What’s in Our Pantry? Part 1 - “Organized Pantry of Purpose and Beauty”

pantry Dec 08, 2017

Everyone wants an organized pantry! I’ve taught a class called “What’s in Your Pantry?”. I had each attendee bring 5 items from their pantry, and I proceeded to pick apart each person for their choice of food…Well, I was nice about it. Actually, the class was very constructive, and I really was nice! I didn’t really pick them apart! We talked about healthy staples to have in your pantry, the ones that should never be there and the goodies you just have to have from time to time.

 Now I’m going to show everyone my pantry. I’ll do a series of posts that will dissect my pantry and the food in it. I’ll also post a tutorial of how Trae (son number 1) built my pantry, so you can build one, too, if you’re so inclined.

This is an updated picture taken 7 months after the ones below. The pantry is much fuller, but eventually the baking items will move to other open shelves (once they’re built).

These shelves were not staged for this post! I decided while planning my pantry that I wanted it to be pleasing to the eye, my eye, everyday. I just don’t like bags and boxes and packaging. As you can see in the picture above that everything is placed neatly and even the storage is decorative. Why not? Why not make the utilitarian beautiful? I’ve used gallon and 1/2 gallon jars to keep such things as sugar, cinnamon, chocolate chips, dried tomatoes, coffee beans, flour, nutritional yeast and loose tea. Quart and pint jars hold mostly spices and, of course, summer and fall canning.

Now look towards the top of the shelves. I have bowls that coordinate with my kitchen and each other. No plastic! There are also stainless steel french presses, white teapots, a vintage glass percolator. Then mixed right in are canned concord grapes, vibrant jars of tomatoes, and other home canned items. It all works!

Notice the wire baskets above? I picked those up at TJMaxx to use on my one-day-we’ll-get-to-it kitchen island. Right now I’m hiding cans, boxes and any packaging that I don’t want to look at all of the time. I realized that I needed to line the baskets for this to work; simple tea towels did the trick.

I don’t use plastic storage containers anymore! Yay! (Is it yea or yay? I’ve seen it both ways.) My kitchen isn’t quite finished, so my glass storage containers are in a temporary home on the bottom shelf. They’ll move once I have another place for them. The syrup buckets are used for flowers, etc., but they also cleverly hide items that I don’t want to be seen.

On this shelf I have my rolling pins (I think they’re decorative), paper towels (ya gotta have them), eggs (no styrofoam cartons please) and bottles of vinegar and wine. Isn’t the front bottle nice? It’s fig vinegar I bought on clearance at TJMaxx. The label on the bottle is perfect for display.

My sweet mother-in-law gave me this vintage marmalade jar. I love it! The tea cups have a cabinet, but why not have something dainty amidst all of the jars and baskets?


  • Use glass jars to hold staples such as popcorn, molasses, nuts, raisins, flour, sugar, etc.
  • Use baskets to hide things you don’t want to see such as cans, boxes and bags. Line wire baskets with tea towels.
  • Mingle the beautiful with the utilitarian. Add your favorite teacup next to the jars and voila!
  • Don’t be afraid to display home canned goods. If it’s something that doesn’t look great, like certain relishes, put it behind the tomatoes or green beans!
  • No plastic or styrofoam! Transition to glass, baskets, ceramic, metal. If you have plastic, such as purchased vinegar, put it on the floor behind something that is pleasing to look at. An exception? Green plastic bottles of olive oil. They keep the oil from going rancid and they look nice.
  • Think outside of the box. Your grandmother’s rolling pin can be on display, not hidden away in a drawer.
  • Every few days, stand back and look at your pantry. Is everything still in its place?
  • Has another household member put something on the shelf that doesn’t belong or have things gotten mixed up? Take a couple of minutes, and set it back right.
  • Enjoy having a functional, yet beautiful pantry!

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What’s in Our Pantry? Part 1 - “Organized Pantry of Purpose and Beauty”


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