Before and After: A Messy Pantry Gets a Realistic Transformation Using Already Owned Containers

published Apr 24, 2024
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Before: a room full of food on shelves

You’ve seen drool-worthy pantries full of clear bins with tons of breathing room between pieces and rainbow-ordered snacks. But making that a goal for yourself (or your shelves) is, for most, an impossible standard. 

Many people have real-life pantries — pantries eked out of cupboards, awkwardly shaped closets, or other small spaces, pantries with deep shelves where things get completely buried and lost, and pantries full of snacks that are in torn boxes and bags that refuse to line up in color-coordinated hues. 

Although these real-life messy pantries may never turn into Instagram-worthy eye candy, they most certainly can be transformed with real-life solutions into peaceful and functional spaces that serve you just as well. 

Professional organizer Kristol Yeager of GetReady took exactly this kind of typical, stressful pantry and gave it a makeover. “The client wanted to be able to walk into the pantry and not feel overwhelmed,” says Kristol. “They have a busy life and needed a pantry that was easy for the family to maintain once it was organized. This organization project was going to save them time and money.”

“The pantry looked like a small grocery store that someone turned upside down then spilled it out,” shares Kristol of the original space. “The pantry was being used by the family daily and it was overwhelming just walking in to look for a granola bar. Food was going to waste, simply because the family couldn’t see what they already had. So money and food were going in the garbage daily.”

In four and a half hours, Kristol was able to give the family what they so desperately needed. She explains how she did it: “I started by removing everything from the space and categorizing as I went. Then, I cleaned the shelves and started the process of categorizing the areas of the pantry to make it easy for the client to find what she was looking for and keep it that way.” 

Kristol points out that she “would love for all of the storage containers to be clear/the same look” but that “the client already had the containers, so it was not an expense.”

The hardest part of the project was finding enough room to get everything out of the pantry. But Kristol reminds us that “the mess has to get worse before it can get better.” 

The best part of this project has been that the client has been able to maintain it. “The client has sent me a message each ‘monthiversary’ since GetReady helped them get organized, and she’s thrilled how easy it has been to keep their pantry maintained,” says Kristol. And there it is, the mark of a successful organizing project. 

This article originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: Before and After: A Messy Pantry Gets a Realistic Transformation Using Already Owned Containers