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Enter: professional organizer Ashley Hines of Thee Tailored Life. Her client recently moved into a beautiful new space and wanted to set up the pantry with intention. Ashley was eager to help: “I completely agree that setting up systems before you can fall back into habits is a great strategy for maintaining an organized life,” she says.
Ashley’s goals for the space were simplicity, access, and visibility. She conducted a consultation with the client, where she took measurements and designed a plan. She budgeted $150 for the project, and, once approved by the client, she purchased the products needed. She also bought backup options in a similar price range, in case she needed to pivot during the organizing session. “The hardest part,” says Ashley, “is just staying on pace. I often have ideas that come up while organizing and I have to think while moving to honor my clients’ time.”
Back in the space with materials in hand, Ashley removed everything from the pantry, cleaned the shelves, and began to test the products. She decided on a set of medium plastic storage bins for the bulk of the project, an expandable three-tiered shelf for canned goods, and a cutlery organizer for the client’s plasticware. Once satisfied with the system, she then categorized the food items and placed each category in a bin.
The last step was to add large labels, making it a breeze for every member of the family to know where groceries belong. Ashley was happy to hear her client’s young adult son declare that he thought he could maintain the system. Simplicity and visibility, check!
Ashley works quickly — another benefit of investing in a professional — and she transformed her client’s pantry in an hour-and-a-half. One hidden organizational win of this deep pantry is that backstock bins are located behind each section. The drawers make it easy to access replacements when it’s time to restock.
Ashley wouldn’t change anything about this project. “It’s clean and simple,” she says, adding that it’s also “visually pleasing and functional.” For readers wanting to recreate the look, Ashley advises, “Declutter, measure, and draw out a plan before buying anything.” Looks like it’s time to track down that measuring tape.
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