We get requests for pantry organization all the time. It's such a commonly-used part of the home that can become disorganized quickly if there isn't a system in place. Deep pantry shelves invite hidden food items that get discovered years after their expiration date. Used by all family members, it's easy to fall into disarray after each cooking session or grocery shopping trip. People waste so much time staring at their pantries, searching for ingredients and snacks! Overflowing pantries can even cause harm or injury from cascading canned goods toppling onto the floor when the door opens. Ouch!
We recently received a request for a pantry upgrade from Delafield resident Neela Lalani. She described how her pantry (pictured above) was disorganized and frustrating, yet she had somehow survived for a few years with the current state of things. With a quote from a closet company to replace her wire shelving with solid shelves, she couldn't see how that would actually improve anything. That's how she found Pieces into Place; she had heard that we offer a variety of solutions in all price-points for pantry projects.
After she sent us some pictures and dimensions, we chatted on the phone to devise a plan. We determined the best course of action for her goals was to salvage her existing shelving structure and just make some strategic improvements based on organizational products - instead of a complete gut job.
We created a product wish list (pictured below) for Neela based on her pantry dimensions and storage needs that she could order directly from The Container Store.
To help her visualize where each product would sit in her pantry, we created a detailed rendering of the organizational plan (pictured below). It would serve as a guideline for Neela, as she put everything away on her own.
Once her organizational products had arrived, she pulled everything out of her pantry. She sorted similar items, discarded expired food, and placed the groupings in their assigned clear bin. Next she placed translucent sturdy plastic shelf liners (elfa brand) on each of the wire shelves to prevent uneven surfaces and allow for easy dusting in the future. Then she followed the plan, strategically placing each bin on the designated shelf. Didn't Neela do a great job??
After a couple hours, Neela had an organized pantry with a system to help her family stay organized! She has a couple optional next steps:
- Label all the bins to maintain order.
- Order an elfa door rack for additional storage (pictured below).
Neela had the budget and motivation to tackle this project on her own. For people who want better accessibility and want to maximize space, there are more expensive options available. We design custom solutions using ShelfGenie and Chicago Closets that can improve your pantry even MORE than what Neela accomplished. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to pantries. Message us to begin your pantry upgrade project, so we can offer guidance in selecting the best solution for your budget, timeline, and preferences.