My Home Tour: Kitchen & Pantry (Creative Kitchen Organization & Effective Pantry Storage Solutions) 

Natalie Langston

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The kitchen is the heart of the household, for mine anyways! You know I LOVE to host parties and get-togethers which inevitably end up with friends gathered around the kitchen. This is why I love our open concept kitchen and dining room space, as it allows us to host larger numbers of people with a good flow. I also spend a ton of time in the kitchen alone or with the kids, preparing food, enjoying food, cleaning up and sometimes (rarely) enjoying a quiet coffee. Today I’m sharing my Kitchen and Pantry Reveal with you along with my creative kitchen organization and effective pantry storage solutions. 

My favourite part of our kitchen has to be our built-in coffee machine!! (it’s a necessity in this household with two toddlers LOL!) If you are willing to splurge on this small appliance it sure won’t disappoint! I also get asked about our dining room chairs quite frequently, these are from CF Interiors and they are the perfect classic, white upholstered wooden captains chair, for any space! Not only gorgeous but comfy!

In terms of our storage solutions however, we had a serious problem. Nothing was completely organized, it was all about 80% there but we needed better and more effective storage solutions and systems. It was causing real stress between Gary and I. When the house feels cluttered it’s hard to think clearly sometimes.  

When I started looking for some organizing solutions, NEAT Method and Stor-X Organizing Systems caught my eye right away. I organized our pantry with beautiful drawers and baskets but for those storage solutions to become effective and maintained, we needed to kick it up a notch. We called in some professionals to help get me set up. 

I absolutely LOVE having a pantry in our home but I found myself packing the wire shelves with so many jars it looked like they were going to collapse and pull right out of the wall. We needed a solution and a better system in our pantry! I got in touch with the experts at Stor-X Organizing Systems for help!! We designed the pantry of my dreams – clean, organized and not over crowded. I worked closely with the entire team, especially Felicia, on the design. One of my main goals for the pantry was creating an effective space for garbage and recycling to be able to pull out and push away. I wanted waste hidden away and beautifully integrated into the design. We designed the space with inserts from Ikea that fit perfectly. I LOVE how they turned out. Functional and tucked away. 

I also wanted open shelving to be able to see everything I’ve got to work with.  I especially wanted an open area to store our mixer, waffle maker, cake plate or whatever else I’d like to display. A goal of mine was to have shelving low enough for the boys to be able to grab their snacks on their own and a few cubbies for wine (for me!). Felicia completely brought my vision to life and checked off every goal I had for this space. We picked the hardware to match the rest of the kitchen and everything integrated seamlessly. 

I also wanted a place where we could pull out our produce and push it away on a wire rack of some kind. Voila, Stor-X created a beautiful wire basket that I’m able to pull and push away. 

The light fixture we chose is from Kichler Lighting. This simple but stunning piece ties it all together brightening the space. I absolutely LOVE spending time in this part of the house. 

And while we had a beautiful pantry design and incredible shelving, the next challenge was how to put back ALL of the food and baking/cooking supplies we had in an organized way. Forget that, I’m not even going there. So, enter NEAT Method!

Sarah and Jen from NEAT were FABULOUS. They worked tirelessly for TWO DAYS straight to come up with a strategic plan for every inch of our space, maximizing it, consolidating everything and organizing it all!!! They not only did the pantry but the ENTIRE kitchen!!! UNREAL!! I highly recommend if you or anyone you know is looking for a unique gift for the women in your life THIS IS IT. I repeat THIS. IS. IT!!! 

Just by effectively organizing all of these spaces, the cupboards, drawers, everything gave me years back to my life. Haha, I’m half joking but really now just by looking at my pantry and taking a quick picture I can run to the store and know exactly what I’m out of at first glance. I’m saving time and sanity! 

The key to organization is storage solutions and NEAT Method used mostly all of their own product in our spaces, including their beautiful wired baskets, (I actually LOVE the black and thought that it would add the perfect decor element as well as functionality of course), lazy susans, drawer dividers and other super smart details. Their line of products is inspired by many years spent working in client’s homes just like mine. The Kitchen and Pantry Collection is so well thought out and includes many pieces I’ve never seen anywhere before. 

The spice cupboard is probably my FAVOURITE, next to the supplements. BOTH were a horrible mess before and this is a MUCH better system. Our lives are SO much easier literally everyday when we go to take our supplements or grab a spice while cooking. We know exactly where they are and we’re not left searching for anything anymore, it’s right at our fingertips… reducing that mental load is a beautiful thing! 

Another cupboard was the glasses and plates. We had WAY too many and Gary was always so annoyed getting a cup and having another fall out when he would open the cupboard door. Can anyone relate?! We downsized and used the cupboard space above for overflow. Now, we just have what we use on a weekly basis in the cupboard space below. A little space in the cupboard has made a world of difference. 

The process also involved getting rid of SO much stuff. We identified about five big boxes of things I no longer needed. It felt SO good to purge and recycle, re-home and get rid of things we don’t need or use anymore. Decluttering is the way to feel less stressed and lighter, literally and figuratively.

I wish I could put into words what effect an organized kitchen and pantry space has had on our lives. Mornings are smoother and we have more time to sit and eat together when I’m not picking things up that have fallen out of overstuffed cupboards. Having the pantry intuitively organized makes life SO much easier. Having access to all ingredients in the pantry makes getting meals on the table, packing snacks and lunches and feeding myself so much quicker and less stressful. Somehow, when my kitchen is organized, my life feels organized. It’s just an added bonus that everything from NEAT Method and Stor-X Organizing Systems is so beautiful and fits so well into my home decor vision.

 

Organizing has been such a beneficial experience for me I wanted to share some of the NEAT wisdom. I asked Sarah and Jen the advice they give Mom’s looking to organize their pantry/kitchen and where to begin if feeling overwhelmed. Here are the top tips from the experts at the NEAT Method: 

  1. Build up your confidence. While our typical method involves pulling out everything in a space all at once, if you are new to organizing, we recommend starting small – a drawer or a small cupboard. Once you’re feeling more confident that you’ve got this, try a larger space. 
  2. Remove busy packaging from food products as much as possible, this creates less visual clutter and makes it easy to see how much is left.
  3. Edit as you go. Whether it’s something that’s expired, worn out, or you’ve tired of, doing this will help the process to feel less overwhelming. 
  4. Set up zones in your kitchen for how YOU use the space (eg. Smoothie station, coffee zone, kids’ accessible snacks, spices by the stove).
  5. Use high cupboards and shelves for items you don’t use often or for backstock. Reserve the areas that are easily accessible for the items used most.
  6. Invest in organizational products that fit your space perfectly – measure twice, buy once! Don’t waste an inch of space.
  7. Use neutral coloured organizational products to help them blend in with the space.
  8. Label everything. By labelling where items belong, this sets up a system that will help you to keep things organized. It will encourage members of your household and guests to know exactly where to find something and where to return items to.

Fall feels like the perfect season to spend time indoors getting your kitchen, the heart of your entertaining space, organized ahead of the holiday season. I second the tip to start small as pantry organization can be overwhelming! If you’ve done this in your space, what tips can you pass along? I want to know, what part of the kitchen did you start with that inspired you to keep going? 

Images by Janis Nicolay 

 

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September 16, 2022

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