Building a Better Pantry

  • By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com
  • 06 Jul, 2016
Custom pantry
Whether you have a small reach-in pantry or a spacious walk-in, there are some universal elements that help separate a so-so storage area from a fully functional space. Let’s start with shelf height. Varying the shelf height can make a world of difference for increasing storage efficiency. We need to be able to store tall items like paper towels, […]
Whether you have a small reach-in pantry or a spacious walk-in, there are some universal elements that help separate a so-so storage area from a fully functional space.
Let’s start with shelf height. Varying the shelf height can make a world of difference for increasing storage efficiency. We need to be able to store tall items like paper towels, large boxes of cereal, and corded electrical appliances. But we want to avoid wasted space for the small items like canned goods, juice boxes and pet treats, etc. We recommend varying shelf height from 10 inches to 18 inches tall to maximize space.
One of the features that can be worth the splurge, especially for reach-in pantries, is the glide out shelf. Making the back part of the shelf accessible is beyond convenient; it makes items discoverable. Glide outs allow you see what is lingering in the back rows and gives you quicker access. Let’s face it, bending over and looking into dark spaces means you are not going to easily find what you are looking for. If glide outs aren’t an option, then under-the-shelf lighting can help improve the search for items in dark places.
Also in the top three recommendations are vertical shelves that can store oversized platters, baking sheets, cutting boards, and so much more. These kitchen tools are difficult to store in our conventional kitchen spaces, so I like to include tall shelving with vertical dividers in the pantry whenever possible.
Do you need dry shelving for root vegetables? Do you have soda or bottled water? Are you a collector of shopping bags? Will wine and spirits go in this area? Will you hang long-handled cleaning gear here? Specialty built-ins are available for these items and many others. Being prepared with an inventory list will help determine which features will save you the most space and have the most impact on your daily life.
Big or small, the right features can make a huge impact on how well your pantry functions! Can you envision the perfect pantry?

Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
By Tera Harmon 16 Nov, 2017

For even the most novice cooks, between now and the end of the year, many kitchens are about to get a workout. We may be hosting parties, holiday meals, trying a new recipe or two, participating in pot lucks, or baking with friends and family. Would't it be great if everything we need is at our fingertips--clean and functional for when we need it?


So often the tools and items we rely on at this time of year are somewhere in the back of cupboards, sideboards, or stored on basement shelving. I recommend gathering, cleaning, and staging the items you know will be needed in the coming weeks. In last week's post ( https://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com/the-ready-made-pantry ) we talked about a well-stocked pantry for the holiday season; for now, let's focus on the items we will likely need in the kitchen and dining areas.
More Posts

Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
More Posts
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