• Tana Lane

Project Highlight: Perfecting Your Pantry! (Empty Nest Kitchen Phase 2)

Hello Fall and Winter! This is my favorite time of year with the holidays around the corner and the temperatures finally cooling down. This is also the best time to begin your indoor projects and what better place to start than the kitchen pantry!

Real talk, when we moved from our old house to our current one I had hesitations when we first viewed it. It wasn't what I was looking for and we had lost a bid on the first house we found that I absolutely loved. But, the pantry sold it for me. It's big and beautiful and a huge upgrade from no pantry space whatsoever. So! Trust me when I say I know how important your pantry space (or lack thereof) can be and this is the perfect time to get it in order before you stuff it with holiday things!

Here are a few simple things to keep in mind:

1. Clean that bad boy out!

You probably saw this coming but like usual, it's a super important step. I bet you've got something in your cabinets right now that's expired. Or maybe it's a can of something that's been in there for a year and is still good (and donate worthy) but you're never going to use it. Pulling out all of your stuff and really evaluating what you've got will really help start the process, I promise!

2. If you don't have the space, create some.

While I'd love to wave my magic organizing wand and create big, glorious pantries for everyone, I still haven't received my Hogwarts letter so... In the meantime, I'll do what I can! If you have a shallow pantry space like in the picture or you only have cabinet space, you can double your capacity by adding some simple shelves. If your shelves are thin enough, you can also use these neat hanging baskets which are great for stackable things like protein bars or juice pouches.

3. Get even more creative!

I've got Pinterest boards full of neat ideas on how to stack, hang, contain and coordinate your pantry spaces. They may seem trivial at first, but if you put the time and effort into something you're more likely to keep it that way. Plus, it's fun!

4. Maintain your space.

When it comes to spaces like the pantry, this one is really important. It's really easy to go back to the old way of stacking and stuffing, so get into the habit of doing a quick check and clear before your grocery trips and really make the effort to maintain your layout. Designate spaces for daily use and keep them separate from seasonal use items.

I did this kitchen in two phases so you'll notice a few things in the three pictures above. In phase one, I primarily focused on the other cabinet spaces but I did relocate the plastic bags to create a better space for the cooking sheets and pans. In phase two, with the cabinets now cleared out a little more, I moved on to the pantry. The glasses on the top shelf now had a better home and I was able to make everything more accessible with the shelves and hanging basket.

Let's get started with your kitchen project! It may seem like a lot but I'm happy to work in smaller phases like I did with this one. Even the smallest changes can help during the crazy holiday season!

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