Your pantry can be ever-changing which might make it seem difficult to keep organized. Don’t let that deter you! In this blog post, we will go over just 5 simple tips for organizing your pantry to make it functional and beautiful.
Tip #1: Throw out any expired food
Expired food in your pantry means wasted space and disappointment when you finally go to use an ingredient that has been sitting on your shelf for too long.
The first step for organizing your pantry should be to pull everything out of the pantry. Once you do that, it will be a lot easier to look through all of the labels to see which ones have expired. This is a great way to ease into the organizing process since you don’t have to think about what to keep and what to throw away. Even if the food hasn't expired yet, if it has been opened for a while and gone stale or spoiled in any way, it is time to discard it.
Once all of the expired and spoiled food has been thrown away, you will have more space to maximize for the rest of your organizing project!
Tip #2: Put similar foods together
The most important reason to have an organized pantry is to be able to quickly and easily assess what you have and find what you need. It is best to group like-items together so that every type of item has a home and you can easily decide where to put something new. Having this system in place will help ensure your pantry can stay organized long-term.
If you’re stuck on where to put things– think like a grocery store! Ask yourself where you would go to find a particular item and what other types of items would be nearby.
Examples of foods to store together
Cooking oils and seasonings
Tip #3: Use clear storage containers and labels
Clear storage containers can make your pantry look picture perfect! But that isn’t the only reason we recommend them. Here are 3 more benefits to incorporating clear storage bins into your pantry makeover:
You’ll know exactly what you have – Choosing clear bins means no more guessing what you have and where it is. Everything will be easily visible and you’ll be able to tell when something is missing or low.
You’ll keep food fresher for longer – Air-tight, clear containers will help to keep your food from getting stale, meaning less food waste! They also work to keep out unwanted pests and moisture, ensuring that your food is as fresh as the day you put it in.
You’ll reduce spillage in the pantry – Transferring open or semi-open pantry staples into containers with secured lids will help reduce the chances of pantry mess from those overly eager eaters or risky just-out-of-reach items.
Tip #4: Don’t over-stuff shelves
We all know the frustration of reaching for something at the back of the pantry and knocking down 3 other things in the process. Avoid this issue by keeping your pantry items spaced out and only having one layer of item on each shelf, when possible.
Following this practice will help you clear out your pantry more frequently so that you are only storing things that are fresh and in regular use. If you like to buy some items in bulk or need additional storage space, consider the following:
Use a secondary location for bulk items – Consider having a separate storage location for duplicate or bulk items that is outside of the pantry. Only bring in new items one at a time to replace old items to keep your pantry simple. Some examples of this could be a designated shelf in the garage or basement.
Get creative with storage – Utilize empty spaces such as the back of the pantry door or any blank walls by adding more shelves or over-the-door hanging storage. This can help you to maximize your pantry space while still leaving shelves clutter-free.
Tip #5: Arrange items by frequency of use
In addition to arranging your pantry by groups of like-items, you also want to be sure you are putting your most common pantry items in the most visible, easily reachable shelves. For example, if you use cooking oils and seasonings everyday, they shouldn’t be on a shelf where you have to reach or bend down to get them.
Here are some general tips for making your pantry easily accessible on a daily basis:
Put your daily pantry staples at eye-level at the front of the pantry.
Put any season items (such as holiday baking supplies) up top and out of the way.
If you have children and want them to be able to access their snacks, consider making a “Kid-Zone” at a reachable height for them.
Following these tips will help make your trips to the pantry easy, intuitive, and stress-free.
If you’ve enjoyed these tips and want to see them in action, check out my most recent YouTube video where I help a client organize her pantry by following these guidelines.