Pantry Client Needs & Consultation
Home organization can feel overwhelming at times, I get it. This newly wed couple live in a beautiful 4 story townhome with tall ceilings and beautiful views of the skyline. For this client,
their pantry is a tall space with lots of shelves which is great but not always easy to access those top shelves.
During the consultation I noticed that the top two shelves were not very well used, with the bottom shelves being overly full. Even with a step ladder the clients were just unsure how best to use their tall shelves and be able to reach the things they need everyday. A plus was that the client already owned several hyacinth baskets and a couple of lazy susans but needed an overall better system to really maximize their pantry space. Two things that were important to the client was figuring out a better system for their many spices and create a more accessible area for cat food/supplies.
Process & Products
Prior to our arrival the client had already started the decluttering process in their pantry, getting rid of expired items as well as excess food items they wanted to donate. I encourage clients that the more they can declutter beforehand, the less organizing hours they are billed. Some prefer I come in and do it all, while some are open to getting their spaces prepped for creating organizational systems.
As with any project, I take everything out of the pantry so that you can really see what food items the client has as well as identifying like items that need to be stored together. It also is a good visual to see what storage containers will work the best for items like chips, baking supplies and snacks.
Another practical reason for having storage containers or bins is that they create boundaries. They only allow a certain amount of storage which can help a client not over buy and use what they have so nothing goes to waste. If you are a person that does bulk shopping at Costco or Sam’s Club then floor backstock bins are a game changer. This client really liked these White Elfa Mesh Drawers because of their size. They were perfect for storing reusable bags/lunch containers, paper towels, and backstock of cat food and supplies.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
As mentioned this client already had several storage and organizational items so we used them along with a few new items like these Hyacinth Sloped Storage Basket. They were great to hold plastic cups, disposable coffee mugs as well as rolled trash bags. Getting rid of outer boxes also maximizes your storage space and gives you better visibility to really see how many trash bags you have left before running out.
Having different size containers are helpful as some pantries, like this clients, have varying shelf depths and I always want to maximize all the space on the shelves as much as possible while still leaving room to see what you have and grab what you need without having to move items out of the way.
The client also had two 3 tiered white shelving systems but they are narrow and really didn’t fit a normal food can on them well. Seeing that the client had lots of sprinkles and baking supplies, I was able to repurpose them to hold those small items while suggesting one of my favorite products, the 3 Tier Canned Food Expandable Shelf Organizer by M Design, sold at Target. This expandable shelf is awesome for holding your canned items and I like this particular design because it has the rubber grip, which helps hold your cans in place.
Container Store Spice Rack
This couple likes to cook and they LOVE their spices. During the consultation we discussed several different options for how to best store their spices while being able to see all of them. They decided on this Elfa Gliding Tiered Shelve System from the Container Store. They were able to purchase it during the Elfa Sale (Woo Hoo!) and installed it prior to my arrival. These lightweight pull out shelves made it so easy to see what you had as well as storing lots of containers. This was my first time using this particular part of the Elfa system and in this space, it worked great!
I loved working in this pantry because it felt like a fun puzzle. Figuring out how best to use existing storage containers and bins, while supplementing new items really gave order and clarity on how best to use this space. In the process of pulling out all the items, I noticed the client had a collection of large glass vases. I was able to arrange these on the top shelf as they are not used everyday yet still easily accessible and visually pretty to see as you enter the pantry. Many times a little creativity in a space does the trick in figuring out the best way to use what you have, get items you may need to create the space you want. The total time spent on this pantry was 6 hours with 2 organizers and one extra helper, Jack the cat.