Is your kitchen pantry looking a bit out of sorts? It can be tough to keep a pantry organized with so many items making their way in and out of the space. Here are some of our favorite tried-and-true tips to keep your pantry organized, helping you to easily locate items you need quickly without having to dig through mounds of ¼ full pasta boxes.
Like most organization projects, this one begins with taking inventory of what you have, then using bins and tools to put things in their proper place.
First things first – unload that pantry! You’ll be surprised what you find in there (Halloween candy from 2005?) and the amount of debris hiding toward the back of the space. When everything is removed, clean the pantry well so that you truly have a fresh, clean slate to work with.
Now use your counters and even the floor to begin categorizing what you’ve removed from the pantry. Cereal boxes in one group, baking supplies in another. Go through and create groupings that make sense for you and your family.
You can even make groupings within groupings—for example, keep the canned beans separate from other canned goods that you may not reach for as frequently.
At this point, you may realize that you have multiple boxes of the same item (some opened and some not!). These types of products are good candidates to be kept together in a large, clear container. Cereal, flour, nuts, and other grab-and-go items are easier to find in these containers and they stay fresher than in those roll-up bags they’re packaged in. Plus, you’ll be able to easily see when supplies are getting low.
Be sure to label each container, too. That way nobody is disappointed when they dig into a bowl of plain Cheerios when they’d hoped for Honey Nut.
Think about solutions to store larger items like oil bottles or shelf-stable sauces. If your pantry has space for a Lazy Susan, it allows you to spin through these bottles until you find what you need. Alternatively, think about storing bottles directly on the shelf with a plastic placemat beneath them, to protect your pantry from spills.
As you’re refilling the pantry, take mental inventory of what you have and what you need. Start a list of items that you need to fill the gaps and reach your pantry goals. You might want to consider a lower-level area for kids’ snacks and treats—allowing your little ones to access items without having to ask you for help. You can also create a higher-level area for the adults in the household—the perfect place to stash your peanut butter cups.
An organized pantry not only looks great, it allows you to feel less stressed as you search for the items you need to get the day started or create the perfect dinner. But you need to keep it up, and that takes dedication! Do you have tips for keeping your pantry organized? Let us know about them!