6 Things We Learned From Chrissy Teigen’s Pantry Organizer

Yes, there are before-and-afters, and yes, we asked about Chrissy.

February 12, 2020
Photo by RiOrganize

Chrissy Teigen posted her freshly organized pantry on Instagram, and the internet went crazy…naturally. Everything Chrissy does—and everything she tweets—seems to be cause for frenzy, but her hyper-organized pantry was one viral thread we simply could not ignore. A turntable devoted to just Tabasco? An inexplicably satisfying clear drawer full of tea bags? And who was responsible for this wizardry? Was it Joanna and Clea, the acclaimed organizers of The Home Edit, behind Khloe Kardashian’s pantry and Mandy Moore’s closet?

Nope, it’s Rìa Safford, owner of RìOrganize, a relatively new Southern California-based organizing company specializing in “full-service luxury organization.” Given that this terminology conjures up images of a fairy godmother flying to the rescue, armed with interlocking bins and a label maker (or is that just me?), we had to reach out to her and get the inside info. We asked her about her methodology, and snuck a few questions in about this particular job, too, because who doesn’t want to get a look inside Chrissy Teigen’s pantry? Here are 6 things we learned.

1. Her Go-Tos Are from The Container Store

All of the clear products in Chrissy’s pantry are from iDesign, a line sold at The Container Store and beloved by professional organizers everywhere. The same iDesign that The Home Edit turned to when they wanted to create their own line. Rìa added one of her personal favorite items, like these stackable bamboo bins—which are currently sold out, of course. Here, she used them to sort out grab-and-go snacks like packets of peanut butter, Trader Joe’s seaweed snack, and granola bars.

2. Clear is (Mostly) the Move

iDesign is known for everything clear—bins, stackable boxes, turntables—used by organizers because you can see exactly what’s in them. I’ve interviewed a fair share of experts, and one thing they’ve all drilled home is the benefit of seeing what you have, so you don't lose track and buy more. There’s also the added benefit of making the pantry space look open and airy, even when it isn’t. While the bulk of the organizers in Chrissy’s pantry are clear, Rìa says she loves “switching up products and styles to really round out the space and bring some character,” combining bamboo bins with woven baskets and plastic boxes.

Before Photo by RiOrganize
After Photo by RiOrganize

3. Shop for the Space You Have, Not the Space You Want

Okay, clearly not all of us have a walk-in pantry with enough real estate to display custom boxes of cereal. I myself play a daily game of Jenga with my pasta boxes and bags of rice—and usually lose. For people like me, Rìa had the right advice: “If you don't have ample space, you should not be bulk-buying on the regular.” It’s not a totally novel idea, but one worth repeating like a mantra, because, as Rìa points out, “you need to decide if the deal is worth the headache of having nowhere to store it.” Noted.

4. Realistic Solutions are the Only Solutions

“I’m naturally a pretty messy person,” Rìa says, but “I grew to be organized after getting married and having my first daughter at 25.” It makes sense, since organizing as a single person or married couple is one thing, but picking up after a kid is another. “I learned firsthand how important it is to know what you have and store your items in a way that is maintainable,” she says, which is why she’s a legitimate source for people with kids who need help creating realistic solutions that are easy to stick to. Sure, stashing stuff out of sight in dark bins feels good in the moment, but evaluating what you have and keeping tabs on it will make life easier in the long run.

Before Photo by RiOrganize
After Photo by RiOrganize

5. Chrissy’s Mom, Pepper, Ordered the Team Their First Pho

Pepper, also known as @pepperthai2, is a staple in the Teigen/Legend social media landscape. If you follow the two, you know Pepper is always around cooking or hanging with the kids, and it turns out, in the pantry as well. While on the job, Rìa says Pepper ordered the team their first Pho, and “added her special garlic sauce” to it. Now if only I could redo my first Pho experience with Pepper.

6. Rìa Has Jen Atkin to Thank for the Chrissy Intro

If you’re not familiar with Jen Atkin, you might know of her haircare brand, Ouai, or a laundry list of famous clients she handles (Kendall Jenner, Hayley Beiber, Bella Hadid). Atkin is actually the one responsible for introducing Chrissy to Rìa, and the pantry transformation followed while Chrissy & fam were away on vacation. Now you know.

Are you as obsessed with Chrissy's pantry makeover as we are? Let us know in the comments!

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Tomoose February 15, 2020
I use a lot of Mason jars & used the veggie bins from a fridge that died. Mostly I try to repurpose stuff that I already have instead of buying a whole lot of plastic containers.
Author Comment
Caroline M. February 18, 2020
Totally agree... I’m always conflicted about buying reusable plastic things to reduce using single-use plastic... how much better is it, really?
judy February 12, 2020
Lots of cupboard space to begin with. That is where to start. I have moved to a single room apartment with a small kitchen. Have added a small chest drawer for some overflow. But the answer was to downsize. I no longer get to have 12 different kinds of jam in my cupboard. I was not able to downsize my spices--dozens of them, for cuisines from around the world. Other stuff had to go, like extra canned goods...Hmmm. But a few good suggestions.
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Caroline M. February 12, 2020
True, who knows how many canned and dry items I'd amass if I had this much space to begin with!
Eric K. February 12, 2020
Ugh, my cabinets really need this. My pots and pans and Tupperware come flying out every time I try to get something!
Author Comment
Caroline M. February 12, 2020
Tupperware is something even the most organized can never master. I've accepted it.
Randall February 12, 2020
Someone needs to talk more about Chrissy's Bunches of Oats. Does John know about these? Are Chrissy and John seeking to adopt a middle-aged man? These questions needs answers.
Author Comment
Caroline M. February 12, 2020
I have a similar question, are they seeking to adopt a high-maintenance woman in her 20's? Asking for a friend.