Project of the Day: Make Your Pantry Work

I am not a naturally organized person. Clutter follows me pretty much wherever I go, including my kitchen. My pantry was in dire condition, so I decided to use my Saturday morning to bring it in line. 

Canisters with labels, overlaid test reads "Make Your Pantry Work"

I cook a lot at home, so I have an assortment of ingredients on hand most of the time. While this is great for creating recipes, keeping all my ingredients in a hodge podge meant I spent as much time looking for stuff as I did cooking it. Behold, the nightmare that was my pantry:

An extremely disorganized pantry.

Over the years, I’ve collected a good number of containers, usually with the very best intentions of using them properly, so I already had most of what I needed to get organized, except the motivation. So I signed up to write a post about it, like one does. I started by pulling everything out and organizing it into piles. Anything that could go into a container, I piled on the island. I did a quick inventory of what ingredients I wanted in which canister, and made a list to use to create my labels.

A kitchen island covered in canisters and dry goods.

I decided to make the project a little more creative, and thusly a little more fun, by making some cute labels. I had the best intentions of using perfectly adorable lettering, but I’m not actually any good at creating perfectly adorable lettering.

Kitchen labels for containers reading "beans," "Corn Meal," "Granola," and "Panko."

Next, I wiped down all the containers, then filled and labeled them. I packed most of my cookie decorating supplies in a plastic CD organizer box, and put a hook on the wall for the potato bag to get it out of the way.

After that was the fun part, loading everything back with a purpose. I put like things together, and made sure there was enough room between rows to see all the labels, so it will be easy to put my hands on things when I need them.

An organized pantry

The labels look great, I used a silver paint pen, so the lettering kind of sparkles in the dim light of the pantry. Also, before you think I have a cereal problem, Post cereals were on sale 5 for $10 yesterday, and bitches love bargains. Also, Alpha Bits.

A close up of an organized pantry

All told, I spent $5 on label stickers, and about four hours. Now I’m going to cook something, since I can find the damn olive oil.


By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

6 replies on “Project of the Day: Make Your Pantry Work”

We don’t have a pantry, so much heaps of small cupboards in the kitchen. This is so inspiring, though! I can tidy AND have cute labels? I hadn’t thought about kitchen organisation in this way before. Now to add it to the never-ending to-do list.

As someone with obsessive cleaning tendencies, I once cleared out our pantry and did exactly what this article suggested with lots of clear containers and shelves and hooks for bags and aprons and the like. It was the happiest moment of my life. I took a lot of pictures and generally annoyed all of my roommates.

I live a really simple life.

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