Emily Henderson Has a Smart Trick That Will Help Your Pantry Stay Organized for the Long Run

updated Jun 1, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Often, those picture-perfect pantries on Instagram seem too good to be true. Yes, when you do a massive purge, decanting, and reorganization of your pantry, it might look like that for a day, perhaps a week. Then one night, you’re rushing to make dinner and/or want to get ingredients out of sight for eating, and before you know it, poof — all your hard work is erased. But Emily Henderson‘s “pantry hierarchy” tip might be the key to upkeep in both pantry organization and happiness.

In her pantry, Henderson prioritizes creating a system, first and foremost. She’s a big fan of decanting, as seen through her partnership with Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry containers, but it’s not only about her items looking aesthetically pleasing (although there’s nothing like a color-coordinated, lazy Susan-filled room lined with glass canisters, am I right?). In order to keep it looking neat, Henderson executes her “pantry hierarchy” organizing system that allows her and her family to know where to reach for what, and where to put it back.

Credit: @em_henderson/Rubbermaid

The main tip when creating a pantry system is to think about what you cook and how often. For Henderson, she keeps all the heavier staple items at the bottom — canned goods, rice, pasta, etc. Next is the kids snack bars and cereal shelf that can easily be accessed by them, followed by the opposite — all sorts of sugar and sweets — that are purposely kept out of arms reach. Then there are Henderson’s most used cooking items, which she likes to keep in a convenient spot where she can grab and go, like sauces for pasta night. And finally up top, where it’s a bit hard to reach, are all the baking items, since Henderson reported her and her family aren’t “big bakers.”

It’s not about replicating Henderson’s exact layout, but making your own setup based on your household and what you reach for the most. “I know where everything is, and it’s based on frequency, like how often you’re going to grab it and convenience,” Henderson told Apartment Therapy. “It’s common sense but it gives you a structure.”

So make a game plan for yourself, and if housemates are in the picture, include them in the conversation. Think about what ingredients you cook with most often, what items aren’t essential, and what snacks should occupy prime real estate.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Emily Henderson-Approved Hack Will Help Your Pantry Stay Organized for the Long Run