If you've watched our "how to organize your pantry" video, you'll know that we advocate purging (Step 1) and sorting (Step 2) before getting pretty containers to house everything (Step 3). Maybe you already have great containers and don't need to buy new, but just reuse what you've got. I know, I know - that it's not as much fun, but I'm trying to simplify your life (and give your budget a break) so I've got to put it out there.
However, ahem, just in case you need new containers for your pantry (or you never had any to begin with), I've got at least a few suggestions. So here are 5 fabulous products that might fit the bill for your pantry. Take your measurements, take stock of what is left in your pantry after the great expired products purge, take into account how you usually shop (buy in bulk or not), and then take yourself to the store.
1. Mainstays bins from Walmart are what I use in my own pantry. I love them because you can double stack them, they are inexpensive, the front is open so you can see what you've got, and they are super easy to fill with snacks. (Secret Organizing Tip #1: When buying a package of individually wrapped snacks, always take them out when you get home from shopping and fill up your bin. You can see when you are getting low, the kids can fend for themselves, and you never have an empty box tricking you into thinking there are still more to be found.) Walmart Mainstays 3 pack of bins for $4.97
2. Wire cabinet shelves can be found at Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and The Container Store. Measure the width of your pantry and get one that fits just right so you can double up your storage space. Fit a bin on the wire shelf and also one below to easily see what you have in your pantry. These are great if your pantry doesn't have adjustable shelves, because wasted space above your items is normally a problem in not only pantries but cabinets as well. Walmart Adjustable Wire Cabinet Shelf for $7.46
3. I'm not going to lie to you - this Elfa Pantry Door Rack is much more expensive than the other options. However it can really add to your space by utilizing the pantry door, which you are probably not using at all right now. It requires some assembly (another con), but it's currently on sale (a big pro) and now would be the time to buy as Elfa products generally go on sale at the beginning of the year only. The Container Store Elfa Pantry Door Rack on sale now for $76.52
4. Olinda uses shoe boxes in her pantry for just about everything. They are easy to find at lots of stores, stack well if you want to use the lid, are a uniform size, and easy to pull out onto the counter when cooking/baking. The Container Store sells a variety of kinds - some longer (mens shoe box), some taller (tall shoe box), and even in a case of 20, so you can use them all over your house if you have extra leftover. (Secret Organizing Tip #2: We rarely use shoe boxes for shoes, but instead use them in our pantry, or for toys, for crafts, for medicine, for art supplies, or for anything really.) Shoe box from The Container Store for $1.89 each
5. Some people store their baking supplies and dry goods (pasta, cereal, etc) in canisters because they live in a part of the world where bugs invade the kitchen otherwise. Other people just like the way they look. These Rubbermaid containers are great either way because they are square and fit so much better on a shelf than the traditional round containers. Plus the lids are interchangeable and everything can be easily labeled. Rubbermaid Modular Canisters for $29.97 at Walmart
(Bonus!) #6. Are you one of those people that has tons of plastic grocery bags that are constantly getting in your way? Use this VARIERA plastic bag dispenser from IKEA to contain them. It's super inexpensive so you can definitely afford to keep your bags in a sturdy container instead of putting them inside one another, only to escape and trip you later on. VARIERA Plastic Bag Dispenser from IKEA for $1.99
If the thought of tackling your pantry has you so overwhelmed that you can't even begin, then at least start by getting your clutter off the bottom. (Secret Organizing Tip #3: A pattern we've seen with many clients is that depressed people tend to leave their clutter on the ground. It's got something to do with feeling low about yourself, that you tend to stack the obstacles in your life (clutter) down low as well, to create barriers.) So chin up people! If nothing else, clear the floor so it's easier to manuever in your pantry. Who knows - it may inspire you to keep going, little by little, and deal with it all soon enough. Pretty soon you'll gain momentum and it'll all be downhill from here.
Need more inspiration? Try one of our weekly mini-projects to get your house in order in no time!