We know you’ve been there. You walk into your pantry and immediately become stressed. Boxes of stale cereal. Bags of chips that are mostly crumbs. And 12 opened packages of pasta. It’s a mess.
We’ve put together some tips on pantry organizing that will quickly put you at ease and help you find what you need more efficiently. Bottom line – if your kitchen is organized and neat – you will be happier.
Step one: Invest in Tupperware, air-tight food storage containers. They will pay off in dividends by keeping your food fresh so you can ditch all the messy boxes, bags, and packaging. Choose clear food storage containers to keep everything looking cohesive and easily visible.
Step two: Take everything out of your pantry or cupboard. That’s right. You can’t begin the sorting process if you haven’t properly excavated the scene.
Step three: Dispose of out-of-date items. Has that half-eaten box of crackers been sitting on the shelf for two years? Time to let go. You won’t eat them “one day.” Promise.
Step four: Sort into categories. Everything from cereal, to baking to pasta and soups. Put it all into neat little piles.
Step five: Start putting your foods in containers and labeling them. Decant dry ingredients into clear canisters. Odd-shaped items like chip bags are perfect for bins or pretty baskets as opposed to haphazardly living loosely on the shelf.
Step six: If you’re tight on space, utilize pantry doors with hanging organizers that will free-up shelf space. Canned goods, spices, oils, and jars are usually perfect for hanging organizers, which you can easily order online.
Step 7: Set up for everyday use. Put the most-used items where they are most easily accessible. Don’t use your baking ingredients too often? Place them accordingly.
Step 8: Got kids? Put kid-friendly snacks on the lower shelf so they can reach them. Use bins with built-in dividers for granola bars, fruit, or whatever you like them to eat.
Step 9: Another way to keep things neat is by adding shelf liners. Liners can keep items from slipping off and making more mess, especially wet ingredients like oils and sauces.
Step 10: Be vigilant. It’s easy to fall back into old habits. Always put items back in their appropriate spots, and get your family, significant other, or roommate trained-up to ensure your pantry organization doesn’t fall by the wayside.
And don’t forget – if you haven’t eaten it in months, donate it (assuming it hasn’t expired) compost it, or throw it out. Conduct a “pantry check” every couple of months to get rid of outdated items and make sure everything is in its place.