Turning your pantry from a messy kitchen closet into an organized central storage hub that would make even Martha Stewart envious isn’t rocket science. All it takes is a little planning and routine maintenance.
Clear the Shelves
The first step is to take everything off the shelves and out of the pantry. This will allow you to start with a clean slate. Separate any expired food items or kitchen tools you no longer want
from those that you know you do plan to use.
Organize for Use
Items that you find yourself using regularly should get optimal shelf space. If you know, you use canned items daily but only reach for the box of corn starch twice a year, then put it in the back. Pantry real estate is valuable, so any food items or kitchen tools that are seldom used should go in the rear of the pantry or on a higher shelf.
Use the Right Containers
One of the most common reasons that pantries become disorganized messes is that people can’t see or forget what they have before buying it again. An easy solution for this is to use clear containers.
Clear, air-tight containers are fantastic for a few reasons. Not only do they allow you to keep track of things like cereal, sugar, or dog food, but they’ll keep foods fresher longer than simply keeping them in the original packaging.
Pro tip: Label your clear containers. The last thing you want is to accidentally put a cup of salt in your cake rather than sugar because the container wasn’t labeled.
Group Similar Items Together
Don’t make the mistake of simply putting things on the pantry shelf after a trip to the grocery store without a second thought. One of the easiest ways to keep your pantry organized for the long run and make finding things easier is to group similar products together.
For example, you might have all your canned goods on one shelf, rice and pasta on another, and baking products on a shelf in the back.
Add Hooks or Hanging Baskets
If you’re unable to add additional shelves in your pantry but still need a little room, you might want to consider adding hooks or hanging baskets on the back of the pantry door. This can be a great way to store extra items that aren’t particularly heavy, such as Ziplock backs, aluminum foil, or spices.
Maintenance is Key
Now that you have a well-organized pantry, the key is keeping it in check with each subsequent grocery trip. Before you head to the store, be sure to head to the pantry to take an inventory of what you need and what you already have. Not only will this help to keep you from adding clutter to your pantry with items you don’t need, but you’ll probably find that you’re buying less and saving money in the long run.