How to Organize a Pantry with ease. Great tips for storage ideas and how to make your system last once you organized it.
You’ll also want to know How to Organize Your Whole Kitchen, and don't forget to check out these Kitchen Storage Ideas.
Step by Step Guide to Organizing Your Pantry
The benefits of an organized kitchen pantry go beyond peace of mind. Cleaning and organizing your pantry will help make meal prep easier, help reduce your family’s food waste (saving you time and money), and ensure your kitchen is a safe place to cook.
With all the reasons to tackle the task of organizing your pantry, we bet you’re ready to get started!
A few basic rules about pantry organization:
- Use bins and baskets.
- Store dry goods in clear containers.
- Group like food with like food.
Ok, with that out of the way, these simple steps will get your pantry organized once and for all.
Here’s How to Organize your Kitchen Pantry
Step 1: Clear It Out
Before you can start organizing your pantry, you need to take the time to clean out everything inside.
This task will help you clear out the clutter and give you a chance to deep clean the space before you start organizing.
To do this, take everything out of the pantry and set it on your kitchen counters or kitchen table.
Step 2: Clean the Shelves
After you have removed the items from inside your pantry, take the time to give each of the shelves a good scrub. We recommend a natural cleaner. Make sure to remove all stuck-on grime and debris from the shelves before you start adding your food back into the pantry.
To protect the shelves from damage and make them easier to clean, consider adding shelf liners to each shelf before you start organizing.
Step 3: Declutter and Group
Now that you have clean shelves inside your pantry, you can start putting items back into the cabinet. But before you start placing your food back on the shelves, take a few minutes to declutter everything previously stored in the cupboard.
Start by throwing away all expired food.
Then, look through the food and find all the items you don’t think your family will eat. Consider donating those items to a local food bank instead of throwing them in the trash.
Now take all the food left and group it by category—baking, spices, grains, etc.
Step 4: Fill Organizers and Bins
Using organizers and bins is a great way to keep your pantry organized. Clear plastic canisters or glass canisters with air-tight lids are great for storing pantry staples, like flour and sugar.
Adding baskets or clear plastic bins can help keep smaller items, like seasoning packets, organized inside your space.
You may want to know how to stock your pantry so you can cook healthy recipes.
Step 5: Create Zones for Your Food
How Do I Group Things in My Pantry?
Sorting your pantry into zones is a great way to group things in your pantry.
Zones will help you find the food you need when you need it.
When you create zones for your food, you’ll know exactly where to put your food when you get home from grocery shopping. And you’ll be able to find what you need while you’re cooking with ease.
There are a variety of ways you can organize your pantry into zones, including:
- Types of food – place food in zones based on its type, such as sauces, pasta, beans, cans, etc.
- Recipe ingredients – place food in zones based on the types of recipes you make with the ingredients, such as baking ingredients, Italian ingredients, Mexican ingredients, etc.
- Meals – organize food based on when the food is eaten, like placing dinner ingredients in one section and snacks in another.
Related: 30 Meals You Can Make with Pantry Staples
Step 6: Return the Food to the Pantry
Once you have a plan for where your food will go in your pantry closet, it’s time to start placing everything back into the storage area.
Start with the more oversized items to ensure you have a place for them, then start adding smaller food items until everything has a designated location.
More Simple Home Management Tips
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Pantry Organizing Tips
While organizing your pantry can be a simple process, ensuring your pantry stays organized is sometimes another story. These simple tips will help you easily organize your pantry and keep it organized from day to day use.
- Keep cans visible. One of the most challenging things to organize inside your pantry is canned goods. One easy way to ensure you keep your cans sorted inside your cabinet is to make sure to keep the labels visible. When placing cans inside the pantry, turn the label forward so you know exactly what’s inside your cans at a glance.
- Don’t forget your labels. Transferring food from its original packaging into storage containers is a great way to extend its life and make your pantry more organized. But don’t forget to label your containers. This way, you'll know what’s inside and how to make it when you’re ready to start cooking. When you add an ingredient to a container, immediately label it and place it in the pantry.
- Increase visibility with unique shelving. Traditional cabinet shelves aren’t always the best option for storing food. Consider adding organizers to your shelves to increase your shelf space, like a lazy Susan or tiered shelving.
- Make use of your doors. If you’re struggling to find space in your pantry, why not make use of the cabinet doors? Adding hooks or small shelves inside the cabinet doors will allow you to store smaller items, like storage bags or sauce packets, giving your more shelf space inside the cabinet.
- Use a first-in, first-out system. This method works wonders! To reduce your family’s food waste, using a first-in, first-out system is a good idea. That means using older food items in your pantry before using new items to prevent food from expiring before you use it. When you bring fresh food in your pantry, place the items in the back to ensure the older food is used first.
Pro Tip: Keep healthy kid-friendly snacks in a bin at their level so they can grab them to pack their own lunch or when they're hungry!
Now you know How to Organize A Pantry and make better use of this kitchen storage area once and for all!
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