If you can’t find what you’re looking for in your pantry in three seconds flat, it might be time to rethink how you’ve organized things. Starting over doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking—a few bins, clearly marked labels, and turntables will typically do the trick. And fortunately IKEA, our source for all things Scandi cool and budget-friendly, has a ton of those types of kitchen products. We rounded up our favorite ideas for organizing pantry essentials, from oils and spices to cereal boxes and paper towels. Plus the hardworking products you need to re-create the storage scenarios in real life.
Streamline Open Shelves With Matching Containers
Putting everything from spices to nuts in see-through jars will help you keep track of how much you have, what you need to stock up on, and what has expired. And if you’re storing everything on open shelves that are visible from the kitchen, it will also create some much-needed uniformity.
Label Like Crazy
If your upper cabinets are effectively your pantry because you simply have no other place to put things, it’s especially important to label everything. Get down to the specifics (snacks, bread, baking overstock), as it will save you the trouble of rummaging through the cramped nooks.
Carve Out Room for Appliances
In her step-in pantry, Houston-based professional organizer Meggie Mangione planned the storage out vertically, using every available inch of wall space for shelving so she can even squeeze in her coffee maker and mixer.
Drop Bulk Goods in Baskets
Using bins and baskets is one of the oldest organizing tricks in the book for a reason. Containment is the name of the game—you don’t want items spilling out of their sections. Dried goods you use sparingly and extra drink bottles can live on the bottom shelf in large baskets so they’re out of sight until they’re in mind.
Put a Spin on It
If you have to crouch down to get to your olive oils and spices, the best thing you can buy for your shelves is a lazy Susan. These rotating plates (ones with a 9-inch diameter is all you need) keep everything within view and easy reach.
Top It Off With Cookware
Toronto-based designer Gabriella Borg turned an empty stairwell into a walk-in pantry using IKEA’s Kungsfors shelving system. The unit is totally modular, so she was even able to incorporate a stainless steel rack to hang pots, pans, and strainers, freeing up cabinet storage in the kitchen.
Measure to the Centimeter
Maximize your space by getting specific with the shelving measurements, setting them so they’re the height of your snack bins, paper towels, wineglasses, and mugs. After you’ve done that, take advantage of any open spots by clipping baskets onto the shelves above. Now everything has a dedicated spot, so there’s no guessing where anything goes.
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