Saturday, January 21, 2012

pantry heaven.

I love to cook. Like really love to cook. It brings me complete and utter joy to be slicing, dicing, deglazing, and frosting. A day in which I do not set foot in my kitchen is a dark day. Being that I spend so much time in there, it was so important to me to create a neat, functional space where I could spend less time looking for the ingredients I need and more time sauteing.

When we first moved in, our pantry was fine, but it was by no means fabulous. Pulling out a can of black beans almost required a helmet to protect against other falling objects that had gotten in the way. It seemed that all the spices I needed were always on the very back row of my spice tray, meaning that getting to it meant knocking over every single spice in its way and then fishing those out of the trash can. Does anyone else have this problem? 

The pantry needed immediate attention. So, I started doing my research, and fell head-over-heels in love with this pantry from Better Homes and Garden. Plus, the site offered free, printable labels. Win-Win! 

But as I started looking at my own pantry, I realized I had so many oils, vinegars, baking goods, and other smaller items that I didn't think were worth putting in an entirely new, more uniformed container like the picture showed. That's when I came across Jen's pantry over at I Heart Organizing and noticed that she had uniform containers, but also incorporated baskets of her smaller items!

I had my solution! I knew that I could look for very uniform, stackable containers for my bulk baking items (flour, sugar, etc.), but incorporate large baskets to corral all of my smaller, but necessary bottles, packets, etc. Off to Wal-Mart I went! As always, I did not want this overhaul to wreak havoc on my wallet, so getting a pantry full of OXO containers, like Better Homes and Gardens, would have to wait.

At Wal-Mart, I found Rubbermaid's Modular Canisters would allow for me to stack my foods neatly while also allowing me to stay within my budget. I then found some taller containers for my cereal and pasta, and small, glass containers with screw-top lids for my salt, pepper, tea bags, and ground coffee. Now all I needed were the baskets! For those, I headed over to Target and found some Sterilite Stacking Baskets. Let the fun begin! 

After transferring all of my pantry items into their respective containers or baskets, this is what we ended up with:

The top shelf contains our cereals, pastas, breadcrumbs, and pancake mix.

The next shelf holds all of my bulk ingredients.

The next two shelves contain the baskets with oversized and miscellaneous ingredients that I did not want to put in new, stackable containers. The baskets are so easy to take out when I need the ingredients and have eliminated my need for a helmet when removing items.

And the bottom shelf contains our foils, clear wrap, chips, salt, pepper, tea, and coffee. We put our chips into clear, plastic bowls and have absolutely loved how fewer crumbs we have at the bottom of our chip bags!

I absolutely love our pantry! It met all of my needs: functional, colorful, and no more cascading cans when trying to find things I need! After everything was in its rightful container, it was time for my favorite part: creating labels. I created the outside circle design in Power Point, saved it as a .jpeg, and then went back to my trusty Word to insert the text. Feel free to download them below:

If you can't already tell, I find joy in the little things - my pantry is one of them. Having a functional, well-organized pantry makes cooking all the more blissful. Now, if only I could conquer Julia's Beef Bourguignon. 


  1. I believe I was at Walmart as well!! Mr. Spouse

  2. Thanks for sharing these. Do you have the rest of them, beside just the 4 of them? I would LOVE them.