Simple Solutions for an Organized Pantry!
05 Jun 2017
Simple Solutions for an Organized Pantry
Pantries come in all shapes and sizes – from a single cabinet to an entire closet. I’ve even created a pantry in an unused back hall. No matter the size or space, pantries are great for storing dry goods, kitchen supplies, bulk items and infrequently used appliances.
Whatever the size of your pantry space, you’ll get more use out of it if you organize it well. There are three important guidelines to follow when organizing your pantry. 1. Group like items together into categories, such as snacks, baking items, coffee and tea, etc. and 2. Use clear containers and/or labels so you know what is in there. 3. Don’t overstuff it!
As with any organizing project, the first step in organizing your pantry is to declutter. Go through everything and toss any expired or unwanted food. If you have any non-perishables that you know you’re never going to eat, for example if you’re asking yourself “why did I buy that can of garbanzo beans?”, donate them to your local food pantry.
Once you have decluttered, you’ll want to create zones within the space. Pantries function best when you have specific zones related to activities or types of food. For example, if you have kids, have a snack zone that is easy to reach, so they can help themselves. If you love to bake, have a baking zone where you can store all of your baking supplies.
Within those zones, you’ll want to group related items together. Pasta and sauce in one container, breakfast items in another, etc. Think of how you will consume them.
One you have created your zones and put like-items together, you get to the fun part. Containers! When it comes to organizing your pantry, noting beats uniform containers that fit the space. Here are some of my favorite solutions.
OXO Good Grips Canisters for Airtight Storage
Ever had pantry moths? Well, then you know why I recommend airtight storage containers. These airtight canisters are ideal for storing food in your pantry. These clear, stackable containers come in a variety of sizes, so you can store pretty much anything in there. The best part is that they open and close in a snap!
Linus Pantry Binz for Easy Viewing
Pantry life is so much easier if you can see what you have. The airtight bins I mentioned above are clear, but if you want larger open bins for loose items, then go with these. The built in handles make it easy to pull the bin off the shelf.
Lazy Susans for Deep Spaces
I’ve always wondered where the name came from. My sister’s name is Susan and when she was young, she would ask for something and my mom would say, “It’s on the Lazy Susan”. For years my sister thought my mom made that up as a way of calling her lazy. ☺ In all seriousness, Lazy Susans are a great addition to any pantry or cabinet, especially when you are dealing with a deep shelf or space. They work wonders in corner cabinets. Lazy Susans come in a variety of sizes, so you can find one to fit just about anywhere. Use them to store taller items like oil and vinegar bottles, or for spices. Simply spin and voila, there it is! If the Lazy Susan is located above your head, be sure not to fill up the middle, or you won’t be able to see what’s beyond the first layer.
Wire Baskets for Produce
Keep your produce fresh and airy by using wire baskets instead of plastic containers. Stack them to maximize space. Tip: put an apple in with your potatoes to keep them from sprouting and keep onions separate, their gasses will cause potatoes to spoil quicker.
Racks to Corral your Cans
If you have a lot of canned goods, then a rack will help corral them. Instead of having all of your canned goods lumped together, sort them by type: soups, sauces, vegetables, etc. This makes it so much easier to know what you have when it’s time to plan a meal.
Just for Fun!
Try this: Use a small adhesive hook to hang a measuring cup from your bulk storage containers. Choose the correct size cup for the portion you need. This will take the guess work out of measuring the right amount. You can use this trick for everything from oatmeal to coffee to dog food.
Now that your pantry is organized you might want to label your containers and or shelves, just so there is no question as to what’s inside. This will help you be able grab things quickly, but also help family members put stuff away! Keep your pantry from getting overloaded by checking your stock before you shop. This will be easy to do once your pantry is decluttered and organized.