Today I’m taking a little break from sharing recipes, to share a little part of my home with you that’s my absolute favorite space, and that space is my pantry. Whenever someone comes over to my home and sees my pantry, (mostly women), they ask how they can get started in organizing their own pantry. Or, even better one time my friend’s husband came over and told me his wife wanted him to see my pantry. When he saw it he said “what kind of drugs are you on?” I know, right? But having an organized pantry makes my heart so happy. I really don’t think there is a certain method I followed in organizing my pantry, I simply first just started collecting these containers.
Now, this process didn’t happen overnight. In fact, I’ve been collecting these containers for over the span of about 3-4 years. They are not cheap when you start collecting so many (um, there’s 68 in there) but they are amazing. I have purchased them when they have gone on sale at my local Williams Sonoma store, or at Bed, Bath and Beyond using the coupons they send in the mail. You can find them at quite a few places actually like Kohls, as well as Amazon. I wanted containers that were airtight and made of a good durable plastic. I purchased a few different kinds of containers though before finding the one that fit my needs.
When we built our home, the layout for the pantry was a standard corner pantry but I had them cut into my laundry room to make my pantry bigger. Someday I’ll have my dream laundry room but I needed a bigger pantry for now. I entertain quite a bit as well as cater every now and then. So I have also collected a lot of serving dishes. And if you couldn’t tell, it all just looks better in white.
My pantry is super challenging to photograph because it is pretty long and narrow. Which is why I’ve hesitated for so long to share this. I had to take a few separate pictures to give you the whole pantry. But I do hope you enjoy. I’ll simply break down each section and explain what I’ve done for each portion. Organize your pantry to fit your needs. My pantry is designed around everything that I use most often. I needed half of the pantry for food, and half for all of my serving pieces since I love to entertain. As you can see in the picture above, I have everything from serving bowls, to platters, ramekins and pie dishes . I know you can spot that I have a few bowls in there that aren’t white. It messes with my mind but I love them. You can also see a small bit on the left hand side that I have a row of electrics. I’ll explain those later on.
Let’s begin with the containers. Initially I began with using the containers only for our cereal. Then, I started buying containers for snacks. It was amazing to see that my kids actually started making healthier snack choices. Actually seeing the snacks in the containers looks so much more enticing and before they would never reach for nuts or raisins but now it’s part of their after school snack selection.
As you can see my initial collection has grown a bit. It simply makes everything so much easier. So I’m going to run down each shelf for you and tell you what I have. On the very top shelf in the picture above, I have thousands of cupcakes wrappers in glass containers. Number one, because I cater a lot, and number two, I hate running out of them. It’s another obsession altogether. On the shelf below that one, I have a few common baking ingredients and also the grains I use the most. Short grain brown rice, Calrose short grain white rice, Quaker oats, powdered sugar, light brown sugar, cake flour, dark brown sugar and on the end I have bread crumbs and panko bread crumbs.
On the top shelves pictured above, I have 8 different varieties of nuts. Then I have 6 different grains next to those including ground flax seeds, whole flax seeds, millet, cracked wheat, oat bran and chia seeds. Then I have 4 different dried fruits including wild blueberries, apricots, golden raisins and unsweetened cherries. I use the grains for mix-ins to my smoothies, in my whole grain baking and in my homemade granola and granola bars. On the shelf below that I have grape nuts cereal, ritz crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, goldfish, pretzel thins and a variety of cereals. Now, as much as I’d like to admit that I make homemade snacks like goldfish and wheat thins or that my kids don’t eat cereal and that I make them elaborate breakfasts everyday, I don’t. As much as I wish I could, it just doesn’t fit in my day. We can’t do everything as moms and the truth is I loved cereal as a kid. So I wanted my kids to enjoy it too. Who doesn’t love a bowl of cereal with cold milk every now and then? My requirement for the cereal I buy is that it must contain 6 grams of sugar or less per serving, a few whole grains, protein and fiber. But if you look close enough, there’s a cheat cereal in there.. darn Reese’s Puffs. (I may have eaten a bowl of this cereal almost every night while pregnant with my second, and of course it’s the one that’s almost empty.
And then there’s a whole shelf devoted to mostly to chocolate. I do bake quite a bit after all so I have every variety in it’s own container. Unsweetened coconut flakes, sweetened shredded coconut, Valrhona cocoa powder, Guittard chocolate jimmies, E.Guittard semi-sweet chocolate wafers, E.Guittard unsweetened chocolate wafers, Guittars semi-sweet chocoalte chips, Callebaut chocolate chunks, Guittards milk chocolate chips, Callebaut milk chocolate chunks, Guittard white chocolate chips and Reese’s peanut butter chips. And if you’re asking yourself if we ever snack on the chocolate, no way! I never have a a craving for a handful of chocolate chips at 3:00 in the afternoon 😉
To the left of my chocolate containers I have white chocolate jimmies, multi-colored jimmies, corn meal and almond flour. I’ll explain the baskets here soon, but I wanted to quickly mention the binders pictured here. They are filled with recipes that I’ve compiled, torn out of magazines, written and include some of my most treasured recipes. My cookbooks are in another room 😉
These pasta containers are sort of hidden in the main picture, but I have 4 different varieties I like to keep on hand. Fettucine, spaghetti, and behind the ones pi ctured I have angel hair pasta and linguini. I only use this brand pretty much because Ina Garten said they were the best. And trust me, they are! I also have some packages of pasta behind these containers that are whole wheat pasta and after searching for a good brand, I just had to share that I love love love the brand DeLallo.
I have been asked if I worry about expiration dates. The truth is, we go through most of these items quite frequently. The foods that might be a concern with spoilage, I simply don’t fill those containers completely full.
I also label most all of the containers on the bottom of the container with a P-touch label maker. I’ve also seen where the label is on the front of a container but for my personal preference, I like to keep it hidden. If you wanted to, you could also add the date of when you added the food to the container on a separate label, maybe even on a sticker. Do what works best for you. Now heading on into the baskets underneath all of my shelves. I have 9 baskets total that I purchased at Target 3 years ago, similar to this here. They are still available in stores, I just couldn’t seem to find it online. These baskets are so great! They are pretty deep and they hold quite a bit.
In each of the baskets, I have most of my bakeware with the exception of the first two bins. In those I have a variety of breads, and my multigrain chips that I can’t live without. I felt so overwhelmed with the amount of bakeware I had and where I was going to put it all. I don’t even remember where I thought of this idea but it’s been the best thing ever.
Each bin has it’s own organized variety. The first one one the bottom of the picture has cake pans, breads pans and loaf pans. Next I have donut pans, mini-cheesecake pans, mini tart pans. Next to that one I have all sizes of round cake pans, and in the next bin I have tart pans, and bundt pans. Hidden in the corner and not pictured are pans I don’t use as often such as my popover pan and a few holiday pans. Then at the very end, or top of the picture, I have a bin filled with 10 cupcake pans, and next to that I have about 8 different variety of fun pans such as my brownie bites pan, mini-loaf pans, 4 inch cheese cake pans and a few other fun pans. The bins were heaven sent. I have no idea where I would have put these items if I didn’t have the bins.
At the top left of my shelves, I have a small space for a few glass serveware pieces. I have two drink dispensers because when I’m hosting a party, I like to have water in one, then some sort of juice in the other one. I purchased these from Potterybarn. I also have a variety of carafe’s. I love having a few on hand to spread throughout a table when I have dinner guests. I have these and some of these. The carafes from West Elm are my favorite. I also have just a few cute pitchers.
This view of my pantry is from the inside, just to show that I also have a row of electrics going vertically from the top shelf to the bottom of my most commonly used electrics. I am going to add a link to each one with a little bit about why I love them because they are my absolute favorites. And I believe that you should invest in good electrics if you can to begin with, to avoid the hassle of the less expensive ones breaking down. I couldn’t get a good picture of all of them, so I apologize. On the top I have my food processor. It’s a great food processor but actually, if the truth must be told, this is the one that I’m dreaming of. There’s always something that’s bigger and better, right? Then I have this panini press on the next shelf. It is after all one of Oprah’s favorite things. Ha! We use it almost weekly for more than panini’s. We love using it for indoor grilling with hamburgers and sometimes chicken. The electric that is pictured here is the best invention ever. It’s a pizza maker. Yep, it cooks up to an 11′ pizza resulting in a crispy crust. I love it because everyone in my family can customize their own pizza and it’s ready in about 5-6 minutes. You can almost see the next electric I have pictured which is the best waffle maker you will ever use and will ever need. I think I even wrote a review on their website on how much I love it. It makes 100% crispy waffles every time. I love it. Ok, on the very bottom shelf I have a juice maker. It changed my juice-making life forever. I bought a middle of the line one. Because at the time I had no clue what I wanted. It works great and does what i need it to. It’s great because it cores, peels and juices fruit in only a few seconds. And those are my top electrics, other than my Kitchenaid and Vitamix that are on my kitchen counter.
So there you have it, my pantry. Like I said, do what works for you in your pantry space. My friend has cute white baskets in her pantry with items that her kids can easily grab to fill their school lunches. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. I try not to copy an exact picture because, let’s be honest some of those pantry’s are insane and I don’t think they have kids but I do like to pull ideas from different photos and create my own space. Though I created my pantry before I was into Pinterest. Was there life before Pinterest? 😉
Please feel free to ask me any questions, I’m happy to help you get organized and create your own pantry space. Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll take you into my kitchen and show a few of my ideas for your kitchen space.