How to Achieve a Pinterest-Worthy Pantry

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The pros and cons of putting pasta, oatmeal and more into plastic containers

By Perri Kersh

Pantry porn is a relatively new world online. Look no further than Instagram or Pinterest (some pages with over a million followers!) to see rainbow-inspired shelves in celebrity homes, and note the awestruck and envious comments of those who aspire to such beautiful ROYGBIV-ordered food placement. It seems that many desire a pantry that looks photo-worthy with just the right filter in place.

Having an organized pantry is a wonderful goal. And having lovely containers affixed with clever labels may help you keep your pantry organized and tidy. However, the realistic question you have to ask is ‘Can and will you maintain this order?’ And ‘Will the rest of your family step in line and keep it up as well?’

Decanting food into labeled canisters or clear boxes is an organizing preference you have to assess for yourself. Here are the pros and cons!


  • Taking things out of the boxes they come in can save you some space, especially once half the box is eaten.
  • You can often see how much of an item you have left so you’re more likely to remember to purchase it if you need more, and less likely to buy more than you need.
  • Pretty pantries may mean you’re more likely to keep it tidy and organized.
  • Plastic containers can also contain a mess if something drips or spills while in the pantry.
  • Having labels on shelves or containers may mean everyone puts things back where they belong.
  • If you can see healthier options, perhaps you’re more likely to make better food choices!


  • More plastic being purchased in this world!
  • Containers can be expensive.
  • It’s an extra step when you unload your groceries because you have to then empty the contents into a container.
  • What if it doesn’t fit? It’s a bit frustrating to decant your food and then have 2 cups of rice or Cheerios leftover.
  • Having labels on shelves or containers may mean your family completely ignores these signs and drives you a special kind of crazy.
  • If you see a clear container of chocolate sitting next to a container of dried fruit and nuts, which one are you going to eat? (For me, it’s the chocolate every dang time!)

I am not here to judge your pantry organizing decisions. I support good use of containers (either buying new or using what you have) to make the most of your space and keep like with like. It’s a basic organizing principle that really can help you neaten up your space. You be you, and create organizing systems that reflect the real you, work for your family and spark your own kind of joy!

Keep Neat,



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Jessica Stringer

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