Pantry Organization Makeover (Kitchen Series 2013)

In this final installment of my 2013 Kitchen Series, I am back in my own home in the Chicagoland area sharing a look at an organization makeover of my pantry.  This reach in closet is located right in our kitchen, which is very convenient.  I installed Elfa shelving in it over six years ago, which is still functioning great.  I shared an organization video of this pantry on OLJ about two years ago (which you can watch here if you’re interested), and while I am keeping much of that system in place, I needed to work on a few trouble spots.

I spent about two hours total on this project, dedicating the bulk of that time to cleaning out and cleaning up.  I wish I could say I do a big sweep like this of my pantry items every few months, but in all honesty it’s usually only about once a year.  My hope is that with my new organizational system in place I will be able to keep better track of expiring and duplicate items so that a big annual clean isn’t such a big deal.

As you can see, my husband and I don’t keep a lot of dry and canned goods on hand at any given time.  Every family’s needs are different and I’m certain that no two pantries hold the exact same items.  The key to a working organizational system is to identify your household’s needs and work around the items you’d like to keep stocked in your pantry.  Based on what we usually have on hand, I knew that keeping the bins I already had in use would still work for us and that finding a way to make canned goods more visible and accessible would cut down on unnecessary duplicates and expiring items.

I am including a slideshow with a closer look at each shelf and all of the bins contents below:

[portfolio_slideshow id=1869]

If you’d like a closer look at this pantry organization, including a view of the space before I organized it as well as more information about my organizational progress, I recommend checking out the video below:

Stay tuned for my annual Holiday Prep Series, starting later next week!


* I am not affiliated with any of the brands or stores mentioned in this blog post or video.  All opinions are my own. *


12 thoughts on “Pantry Organization Makeover (Kitchen Series 2013)”

  1. Dear Jen,

    Can you tell me where to find your links to the products you mentioned in your pantry overhaul? I know you had said you were listing the links but I can’t find them. I can be a bit of a dingbat sometimes so please forgive me if it is obvious! I want to buy the can expander thingy that you bought at The Container Store, but would like to know the exact name of it so that I don’t say to the salesperson “that thingy”! LOL! Thanks so much!

    Sandra Kaye Baker
    Simsbury, CT

    1. The links for the shelf riser & lazy susan are listed in the description under the photo showing that shelf in the slideshow on this post. You just click on the photos to scroll through the slide show. Text with links is below the photo.

  2. Where did you get the rolling bins at the bottom? I am looking for something exactly like that for ours and haven’t had any luck!

    1. They were from the Container Store several years ago…I wasn’t able to locate them on the website or I would have linked them in the post :/

    2. FYI- I was also looking for the rolling bins – LOVED the idea !!! I have looked almost everywhere to find
      something similar, but have found nothing out there 🙁 If anyone finds something, please let me know.

      New Lenox, IL

  3. Hi Jen, love all of your videos! I have a corner pantry that’s huge and things get lost in there all the time. Never thought to organize food types into bins. The only food we do have in a bin is the chips ;). Could you tell me where you got the two wheeled bins in the bottom of your pantry? Right now I’m using three Yaffa style cubes to hold water bottles and other things and it’s hard to move them out every time I need to clean the tile. I thinks it’s time to do some organizing before my boys come home to visit from college for the holidays! Thanks for all the inspiration you give us. Keep up the great work, Susan.

  4. Love your organizing posts, they always put me in the mood to go do some sorting out! I’m looking to fly the nest next year and move into my own place so all of these tips will be super useful! I wish we had something like the Container Store here in the UK!

    Sarah 🙂

  5. I’m so happy I found your blog and YouTube channel! You’ve helped me so much I’m in the process of buying a new home and I can’t wait to have it all organized! Do you know the color your kitchen is? Thank you!

    1. I’m sorry I’m not home right now and don’t have that information on hand. If you want to ask me again in a couple of weeks I can check 🙂

  6. For those looking for wheeled bins, IKEA has some carts that can function as such. Alternatively you can mount casters on a board and then lay your desired bin on top, screwing it down for added security. Jen, Thanks for sharing your solutions!

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