Small Pantry Organization Ideas...part II
Updated: Mar 27, 2019
Part II on the lessons I am learning as we redecorate our apartment. As mentioned in my last post, in this entry I'm writing about the paint we selected for our pantry, the shelving we chose and how we divided the pantry into sections. Disclosure: none of the items I am listing and that we purchased are sponsored, I am just sharing what we chose and why.
Re-designing a pantry involves much more than just moving things around and installing shelving. Reflection is key; what is a must keep and what must go, what food staples do I always need on hand, what should go on each shelf...these are just a few questions you really need to take the time to think about. And so our process began, and the first thing we did was remove everything from the previous pantry/laundry room and temporarily place them in the middle of the apartment, right next to our kitchen and dining area. For a while, the apartment looked like this:
This step, even if inconvenient, proved to be essential. Seeing the shelving unit and using it day to day helped us really imagine what we wanted our new pantry to look like and what it needed to contain.
Our next step required that we empty the entryway closet. When we purchased our apartment we had a custom shelving unit built for each closet to help store our clothing. Not wanting to waste the money we spent on the custom shelving, we set out to repurpose it and use what we could in the previous pantry/laundry room transforming it into our new mud room/laundry room. Seeing as this room has ceramic flooring, I really believe the switch is our best idea yet. Ceramic flooring is much better suited for storing our shoes, boots and coats.
Removing the shelving from the entryway closet meant we needed to do some minor repairs to the closet walls before applying our first coat of paint. That step completed, we sanded, washed the walls and then started painting. My husband and I are not experts at painting but we set out to do this ourselves from the get-go, we really wanted to learn how to paint and appreciate the final results even if it wasn't perfect!
We love using Benjamin Moore paint, both for its quality and the final texture it gives to walls. The colour we chose is Black, or as noted on our paint can, Noir Extrême (no. 2132-10) Regal ulti-matte finish. We love the final result! In fact, I love this paint colour so much that I painted my front door in this colour as well!
For the shelving, we purchased the ALGOT system from IKEA. We chose this system because the white contrasts beautifully with the black walls creating an inviting canvas for the different food staples. It is also affordable, adaptable and customizable depending what your project is. Seeing as we were using it for a pantry, we installed shelving and baskets. Baskets are ideal for storing Tupperware, dish towels, tablecloths, and bags of pasta, rice, etc.. We loved the final product so much that we went back to IKEA and purchased their shoe storage shelving unit and added it to our new mud room/laundry room where all the coats and boots now are.
Last but not least, we needed to organize the shelves and baskets into functional sections. What we did was ensure that what we use the most often is easily reachable and what we use less can be stored higher up. The floor is used for storing paper towels, napkins, lunch bags, and extra supplies in the event of an emergency (water, cans, granola bars, etc..). The second shelf from the floor is just one long shelf, we did not add a basket here because it is our drinks section, used to store coffee, tea, water bottles, and bar essentials. The following shelves are then divided into what we cook: everything we need to make our homemade sauces, pasta, dried goods, baking supplies, breakfast sections, extra staples purchased to restock items that run out quickly like salt, olive oil, etc... I won't go into detail about what is stored on each of our shelves because in the end we all have our own cooking style. The best advice I can give is really think about the way you cook and organize your pantry with that in mind. The result will be pure bliss! The sections will make sense to you and putting away groceries and cooking will be a breeze!