Organizing a pantry is no small job. From unwieldy bulk items to half empty chip bags, a well-stocked larder can quickly become a black hole of raw ingredients. Luckily, with a little pre-planning and some cooperation from your household, your pantry can become an organized and helpful part of your kitchen. To help you get started, we’ve chosen our top ten favorite tips for cutting the clutter.
Start from Scratch
Begin with a clean slate and set aside, toss or donate any dry goods you no longer need. Give your shelves a good scrubbing, vacuum crumbs and clear out any stickiness or dust. Take stock of how much storage space your really have and what areas might be underutilized.
Categorize and Take Inventory
Sort and categorize all your items so it’s easier to understand what you have on hand. By clearing out these old items you can get a good count of how many baskets, bins and other storage solutions you may need. Make a list of anything you may have too much of or items you might pick up at the store on your next run.
Keep Like with Like
Before your move foodstuffs back into the space. Sort items of a similar type and store them together. Oils and vinegars, grains, cereals and snacks, baking ingredients, sauces, marinades and canned goods can all grouped into the own categories. Think intuitively to save time.
To free up drawer space, add hooks to the inside of your pantry door for towels, aprons, oven mitts and other high-use soft items. Wall mounted clips, hooks and rings can all make great solutions for getting small, easily lost items back into everyday use and in your line of sight.
Store Lids on the Door
When pots and pans don’t nest comfortably, create a solution by storing them on the walls or door. A hanging rack keeps them accessible and tidy, but still out of the way. Look for something with clear pockets or bars that won’t trap dirt and allow for air circulation.
Create Pockets for Packets
Use caddies and labels to create cubbies for flimsy packets that would otherwise get lost in bins or baskets. Think drink mixes, individual snack packs and grab and go granola bars. Keep healthy snacks within easy reach to cut down on tempting sweet and treats.
Keep Items visible
Use clear containers to store snacks and other ingredients. Clear canisters will save time so you can skip reading labels and allow for easy tracking of inventory. Having items within view also serves to encourage their use. Plastic or glass wide mouth jars or pop top canisters are ideal for storing dry decanted goods.
Add Lazy Susans
Corners and other hard to reach places are notorious for hiding forgotten items. Keep your goods at hand by utilizing a rotating tray or corner spinners to keep spices, cans and other pantry staples in easy reach.
Ditch oversized boxes for slimline containers. Move dry goods and bulk items into tall, skinny storage options to save space on the shelf. Not only will they add an air of uniformity, but they will calm the chaos with similar colors and shapes.
Create a Snack Station
Are you little ones still tearing the place apart? Create a dedicated snack station for kid-friendly items that they can easily grab on their own. Have them help with groceries to put away and organize their zone. Not only will they get to help, but they can assist with the organization and knowing where all their goodies are stored.