Organize Your Pantry with 3 Simple Steps

Do you dream of opening a clean, organized pantry where you can see exactly what you have and know what’s for dinner in a snap? Pantries can easily become cluttered and chaotic with bags, boxes, bottles and cans of all shapes and sizes. Open items go stale in days and forgotten items get pushed to the back causing you to re-buy things you didn’t know you had. Don’t let your pantry set you into panic mode! Shape up your pantry in no time with these 3 simple steps.

  1. Clear it out! If possible, clear out your entire pantry space or the cupboards where you store your pantry items. Toss out any expired food or anything your family’s not into at the moment. Unexpired/unopened items can be donated to a local food pantry. Set aside any items that don’t belong in your pantry and take time to relocate them when you’re done. This is also a great time to wipe down the shelves for a fresh start!
  2. Set up your zone defense! Having zones for the types of items you keep on hand is your defense against letting your pantry fall into cluttered chaos again. Think pasta and grains, snacks, drinks, canned goods, etc. Use whatever zones make sense to you, but in general try to keep all items of one category together. Also think about which real estate in your pantry makes the most sense for each type of item. Put frequently accessed items in the easiest spots and use top shelves for lesser used items or back stock of items you buy in bulk. Don’t forget to maximize your available space. Stackable bins or cupboard shelves can help maximize vertical space while a door rack can add miles of additional storage.
  3. Contain Yourself! Now it’s time to add some structure to keep your zones in place. Flour, sugar, pastas/grains, and even snack items work well in sealed containers to maintain freshness. Using uniform containers also maximizes space and minimizes visual clutter. Snacks, bagged items, bottles, and so much more can be corralled in open top bins. Try to limit one type of item per bin to keep your zones in play. It also helps to match your containers to the size of the items.

There you have it – follow these steps for a fresh start and practice a little routine maintenance and your pantry problems will be a thing of the past!