on a step-by-step trip through how I was able to find solutions and sort-out the pantry / spice cabinet, i.e. your ultimate guide to decluttering and refreshing your pantry;

1. RESEARCH:

As first step of this project, I researched for ideas and inspirations. Pinterest never ceases to amaze and never fails to deliver a plethora of designs and ideas. I was gaining clarity about my project while browsing various articles & videos. We all have diverse sizes, budget and requirements. Research gives us an insight from a variety of angels. This step enabled me to finalize some thoughtful streamlining & structural solutions to incorporate.

Pick what suits your situation; it can be a combination of different ideas. This is your “plan” to be followed step. Visualize layout possibilities from various perspective while keeping in mind everyday realities.

2. LIST DOWN PANTRY SUPPLIES:

I made a list of spices, grains, lentils, and other pantry staples before I started taking anything out, cleaning up, or shopping for a cabinet refresh. Thereafter, I grouped them into four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. This size classification helped me in deciding which jars and storage containers to use. I had a comprehensive list of the items I needed to purchase, and their respective quantities.

3. DECIDE JARS & CONTAINERS:

Budget, preference & individual requirements are key factors to consider when selecting jars and containers.

Here are a few pointers to remember for a more efficient and productive product shortlisting:

  1. The key to achieving that satisfying eye-catching vibe is coordination.
  2. Select a product that comes in a variety of sizes to fit your size groupings and serve as a means of coordination.
  3. If your existing supplies are in good condition, you don’t have to splurge on new ones. Coordination can be achieved through painting and labelling.
  4. Clear jars are your best friend. They will not only make it practical to see everything in them but also appear aesthetically pleasing.
  5. Stackability is the most important feature to look for in your jars if you want to make the most of your cabinet space.
  6. Square or rectangular canisters are well-suited to make the most of every available space.
  7. Keep it user-friendly. Style with functionality.

I selected IKEA Rajtan spice jars for small quantity condiments, probably a universal favorite and affordable option. It comes in a pack of 4, easily washable and can be placed in 2 different styles.

For all other remaining sizes I choose Homecentre Cubi Fresh containers. These are transparent, air-tight and effortlessly stack-able. There are a variety of sizes available to meet my needs.

For tea, coffee and sugar I found pre-printed jars with wooden lids at Homecentre.

I created a spreadsheet to compare prices of several brands, mainly IKEA, Homecentre, and products at SACO. I patiently waited for November Black-Friday sales for final purchases. Gladly I was able to buy my desired products within my budget. And yes the promo codes were cherry on top.

4. CUSTOM LABELS:

Perhaps this was the most fun part of this project. Designing my own labels were pure joy. Labelling not only makes it easy to identify spices & other pantry items but also looks neat & systematized. I practically spent a good two weeks’ time to design and finalize them (rejected a few designs meanwhile). For small jars I loved the idea of dictionary labels, i.e. where detail and explanation of each spice is given. Whereas for the remainder of the containers I added a simple chalk-paint textured font. I got them printed on waterproof transparent sticker sheets from a professional printer. I hand-cut the rectangular shape labels and used my EK Success circle punch for round shape labels.

You may get them by below. Printing them on a waterproof sticker sheet is preferable.

5. ADDITIONAL SHELF:

This is particularly useful for small spaces. As mentioned earlier, I have a limited number of cabinets. Hence I needed to add an extra rack for everyday frequently used spices. Finding a piece that met the exact dimensions was a difficult task. I could not just pick any random shelf. I came across IKEA PAHL, which is a desktop shelf and the size was well-suited for the measurements. That’s the great thing about IKEA: you can mix and match or use a hack to customize things to meet your needs.

There are multiple options of floating cabinets available in market to serve the purpose and create extra space.

6. PANTRY ESSENTIAL ORGANIZERS:

Here are some smart essential tools and organizers that will help you achieve your goals:

Lazy Susan:

Lazy susan not only sorts out and makes everything more accessible but it also makes the cabinet more functional. It is ideal for sauces, sprinkles, chicken cubes etc. Almost all leading home stores and supermarkets carry one or the other type of lazy susan. You can also choose a two-tier lazy susan, depending on your needs. Homebox product was the most cost-effective option for me.

Bins and Baskets:

These are useful for storing products of similar nature, such as baking, snacks, extras, and other miscellaneous items. These are big enough to contain like-like items of small size, which are likely to slide behind and under the pantry shelves. IKEA Variera is a great option because it has different size options available to serve the purpose.

Tiered rack:

It is an effective organizer to maximize the utility, storage and accessibility of small spaces. Spice jars will no longer be hidden in the back of your pantry. To get to those hidden spices, you don’t have to take everything out. There are some expandable tiered racks available in market. I opted for Homebox 3 tiered rack and added an extra tier by cutting part of another piece and attaching it on top of full size rack. In this way I was able to create a four tiered rack.

Shelf Inserts:

It assists in the creation of additional storage space. They add another level of storage for jars and other items of various heights. I used two IKEA Variera shelf inserts of the same size and screwed them together to provide an extra level for salt & pepper shakers, sugar & coffee canisters. On the top level, I had enough capacity to store spoons and utensils in two sizes of IKEA Ordning.

7. MAINTENANCE:

It is imperative to maintain the orderly flow. Here are a few pantry-maintenance tips:

  1. Timely cleaning is a major factor to keep it styled and tidy-up.
  2. Keep everything back to its place.
  3. Make mini clear-out session part of your routine.
  4. Feel free to do practical adjustments to meet the changing demands of your household.

Check-out my Instagram stories for more BTS of this project. I hope these tips and ideas will assist you in creating a Pinterest-worthy pantry. Happy organizing.

Resources:

Small jars: IKEA Rajtan
Transparent containers: Homecentre Cubi Fresh
Tea / coffee / sugar canister with wooden lids: Homecentre Peony
Spice shelf: IKEA Pahl
Lazy susan: Homebox Omega
3 tiered spice rack: Homebox Omega 3 tiered rack
Shelf insert: IKEA Variera
Spoon holder: IKEA Ordning
Storage bin/box: IKEA Variera

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