Pantry Organization 101: Series Introduction + Goal Setting

Of all the tasks I handle for clients, pantry organization is my absolute favorite.

Partially, this is because of their limited scope (quick wins, gotta love ’em). But I think that the primary reason I enjoy these spaces so much is the problem-solving element.  

In each space I have to ask myself how I can work within a given set of parameters (space, budget, lifestyle) to create a space with maximum utility. 

Pantries are one of the most important functional spaces in a kitchen, and the harder we can make them work, the easier your life will be.

It’s like a puzzle.  Tetris in real life.  

This analytical approach to organization in general is something that sets my process apart from many other organizers.  I rarely show up at a house and dive into the project sight unseen. 

Instead, I first offer a consultation (where I take photos, measurements, and notes about lifestyle).  Then I go home, create a detailed plan about where everything will go, and order the clients’ products. This way, we have everything ready to go on pantry organization day. 

When the big day comes, it doesn’t take me long to get the pantry in tip top shape, because all I have to do is follow the plan. 

Today, I’m going to share the first part in a detailed series about how to thoughtfully organize your pantry once and for all.

Part 1: Setting Pantry Organization Goals

Before you dive headfirst into gutting your pantry, it will benefit you to stop and set some realistic goals (important in life, important in pantry organization).

In this post, I am going to walk you through some of the considerations I take into account when creating a custom plan for clients.

Let’s focus your efforts, shall we?

There are several types of pantries:

For each pantry type above, I have listed a few different goals you might work toward.

TIP: In general, when you’re just beginning, I would recommend focusing on FUNCTION rather than form. No matter how pretty your space looks, it just won’t make you happy if it doesn’t help you overcome your organization challenges.

Now, grab a piece of paper and write down your answers to the following questions:

  • What is important to me in a pantry?
  • What bothers me about my current pantry situation (pay attention here, this is an area for you to focus on finding solutions)?
  • What’s my budget for adding products/improvements to this space?
  • What types of non-food items do you need to store (if any)?
  • What is working well in the pantry (build off this!)?
  • What would the ZONES be in my current pantry(how do you have it categorized?). Is this working for you?  

Hopefully, you’re starting to see where you need to focus your pantry organization efforts.

If you’re still not sure, where to focus, here’s a little quiz (I’m channeling Seventeen magazine, here) .

All right, you should have a goal now.

Got it?

Great! Write it down at the top of your page. Circle it, underline it. Now keep it in mind for next time when we dive deeper into the step by step process of actually doing the darn thing.

Take Me To Part 2!

I know setting goals isn’t the sexiest part of the pantry organization process, but I promise it is worthwhile.

Can’t wait to dive in next week.


(If you’re looking for more quick one-day projects, you might like this jewelry organization project.)

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