Pantry Before & After: The Amazing Power of Bins and a Snack Basket

published Mar 3, 2015
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(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)

Lacking an actual pantry closet, we use a couple of upper kitchen cabinets for the task. It’s a pantry in as much as it’s a place where we store nonperishable foods. But it’s never really been organized. Here, I take a look at helping these cabinets along when it comes to performing as a pantry.

(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)

How Clear Bins Changed My Pantry

I hadn’t used organizing bins or trays in the cabinet before because I simply wasn’t convinced that they would provide better, more efficient storage.

Boy, was I wrong.

The clear bins used on the bottom shelf have been lifesavers. They allow me to organize slim packets, like teas and dried fruits, from front to back. I was amazed at how much more I could fit onto a shelf when I switched to using bins. There’s no longer random clutter stacked in the shelf, but tidy trays of pantry items filed away.

Buy these bins!

Canned goods are shelved as you would find in a grocery store: rows of like items restocked with new in the back, old in the front.

Our Snack Storage Strategy

The basket on the top shelf houses snacks. Before, snack crackers and chips migrated all over the cabinet. Now, with such foods stashed away in a basket on the top-most shelf, snacking becomes a decisive act instead of a mindless one. We must retrieve the step stool, climb up, lower the basket and select a snack before chowing down. This alone is enough to deter snacking when we are really just thirsty or bored. Plus, I like the tidy appearance of the basket over random packaging strewn about.

The woven basket was shopped from my house. It was originally purchased at T.J. Maxx for about $8.

(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)

Sticking with My Vintage Canisters

A pantry isn’t complete without spices (shown in the photo up top) and dry goods (before is above, after is below). The spice cabinet had recently been reorganized, so I didn’t revamp it here. The dry goods got caught up on filling the canisters and reducing store packaging so (most) everything’s sealed and at the ready.

My canisters were handed down to me by my aunt. Square-shaped storage bins were alluring as I shopped for products to help organize my cabinets, but I resisted and chose instead to use what I have. Square footprints are much more efficient on the shelf, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to replace the perfectly good storage pieces I already own.

(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)

Cleaning up this cabinet did, however, make room for my cake stand, which used to be stored on an open shelf where it collected dust between birthday parties. Now, it’s tucked away and ready for its rare-but-fun appearances!

The reorganization of these cabinets has gone a long way in making them more functional for me and even making them feel a tiny bit new. And while I plan on fresh, contemporary cabinets one day, for now, organized is enough.

What is your pantry like? Are you lucky enough to have a full closet or do you, like me, make do with something else?