Life Video·Life These Days

How to put together a perfectly-organized pantry

Designer Autumn Hachey shares simple ways to keep things cute and tidy in this corner of your kitchen.

Designer Autumn Hachey shares simple ways to keep things cute and tidy in this corner of your kitchen

Designer Autumn Hachey shares simple ways to keep things cute and tidy in this corner of your kitchen. 2:47

From learning how to bake with almost no flour, to finding a new way to style a bunch of tulips, spending more time at home has given many of us the opportunity to take on tiny challenges we would've otherwise put off. In each episode of Life These Days, lifestyle experts share something helpful that they have learned while living in isolation so that you can try your hand at it, too.

If you've found yourself cooking or baking more over the last few months, you may have noticed something: a disorganized pantry can derail even the simplest culinary endeavours. Designer Autumn Hachey learned that firsthand this spring. Frustrated with the state of her pantry, she decided to overhaul the space entirely — and picked up some helpful pointers along the way. Check out the video above for Autumn's guide to creating a sleek, streamlined pantry, then scroll down for more styling and organization tips you can apply in your own home. 

Clear the clutter

The first step in any makeover is to declutter — take everything off your shelves and give them a nice clean. This is a great time to check expiration dates and purge any items that may be past due. It's also a perfect opportunity to apply a fresh coat of paint, if you'd like to.  

Autumn decided to give her cabinets a fresh coat of muted pink paint to add some colour to her kitchen. She also removed the doors from the pantry to help make the space feel more open. 

Decant non-perishable goods

To get your space feeling more unified and easier to navigate, Autumn recommends decanting loose and packaged ingredients into glass jars. On top of creating a cohesive look, this move will allow you to restock ingredients at places that let you buy in bulk, rather than repurchasing unnecessary packaging. 

While you're transferring your goods to glass, be sure to check the original packaging for expiration dates. You can buy little stickers from the dollar store, pop the date on them and stick them to the bottom of your jars to hold onto that essential info. 

There are lots of great, economical options for glass canisters, but Autumn went with these modern-looking jars with wooden lids. 

Label everything

Once you've transferred your spices and dry goods into glass jars, there are many different labelling options you can opt for to help add a bit of personality. You can write directly on the canisters with marker, or use a label maker. Autumn says she likes to think of her kitchen as a Parisian cafe, so she sought out pre-made labels on Etsy to match that style.  

Maximize storage with baskets, racks and shelves

It's important to think both horizontally and vertically here. For example, onions and potatoes release moisture, which can lead to faster spoiling. To keep both fresh longer, it's best to store them separately in an area that has good airflow, and is dry and somewhat cool. Due to that, Autumn chose to place hers in low woven and wire baskets that fit perfectly on the shorter, closed shelves near the bottom of her pantry. 

With baskets lining the bottom shelves, Autumn was able to use the open storage toward the top of the pantry to display cookbooks, along with some of her favourite dishware, cutlery and table linens. 

Start styling

Once you're ready to add finishing touches, Autumn recommends these tried-and-true tricks of the trade for styling any surface: stick to a consistent colour palette, create groupings of objects in different shapes and sizes (Autumn prefers groups of threes when possible), and be sure to include a variety of heights to keep things interesting.

Autumn's pantry before and after:

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