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With all the food that goes into and comes out of your panty, it can get messy and disorganized quickly – especially if you don’t have a good organizational system in place. And while taking the time to organize your pantry may seem like a big job, it’s definitely worth it in the end! On top of ensuring your pantry stays neat and clean throughout the day, an organized pantry also makes cooking and baking so much easier. Are you wondering how to organize your pantry? Keep reading to organize your pantry in five simple steps!
Declutter the Pantry
Before you start organizing any area of your home, you need to declutter the space. And your pantry is no exception. In fact, it’s a good idea to take the time to declutter your pantry on a regular basis. This will help you keep the area clean and make sure you always have fresh ingredients on hand.
To declutter your pantry, start by taking everything off the shelves and placing the items on your kitchen counter or dining room table. Then, grab a trash bag and quickly sort through all the pantry items that are expired or stale. Throw all those things away.
Next, look through the remaining items for ingredients that you won’t use before their expiration date. If the package is unopened, consider donating it to your local food pantry. But if it’s open, simply throw it in the trash.
The best way to keep your pantry organized and your food fresh is to use pantry organizers.
- Store pantry staples, like sugar, flour, rice, and beans in clear air-tight containers. Label each container with what’s inside so you can easily refill the container when the ingredient runs out.
- Group smaller items, like spices or sauces, on a lazy Susan to easily access each ingredient
- Use baskets to sort packaged items, like chips, cookies, and other snacks
- Baskets are also great for sorting pantry produce, like potatoes and onions
- Keep cans visible by using a can organizer or tiered shelf to make it easier to see exactly what ingredients you have on hand
Clean the Shelves
After sorting through your pantry ingredients and placing them in their designated containers, it’s time to start organizing! But before you can put everything back into the pantry, take the time deep clean the pantry itself. Wipe down all the pantry shelves, making sure to get in the corners to remove all the crumbs and dust from the area.
After the shelves are clean, measure each shelf and place a shelf liner on top. The shelf liners will help protect the shelves from scratches. And they make clean-up easier if a spill happens inside your pantry.
Organize the Pantry
Now that you have a clean slate, you can start putting your pantry items back on the shelves. But before you start adding items at random, take a few minutes to think about how you’ll organize the area to maximize the space and make the pantry more accessible for your needs.
Consider these organizing tips as you reorganize your kitchen pantry:
- Group similar items together. Store all your baking supplies in one area, snacks in a different area, and drinks in another area.
- Store meal-making items together. To make cooking dinner a breeze, store items according to meals you typically make. For example, place all the pasta-making supplies on one shelf, quick-cooking meals (like ramen or macaroni and cheese) on another shelf, and Asian ingredients on another shelf.
- Maximize storage space by using shelf dividers or tiered shelves to store a large amount of smaller items in one space.
- Make the most of cabinet corners by using lazy Susans.
- Arrange items on the shelves according to height, placing taller items on back and shorter items in front to make it simple to view what you have on hand.
- Store heavier items on bottom shelves to keep them from falling.
- Store seasonal items and other pantry items that aren’t used on a regular basis on the top shelf.
- Keep items that are about to expire at the front of the pantry so you’re more likely to use them before their expiration date.
- If you store other household items in the pantry area, designate specific sections of the pantry for those items (cleaning supplies, appliances, dishes, etc.).
Once your organizational system is in place, make sure you keep the area organized by labeling everything. Place labels on all the containers and bins so you and your family members know exactly where things go when you’re unloading groceries. You can even place labels on the pantry shelves to designate specific spots for each of your grocery items.
My printable labels are the best way to ensure your pantry stays organized for good. To use my printable pantry labels, simply print them out on sticker paper and attach them to your bins and baskets. Or print them on plain white paper and use packing tape to stick them to the front of each container.