How to Nail the Pristine Pantry Kitchen Trend in Your Own Home

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

Move over, shelfies; there’s a new trend in town.

At Apartment Therapy, we spend a lot of our time talking about how to make your kitchen a more beautiful place. How to make a statement with your backsplash. How to spruce up your kitchen floors with a runner.

But how to beautify your pantry? Not so much. When it comes to design, the pantry is really a forgotten spot. Sure, there are plenty of pantries organized to perfection, but a beautiful design has never been a huge priority.

However, over the past few months, a lot of celebrities, bloggers, and design sites have put their perfectly pristine pantries on display for the entire world to see. Chances are, you’ve spotted the phenomenon as you scroll through the ‘gram. And by the looks of it, this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“When spaces are efficient, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing all at once, it not only makes sections of your home more enjoyable to look at, but we’ve also found that it inspires people to maintain their organized spaces,” says Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, co-founders of The Home Edit.

Here, Shearer and Teplin share their best tips for recreating the pristine pantry look in your own home. And no, you don’t need a huge walk-in pantry to get the job done:

1. Spring Cleaning

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Before you begin daydreaming about matching canisters and labels, clean out your pantry. In fact, the Home Edit founders say it’s crucial for a spick and span space.

“The biggest mistake you can make is thinking you can organize your items without taking every single thing off the shelves,” says Shearer. “Sorry, there are no shortcuts here! This process will help you realize which items you shouldn’t purchase again.”

Teplin adds this exercise is a great opportunity to check expiration dates and discard any old groceries. ICYMI: Moldy bread and stale cereal are not trendy.

To keep your pantry in pristine condition, spend a few minutes each week removing old ingredients and snacks.

2. Divide and Conquer

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

The organized pantry trend isn’t all aesthetics; it’s also geared to make your time spent in the kitchen significantly easier. That’s exactly why it’s so important to organize your food with care.

“Almost every single pantry can be divided into breakfast, dinner, snacks, sweet snacks, baking, and cooking,” Teplin shares. “By grouping items into large categories, you won’t get stuck with something not having a home.”

Another tip: Put the ingredients you use the most in a convenient, easily accessible spot. Why pillage through your entire pantry for the salt shaker when you can place it in plain sight? It’s a no-brainer.

3. Call in Reinforcements

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

What makes a trendy, organized pantry different from any old cabinet, you ask? Swapping your dented boxes and bags for matching containers. Not only do they look nice, but they’re also pretty practical.

“The original boxes, bags, and jars that items come in can add to the clutter,” says Shearer. “Instead, swap them for reusable glass or acrylic storage. The more consistent, the better!”

To help, the women of the Home Edit shared some of their favorite must-haves:

Clear airtight canisters: These come in a variety of sizes from large to small, wide or tall. Store fine powders, loose snacks, pastas, cereals, and grains in these to keep them fresh.

Clear small glass jars: Perfect for spices! For easy access, arrange them in alphabetical order or color-code on stackable shelving or a divided turntable.

Turntables: To display the most-used spices, canned goods, salad dressings, vinegar, and condiments.

Clear or wire baskets: They can hold dry snacks (crackers, popcorn, granola bars, chip bags), beverages, canned items, condiments, and more specific categories.

4. Label, Label, Label

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Get ready to become best friends with your label maker. Truth is, it’s the key to keeping your pantry awesome and orderly.

“We are die-hard labelers for numerous reasons,” says Teplin. “It makes finding something that much easier. And if you label a bin as ‘breakfast,’ you won’t be able to put a bag of chips in it without feeling (appropriately) guilty.”

Don’t have a label maker? You can shop our faves here.

5. Be Realistic

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Sure, a hyper-organized pantry may look cool, but it does take some work. And who really has the time to transfer each itty-bitty piece of macaroni from a cardboard box to a clear container?

A beautiful kitchen is supposed to make your life easier, so create a system that’s conducive to your lifestyle. “If you’re a busy parent who has a time-consuming job, you’re not going to want to empty every box of pasta and cereal into jars when you get home from the grocery store,” says Shearer.

Instead, have bins labeled “pasta” and “cereal” to make unloading groceries quick and easy.