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creating pantries that are both organized and functional 

we recently had the opportunity to organize a pantry for an on-the-go family of five whose lives are busy with work, school and numerous extracurricular sports and activities. our client shared with us that she and her husband love to cook and have passed that passion down to their three teenage daughters who can often be found in the kitchen baking yummy treats. upon arrival we spoke with our client to determine her likes and dislikes of her current pantry setup, as well as listened to her goals to help determine how we can make life easier and more functional in the kitchen.  

first, they wanted to become better organized so that everything could be seen at a glance in the pantry. this not only saves time, but also helps on grocery shopping day to quickly check what is on hand, and what is running low so it may be added to the grocery list, which avoids duplicate buying and saves money!

second, they wanted to create a systematic space for their 40+ spices that were located in multiple areas of the kitchen, and that were being stored in their original medium-sized plastic containers straight from the farmer’s market. in addition to them taking up too much space, the containers were not consistently labeled making it difficult for our client to find the spice she needed without first taking out multiple containers, which was a hassle.

our client also wanted to better containerize and group similar food items for ease of access, as well as create a functional way for their daughters to access their grab-n-go snacks like granola bars, assorted candy bars, etc. 

there were several challenges to consider including the pantry’s limited space, its shelving was not adjustable or removable, and while the pantry was tall in terms of height, the shelves were not deep in shelf space, and the top two shelves were not accessible except by stepstool. in addition, we needed to find a conveniently designated area to store the spices, as well as find a home for the jars of vinegar and cooking oils in close proximity to the stove.  

during the in-home assessment, we measured the pantry space and came up with a few creative and functional solutions to better organize it.

First, we created a dedicated area to display the spices on an adjustable three-tiered bamboo spice rack that was placed inside one of the glass front cabinets near the pantry. we then transferred the spices from their original containers into new glass spice jars that were properly labeled with minimalistic style white labels listing the spice name, and an assigned number to keep them organized going forward. 

we placed the grab-n-go items in three clear medium-sized labeled bins, and moved bulky and heavy items like paper towels and gallon waters to the pantry floor and transferred cereal, assorted crackers, nuts, grains, and pasta from their boxes into labeled pop-top plastic containers to keep the items super fresh. last we separated the baking items like baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, sprinkles, seeds, small nuts, food coloring, cupcake tins and other baking goods and placed them together in clear labeled bins so they can be easily pulled out when the girls are ready to bake. 

the final result was a very organized, functional pantry and another super happy tag&stash client!