Organizing your pantry might seem like an overwhelming task; however, it can save you time and money in the long run when done correctly. With an organized pantry, mealtimes will be so much easier, and you won’t end up buying groceries you already had (but couldn’t find) because they were lurking in the depths of a cluttered pantry.
An organized pantry allows you to make the most of your space and maximize storage and means you are way less likely to waste food or spend extra money on buying double of things that you already have.
Whatever size your pantry, some organization can make a huge difference. Follow these tips if you are ready to transform your space.
Pull Everything Out
Before you start organizing, you must know what you are working with. This means that you need to take everything out of your pantry. Make sure you have a clear table or countertop to put all the products on. This will be your sorting table.
When your cupboards are completely clear, it’s time to give them a good clean. Wipe down the cabinets or draws with soapy water or a homemade mix of equal parts water and white vinegar. You want to start the pantry organization on a clean slate and cleaning the cupboards is a super important part of the task.
Once the cupboards or draws are clean and everything is on the countertop or table, you’ll need to start sorting things. Check those expiry dates, and if anything is overdue, it’s time to throw it out.
Now you’ve got all your products on the table; you’ll want to categorize and group things. These groups might include cereals and breakfast foods, pasta and rice, flour and baking ingredients, tinned cans and jars, cooking spices, oils, and sauces. Once you have grouped your groceries, it will be much easier to find things come mealtime. As a general rule, things that you use every day should be at eye level and easy to access.
Adjust the Shelves
Part of reorganizing the pantry might include changing up and adjusting your shelves. Some cupboard designs don’t make the most of extra vertical space, and before putting everything back, you might want to adjust the existing shelves and make some changes. Opening shelving is always a great choice for a pantry, and having shelves that cater to different heights will allow you to store a range of goods.
Deep shelves are also handy if you want to add storage baskets or draws to space. While changing up and adjusting shelves isn’t essential, it can be useful if you are limited on space and want to make the most of it. This can, of course, be done at home as a DIY job, or you can get a professional in.
Organized shelves can make a world of difference to your pantry and your overall kitchen experience.
Put Everything into Containers
Next, you want to put things in clear containers. Happily, you might have many of these lying around, and you can soon build up an inventory of clear containers, including takeout containers and glass jars. This is a great way to repurpose goods and save some extra money. While the thought of putting everything into clear containers might seem excessive, this process can save you in the long run because you will be able to see precisely what is in the pantry. Additionally, airtight containers can keep ingredients fresher for longer and keep out pesky pantry pests like weevils and moths.
When things are labeled clearly and easy to find, long gone are the days of buying duplicate packets of couscous or Basmati rice because you’ll be able to see them at a quick glance.
Label Containers and Shelves
Next up, you want to label things so you can quickly identify what you’ve got. Happily, this doesn’t have to be a fancy process with specialized labeling machines. Simply use paper, a pen, and some scotch tape and label the various items.
Be sure to also add the expiration date on perishable goods. These labels will allow you to quickly scan your pantry and see what needs replacing and can ultimately save you from buying duplicates of groceries.
If certain foods have special cooking methods on their packets that you want to keep, you can cut these out and stick them to the inside lid of the container.
After labeling the containers themselves, it is also a great idea to label the shelves so that everyone in the household knows where to put certain things. Labels might include things like spices, pasta, baking goods, and tins.
Doors are not just for opening and closing. Happily, they can be utilized for extra storage space and become a great asset to any pantry. The inside of cupboard doors is often forgotten, but they can make for great additional storage space. This is especially useful if you are short on space.
Some key was to utilize cupboard doors include:
- Add some hooks to the inside doors and use these for extra storage. These can be used for mugs, tea towels, utensils, and oven mittens.
- Add a wire rack and store your chopping boards when not in use.
- Attach a magazine holder to the inside cupboard door and use it to store aluminum foil and glad wrap.
- Mount your spice rack onto the inside cupboard door. This creates a whole new storage area and means your spices are easily accessible.
- Paint the inside of the cupboards with black paint and use it as a chalkboard. Write down ingredients that you need and use them to keep stock of what is in the pantry.
Put Everyday Products at Eye Level
Another handy tip is to put everyday items such as olive oil or salt and pepper at eye level. If you are an avid baker, keep the flour and baking powder handy too. Everyday items will change between households, and you will know best which items you use often. You want to access these everyday items without hassle easily. Moreover, when they are visible at eye level, you can quickly see when things need replacing.
Put the things you rarely use higher up as these don’t need to be as accessible and won’t run out as fast.
Make a Kid-Friendly Spot
Little hands can very quickly turn an organized pantry into chaos. This is why you need a special kid-friendly section or shelf where they can easily access healthy snacks and treats. While this space might need some extra TLC and reorganizing from time to time, it is far easier than having your children rummage through every shelf on the hunt for a tasty treat. This space can also inspire them to choose healthier snacks and can be filled with dried fruit, nuts, health bars, and fruit.
Use Extra Wall Space
If you are limited in pantry space, don’t be afraid to utilize different areas like nearby walls. Vertical space is sometimes overlooked but can be a great addition to any pantry. Walls are a blank canvas of sorts, and the possibilities are noteworthy.
Add some extra shelves and store pantry staples like pasta and rice in modular glass jars. This adds extra space and creates a stylized look. You can also add hooks to wall space and use them to hang utensils, tea towels, mugs, or oven mitts.
Add Shelf Liners
Shelf liners are a brilliant way to keep your pantry clean, and they will protect the cabinets from stains and moisture. These special liners are specifically designed to keep cupboards dry, and they make it much easier to clean your pantry in the event of a spill.
Shelf liners give you a clean, fresh slate and are a great idea if you want to spruce up an old cupboard or pantry. Excitingly, these come in an array of colors and designs, and you can choose shelf liners that enhance your personal style. Opt for bold pops of color, neutral shades, or eclectic patterns.
Keep It Up
Unfortunately, organizing your pantry is not a once-off job. While the initial organization and clean is undoubtedly the biggest job of all, you will need to keep it up if you want your pantry to remain clean and organized. It is essential that you put ingredients in their proper place and commit to unpacking new groceries methodically when you purchase them.
Get Everyone Involved
If you live with other people, you will also need to get them on board too. There is no use spending hours reorganizing, only for your hard work to be ruined when someone puts the nutmeg in the pasta draw. Give everyone a quick tour of the new pantry in your home, explaining how you would like things to be stored.
If your friends, partner, kids, or housemates enjoy making food, too, be sure to get their input. This is a great way to make them feel included and invested in the pantry and its organization.
Organizing your pantry can be a brilliant way to make the most of your space, ease up mealtime stress, save some extra money, and take stock of all the ingredients that you already have. Additionally, sorting through spices and tins of this and can be a great source of inspiration if you love food and might even motivate you to try out some new recipes or embark on a healthier lifestyle.
Have you ever reorganized a pantry? If so, what are your top tips? Be sure to share them with us.