Did you know that there are health benefits to being organized? Organization can propel healthier habits like eating better and reducing stress. While there are many areas of our home (and life!) that could use a makeover, one place that deserves to be sorted out is the pantry in the kitchen.
With the average American only spending about 37 minutes in the kitchen, it’s fair to say we cook less, but eat out more and spending more money than we’d like. Could this be due to a lack of organization?
If you’re motivated to tidy up your kitchen and get to work cooking healthier meals for your family, check out these pantry organization tips.
10 Pantry Organization Tips That Will Make You Happy
Organizing your pantry may sound like an impossible task, especially if you’re hardly in the kitchen. However, with a few simple steps, you can have your pantry organized like a pro in no time.
1. Clean Everything Out
The first step to having an organized pantry is to clear out everything inside. Throw away old or expired food that’s taking up space, and clean the inside and shelves. Take note of foods you might not eat anymore and plan to buy only what you will eat.
Now you have a clean slate to work with!
Zoning is a term used to describe places where similar items will be. For example, pasta and like things will have a designated zone, cans an area, cereal a zone, and so forth. Zoning your pantry makes it easy to find items and saves time because you’ll know exactly which zone to go to.
Use shelf dividers, containers to zone your areas, or even flat pans to keep all your items in that zone together — store taller items in the back, and shorter pieces in the front.
Here are some possible ‘zoning’ areas to consider:
- Baking supplies
- On-the-go food
- Canned good
- Non-food items like baggies, kitchen utensils, cleaning supplies, and so forth
- Items for entertaining like plastic wear and paper plates
- Non-refrigerated drinks
These are suggestions, but once you empty your pantry, you’ll be able to categorize everything and see where pieces could go.
3. Utilize Unused Space
Plenty of unused space exists in the pantry. There’s usually plenty of room on the floor, the inside of the door, and areas on the wall. Here, you can hang more shelving, hooks, or place containers on the floor for perishable items like potatoes, onions, garlic, and other foods that may need refrigeration.
4. Buy Clear Containers
Clear containers make spotting what you need simple, and the aesthetic can’t be beat. It’s even more helpful if you have bins or jars that can stack on top of each other quickly as this frees up space. Large containers work fine, but try using a slim container to allow for even more space.
5. Label Everything
While clear containers are preferable, if you cannot invest in them, make sure everything is labeled. This way, you’re not rooting around your pantry undoing all your hard work. A chalk marker is excellent for labeling because it erases cleanly in case you need to use the container for another purpose.
6. Don’t Forget The Kids
This is a great example of a zone.
Kids get hungry constantly, even after a five-course meal! Instead of them raiding and ransacking your newly organized pantry, designated a spot for all of their snacks. This way, they’ll know exactly where to go when snack-time hits and your pantry can remain untouched.
7. Invest in Pull-Out Drawers
If your budget and space allow, pull-out drawers are a wonderful addition to any kitchen or pantry. They eliminate the need to shift items around to find what you need. Simply store pantry staples on the pull-out shelves (don’t forget to zone and label each shelf!) and pull out the drawer when you need to find something.
8. Keep it Managed
Every week, do a pantry assessment. This will help you have, what you need to buy, and what is out of place. Spending about 10-15 minutes a week examining your pantry will help you stay organized, especially when it comes to meal planning.
Bugs love digging around in the pantry, especially if there are crumbs and other food particles on shelves or the floor. Don’t forget to wipe everything down and vacuum any spills to keep it clean, tidy, and bug-free.
9. Get Shelf Liners
Shelf liners might look nice, but they do serve a purpose. They protect your shelves from damage like rings from can marks or scratches from pulling out items. Liners also keep your shelves cleaner while ensuring everything stays in place.
10. Dry Erase Board
When you do your weekly pantry assessment, keep track of what you need by writing on a dry erase board. These boards are inexpensive, and you can even DIY your own to match your kitchen. Writing everything close to the pantry makes it easy to ensure you don’t buy anything you already own.
Make sure you have a magnetic dry-erase marker nearby, so it doesn’t get lost.
Ready to Organize Your Pantry?
The key to maintaining an organized pantry is continued diligence in taking inventory and making sure there’s a place for everything. Cleaning is also a priority to keep unwanted critters out of your potential dinner. Hopefully, these pantry organization tips have provided you many ideas to utilize and have a pantry you can be excited about.