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Anyone else lust after those perfectly organized and HUGE pantries that pop up on IG every once in a while. They are a Pinterest DREAM, and every time I see them I shed a little tear that I don’t and probably will never have one. I mean, I just don’t think a pantry the size of a bedroom is in my budget. One can hope though, one can hope.
(also I realize this is an ultimate first world problem, and not a real actual problem, so don’t come for me)
We don’t have a set space for a pantry in our apartment. So, I decided to get creative with the space we do have and make a pantry situation with a kitchen cabinet, and our coat closet. We don’t have that many coats and could use the extra storage space for food, so there ya go.
I shared how I reorganized this space a little while ago, which you can check out here. It was honestly SUCH an improvement from how we used to have it. It’s still embarrassing to show those before pictures cause HOW in the world we were living with that situation.
Anyways, it’s much better now.
Through reorganizing our current pantry a few too many times, plus figuring out how to make the best of previous non-existent pantries, I’ve learned a few little tips and tricks on how to make the best of your space. Whatever the space may be, there is definitely ways to maximize your usage!
Ditch the Packaging
My number one tip to get a little bit of extra space back is to ditch as much packaging as possible. Everything comes in huge boxes, often with a bunch of empty space in them. Their odd shaped, and end up just getting tossed and smashed into your pantry.
I always unbox whatever it may be, and typically place into much better organized bins or organizers.
These are my personal fave because they’re cheap, but still durable. That is KEY when organizing and purchasing new bins and things to organize with. You don’t realize how much these things add up!! But these are cheap, and the smaller one is the perfect size to fit in our cabinet shelf. I have these all over my apartment, and will likely grab more soon! Love that they have a handle, so I can grab ones even on the top shelf pretty easily.
We shop at Costco every now and then, and always come home with boxes upon boxes, when the products inside can usually can be stored in a much better way. I recently just unboxed 2 huge boxes of Scott’s protein bars, and they fit in ONE single bin. Much better than stacking of boxes taking up loads of space.
So basically, ditch the packaging where ya can. It allows for a much better use of space, and you can make it work better for your own pantry space.
Don’t Force Organizers and Containers That Don’t Fit Well In Your Space
So although I love those bins above and highly recommend, I know I’m not alone in owning plenty of bins and organizers and all the things, that either I don’t use, or don’t fit well in my pantry situation.
I’m a sucker for organizational products, so I own a lot. I’ve tried to make lots of different ones work, and sometimes they just don’t. Don’t let them sit in your pantry trying to make them work, when you know you could organize that space much better.
I have a few of the pop OXO storage containers, which I really like! I’m holding out purchasing more of until after our wedding just in case we’re lucky enough to be gifted a few more 😉 However in our previous apartment, they didn’t work as well for the space. So instead of forcing them into the pantry, I just set them aside for another time, so that I could make the best use of the space. Luckily, our new apartment has a slightly different layout so they fit in great here!
If you’re holding onto pantry organizers but know they don’t work, don’t try and force it. See if maybe they could work to organize a difference space! There are so many areas of a house to be organized, get creative and see where they fit best.
And if you’re holding onto ones you know you’ll never use, just do yourself a favor and ditch them. They take up way too much space to hold onto them!
Get Rid Of Food/Drink You Know You’ll Never Have
Just because it doesn’t expire (looking at you canned goods), or you think you might use it someday, but in reality it just sits there taking up precious real estate in your pantry, doesn’t mean you should hold onto it.
Donate that food!
I personally am quite guilty of holding onto a ridiculous amount of tea, I don’t know why, I barely drink it. I think I like the idea of being a tea drinker??? But in reality, I’m a coffee gal to the core.
First of all, this is a great example of my above point. All of those tea boxes are taking up SO much space, when I could consolidate them into a smaller container and get rid of the packaging. That only applies if I actually plan to drink the tea. But really, I probably never will. So I am going to donate what is unopened, and pass along to my dad (a tea drinker through and through) whatever is.
Stack Where Ya Can
No pun intended, but this definitely applies to the canned goods! Grab yourself a organizer to help stack the cans so you actually see what you have, and have them take up much less space.
Anything going unused for a while but still needs to be stored? Stack on top! Use that space!
If you have the option, play around with the heights of your shelves to make the most out of your space possible and take advantage of every inch of it.
Not Everything Has To Be Perfect
Don’t get all hung up in trying to achieve the most perfectly organized space that could ever exist. It’s okay if it doesn’t look like Pinterest, sometimes it just works better to stash things where you have space. Sometimes you can’t afford to buy all the bins and organizers, and you can’t get rid of what you already have, even though it might not fit perfectly in your space. It’s okay!
Don’t waste your energy thinking it has to be perfect. Just take a minute to see if there’s a chance you could potentially use the space a little better. Move things around. Play with where you put things back. Treat it like your own personal mega Tetris game!
I hope this helps get you started with a bit of reorganizing of your own! Remember, don’t get too hung up in making it be perfect. Just see where you could possibly be utilizing your space a little better, and go from there!
Happy organizing 🙂