STEP 1: We’ve said it before and we will say it 100000 more times - you need to take it all out. No cheating! Don’t leave a single thing on the shelf.
STEP 2: Create groupings out of your items. In my pantry, my groupings are Baking, Cooking, Dinner, Breakfast, Cereal, Snacks, Snacks, Snacks…..and snacks. Also, wet ingredients like oils, condiments, and sauces.
STEP 3: Figure out what belongs in bins and what deserves a canister. Your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and dry ingredients are great canister candidates. Boxes of crackers, bags of chips, and cereal your children talked you into getting “just this once,” are better off being stored in a bin so they can be easily swapped out.
STEP 4: Pick the canisters that appropriately fit your items, and leave you a little bit of room for refills as needed. I particularly love the small (1.3 cup) size because it doubles as a snack cup for my kids. A canister cup combo is the kind of efficient storage that organizers get really excited about. The largest sizes work perfectly for everyday cereals, flour, and sugar; and the smaller sizes are great for dried fruit, nuts and grains. You can even integrate the BRILLIANCE lunch containers to hold snacks you plan on taking to go. Lastly, in order to maximize the height of each shelf, stack vertically or line-up front to back to take advantage of the depth.
STEP 5: Add a label! I used a Sharpie paint marker, but EXPO Dry-Erase Markers work just as well and offer less permanent options. Similar to how you choose categories based on staple items versus one-off items, you want to assign your labels in the same way. I always have pistachios on-hand so I created a specific label, but I don’t want to commit to walnuts so I chose a generic “nuts” instead.
STEP 6: Make the rest of your family move out so they don’t touch a thing. Kidding! Unless of course they are willing to, and then you might want to consider it as an option. Alternatively, you can walk-through your carefully thought out systems with anyone who lives in your house so that they can take part in the on-going maintenance
You’ll notice my pantry is fully rainbowed out, but that is optional… It personally makes me happy, and my kids can easily find the snack they’re looking for without tearing everything apart.