Maintaining Pantry Goals: Clear Bins or White Bins?

One of my favorite visuals is to see a row of pearly white storage bins, in ascending order by size, as you go down the pantry shelf.  They are always arranged neatly in a row with a small label on the front letting you know of the contents inside. 

Recently, acrylic clear storage bins have been taking over pantry organization.  I can see the appeal.  Everything at a glance.  I haven't tried the clear bin look yet.  I imagine after a day in my household, all the neatly stacked bags would be in disarray. 

So which is better for achieving AND maintaining pantry goals?  The clear plastic bins or the white plastic bins?  

Organized Pantry with White Storage bins

I'm on my journey to pantry goaling with white storage bins.  I prefer the ones with a cutout handle for easy gripping, like the ones pictured above.  They look lovely on the lower shelves, clean and crisp, hiding the fact that I've overstuffed them.  But I'm only 5'1" and when I look up to the higher shelves, I can't see what's inside of the bins anymore.  I can only trust that the chips are in the bins marked chips, and the pastas are in the bins marked pasta, and that the bins aren't empty.  So every time I do inventory on my pantry before a grocery run, I have to pull down each bin to double check.  While I'm doing that, I'm also tossing away expired food packages and how long have the crummies been inside the bin?! 

Then I start to see clear storage bins everywhere, with their neatly stacked cartons of cookies and children's juice bottles, and I buy a few to eliminate the non-view issue above.  But as I predicted, after one day in my household of two kids and a husband, that picturesque image was chaos.  It was quite funny.  Chaos in clear bins on the top shelf.  Chaos in white bins on the bottom shelves. However, having clear bins was so much easier to take inventory.  And because I could see the crummies, I cleaned them out more often.  

So which is better?  

I think it's a mixture of both.  I use the white bins with a label for the bins that get the most action.  Mainly the goods with crummies or the ones my children pull their snacks from.  They're never going to triangle fold the chip bag and clip it back nicely.  I use the clear bins for things that come in a container or carton, or have a shorter expiration date, so it minimizes the clutter and I can keep an eye them.  So the system is ever evolving per seasons or school holidays and so far works for me. Which is better is what works for you.     


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