How To Organize A Pantry, According To The Home Edit

The Home Edit experts Clea and Joanna share their best pantry organization ideas and tips that actually work in an interview with Scary Mommy.

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We all have them: snack pantries (or cabinets/drawers/boxes/etc.) we keep stocked with food, drink, and other essentials. If you’re like me, your pantry is quasi-organized, thanks to the excessive amount of “Get Organized With The Home Edit” I watched during the early days of COVID... before it delves into pure chaos towards the floor. Enter Scary Mommy’s new Instagram series, Pantry Party, in which we’re asking you, dear reader, to share pics or videos of your snack cabinet, along with what it says about you.

But before we get to that, I thought it would be smart to get some pantry organizing tips from the aforementioned pros themselves — our friends (even though they don’t know it) Clea and Joanna. Here’s what they have to say.

Scary Mommy: What are your top 3 tips for organizing a snack pantry?

The Home Edit: Number 1: If possible, remove items from their original packaging before placing them in a container to save space! Number 2: Consider who is using the space. Where and how you position your zones is key to successful maintenance. For instance, do you need to keep items on low shelves for your kids to reach by themselves or on a high shelf out of their reach? Number 3: Designate containment zones that flow with your everyday routine. For example, GoGo squeeZ Morning SmoothieZ can live in the breakfast zone or the snack zone — it all depends on how and when you access them!

SM: What advice do you have for busy moms who want to maintain a newly organized snack cabinet, even when life gets busy?

THE: Be realistic when creating your systems. Are you someone who has the time or energy to come home from the grocery store and empty everything into canisters, or are bins a more sustainable option? There’s no wrong way to get organized as long as you can commit to long-term maintenance.

SM: How do you have your own personal snack cabinets organized?

THE: Our snack cabinets are exactly what you can imagine. Everything is sorted by color, categorized, and evenly spaced. We like storing larger categories in clear bins and smaller grab-and-go items in divided turntables. Then, of course, canisters for the bulk snacks we tend to go through quickly.

SM: For Scary Mommy’s new Pantry Party series, we are having moms submit what their snack cabinet says about them (example: The Nostalgic Snack Cabinet / The Working Mom Snack Cabinet / etc.) How would you describe your snack cabinet in a few words, and what does it say about you?

THE: The Snacks By Color Cabinet. When we ask our kids what snacks need to be restocked, they just name a color.

SM: What is your favorite snack?

Clea: Low-carb tortillas. I carry them in my purse at all times.

Joanna: Cookies, candy, anything people tend to hide from their kids. But in my household, my kids hide them from me!

SM: Do you have any tips for storing chips so they don’t get stale?!

THE: Remove chips from their original packaging and store them in airtight canisters instead!

SM: What’s the easiest way to get organized if you have no idea where to start?

THE: The biggest mistake first-time organizers make is thinking they need to tackle their entire house at once. It's just not realistic and will leave you feeling overwhelmed. Instead, start with a drawer! The knowledge and confidence you gain from a smaller project will motivate you to tackle the larger portions.

SM: How often do you rearrange your snack cabinet?

THE: We’d do it every single day if we could because making sure all the snacks are evenly spaced and in rainbow order is our form of self-care. But realistically, just whenever items are restocked, need to be restocked, or it’s clear the system needs a touch-up.

SM: What would you never keep in a snack cabinet?

THE: Anything that doesn’t belong in the snack category or that no one ever eats, because then you are just wasting valuable space!

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