Organizing the Butler’s Pantry

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I am so happy I am done organizing the Butler’s Pantry. I now have organized dishes, bowls, trays, glasses, and linens.

Organizing the Butler's Pantry

Don’t laugh. But I have twenty-three sets of dinner plates. It’s true! For years I have been collecting items for entertaining.

Some of you may think I have too much stuff. But I really do use everything!

Fortunately, I have a great Butler’s Pantry (without a butler) that holds a lot of dishes, glasses, linens, trays, and more!

Today I am sharing my experience organizing the butler’s pantry. And I am going to complete negate the belief that Home Decor Bloggers have perfectly organized houses.

It’s a “myth”. Which you will see below as I share some really bad BEFORE photos.

This entire week my friend KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and I are sharing organizing tips. You will want to check out her post today about Storage Tips for the Butler’s Pantry.

I wanted to make sure you saw yesterday’s kitchen organizing posts.

If you want to see the “unorganized side” of My 100 Year Old Home, then read on.

Organizing the Butler’s Pantry

I am very happy to share with you first the AFTER photos of my reorganization of the Butler’s Pantry.

Our butler’s pantry is located right between our dining room and kitchen. It’s pretty small but it has ton of storage space and a really cool vintage sink.

I spent an entire day reorganizing our butler’s pantry this past weekend.

Organizing the Butler's Pantry

Steps to Organizing the Butler’s Pantry

  • The first thing I did was empty everything off the counter and from the upper shelves.
  • Next, I determined where everything was going to be put back. I decided to arrange everything by color. Duh.
  • I also decided that the counter would be for preparation and planning only. This means nothing will be stored there, except some of the wine carafes. Because we use those a lot.
Organizing the Butler's Pantry

In the photo below you can see I have made some progress. I love that I can pull items from here when I am getting ready to set a table.

And the fact they are all organized by color is amazing!

Organizing the Butler's Pantry Pink Dishes

Look how great the plates are organized. The top row is green, then grey, and the bottom row is pink.

Butler's Pantry

I know that we own way too many wine glasses. The entire bottom row of glasses are for our Christmas party and should be in the basement. I will move them down there soon.

Butler's Pantry

I think these sliding tray shelves are so cool. And yes, I know I have a lot of trays!

Butler's Pantry

Before I continue, I am going to share my BEFORE photos.

The Before Photos – Yikes!

I mentioned that I had been pretty bad about keeping our Butler’s Pantry organized. These pictures should reinforce that I wasn’t kidding.

The result is four really embarrassing photos. (Notice how I made them smaller so they wouldn’t look so bad. Haha.)

Over the holidays we were very busy and had so much fun with our kids and daughter-in-law. I cooked almost every night and it was so much fun.

Unfortunately, I did a terrible job putting items away in the Butler’s Pantry. Plus, my kids usually did the dishes every night (thank heavens!) and they had no idea where to put things away.

I am glad you can see real life at My 100 Year Old home.

So Where Did Everything Go?

I donated a ton of stuff. Anything I hadn’t used in two years was sent away.

All of the items that are used only once a year (such as seasonal items) were sent down to the basement.

The drawers were already fairly well organized.

Butler's Pantry

Obviously, this is my green napkin drawer. I also have a white napkin drawer, a neutral napkin drawer, and an “everything else” napkin drawer.

Butler's Pantry

The Elkay Water Dispenser

Butler's Pantry

I did want to share my most favorite item in our entire Butler’s Pantry. I use this item many times a day and it has literally changed our lives.

It’s the Elkay Residential Built-in Water Dispenser.

We installed it next to the sink in our Butler’s Pantry as the power and water was closeby.

In the months that we have had it, we have saved 3,831 plastic water bottles. Not only does this water dispenser pay for itself in saved water bottles, but it also helps the environment and will likely cause you to drink more water.

We absolutely love it.

My Coffee Station

Since I don’t really have access to fresh flowers these days, I moved my coffee station back to the butler’s pantry.

Butler's Pantry Coffee

I love my Keurig and my fabulous milk frother. If you saw my post on Sunday, then you know I have a special Superfood Coffee Creamer that I love. It’s the white stuff in the mason jar.

Butler's Pantry Coffee

I am sure you are wondering about the extension chord. I have an electrician coming out and will get that taken care of shortly. Just another real life photo.

Links to other posts about our Butler’s Pantry

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Updating the Lighting

Another thing I did in the Butler’s Pantry was update the lighting.

In simple terms, the first task was to change out the halogen bulbs in the top of each cabinet. In case you are wondering, they were all burnt out. They are a complete hassle to change so that is why they hadn’t been replaced.

This is a photo of our pantry without the accent lighting.

Organizing the Butler's Pantry

I also added some wireless mini-stick touch lights under the glass cabinets. Don’t the cabinets look so much better with the accent lighting?

Organizing the Butler's Pantry

I am so happy with my newly organized Butler’s Pantry. Now that everything has a home, I am determined to keep this organized.

As I mentioned, I have 23 different sets of dinner plates. It’s crazy but every shelf has three to five different sets. It may sound like a lot, but many of these I bought at flea markets for about $1 each.

Fortunately I like to use them all.

Organizing the Butler's Pantry

Don’t forget to head on over to KariAnnne’s blog post Storage Tips for the Butler’s Pantry.

Look at her gorgeous photo!

Links to the Items Shown in This Post

Pin the image below to your decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

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    1. Faith, thank you so much! Paint colors and brands are a quick search away. On my blog, in the search bar, search “paint color” and you will see the post that has the listing for each room in the house. Thank you for reaching out and for following along!

  1. I need this post! My little butler’s pantry seems to get disorganized on its own. Thank you for showing us “real” pictures. It helps to motivate me, knowing that you go through the same issues.

    1. Oh Lorraine, I feel you on the butler’s pantry disorganizing itself! I am always happy to show the “real” side of things. No one is perfect 😊. Thank you for following along with me!

  2. Your butlers pantry is wonderful, even messy!
    We once had a very old ranch home that had a walk in china closet. It was so nice to have the extra storage for all of my serving pieces, glasses, and china. It held what no typical cabinet ever could. We built the home we currently live in and we downsized or I would have happily put in a china closet. Your very fortunate to have your pantry, and your organizational tips are great, thank you!

    1. Wow Pam, a whole china closet, swoon! I am so happy that you enjoy the organizational tips and today’s post. Thank you for following!

  3. I don’t exactly have a Butler’s pantry but a built in hutch set up in the dining area. You gave me inspiration to move seldom used items to the basement. But what to do with dip/appetizer type dish/trays..they sit awkwardly. Also should I just stack pretty platters,soup tureen,mothers cut glass etc?
    Great inspiration. I love glassware and pretty dishes too!

    1. Paulette, I’m so glad that you were inspired by the post! A hutch in the dining room is a great way to stash serving pieces and platters that you use frequently. Mine are stacked by size so that they nest. It’s so much fun to have options when entertaining!

  4. Thank goodness I’m not the only one with 20+ sets of dinner plates! What a great post. I love your real photos and great ideas!

    1. Thank you so much Michelle! I’m so happy that you enjoyed the post today and am so glad to have you follow my blog!

  5. I am in love with your butlers pantry! I Love that it is small and yet fully functional. I am dying to have one in my house but haven’t quite figured out a way to do that. My kitchen is fairly small but works really well and I can put out the food for 20 plus but it would be so nice to have a butlers pantry. I keep thinking I could move my laundry room to the garage and use that space but I live in Utah and that might be a tad cold in the winter haha. Great post!


    1. That is so great Karin that you have space to put food out for 20! Sounds like you have a very efficient kitchen layout. Keep noodling on that butler’s pantry and I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

  6. Whew! Glad someone else has a boatload of dishware besides me. Looks great, makes my little OCD heart happy to see. I would really really love a walk in storage pantry or butlers pantry. I have brought this up several times to hubby…we could build into the garage off of the kitchen. He is not impressed. Still, I am most fortunate and grateful to have a lot of kitchen storage.

    1. Jillian, you are so lucky to have lots of storage! A butler’s pantry is one of the benefits of a 100 Year Old Home. I too, am so grateful to have the space for all of my treasures!

  7. I am swooning over your butler’s pantry. The storage is amazing and no one can ever have too many dishes. The water dispenser is genius, I would use that thing all day long. Many years ago I worked for a small gift store that was a gem. The owner would display her glasses one up and the next one down so the stems would be alternating. I love the look of it and they didn’t seem to bump up against one another as much. I now do that with all my glasses including regular glasses. I love the look of it. Try it, you might just like it.

    1. Thank you so much Lynn! The water dispenser has got me drinking so much more water! Interesting idea about storing stemware, I’ll have to give it a try! Thank you for reaching out with your comment and for following along!

      1. I so need that water dispenser!!!!!! Re-vamping our kitchen and would love it, I looked it up and almost fell off my chair, very expensive, do you know of other brands? I am looking online now but not many choices for residential use. Thanks,

        1. If you do the math Tammy (cost of plastic bottles) it totally pays for itself. There may be other brands, but I am not familiar with them. This is the brand that you see (or used to see 😊) in every airport/hotel. I know it’s a big ticket item, but it has more than paid for itself already!

  8. I had to laugh at your 23 sets of dishes….then I started counting….! No, I’m not there…yet! Great job on the butler’s pantry. I really enjoy your blog and your creativity! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Debbie for reaching out with your kind comment. I am so happy the butler’s pantry is organized again, I swear I will not let it get out of control like it had been! Thank you for following along, more organization to come this week!

  9. Hi Leslie,
    Can you share the source for the pink/white buffalo plaid placemats?
    I’m trying to figure out how to make a butler’s pantry in a pass-through hall, for all my dishes.
    Thanks for the ideas.

    1. Mildred, I purchased the placemats at a small gift shop while on vacation years ago. They don’t have a tag on them, so I’m sorry. I don’t have a source for you.

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