Pantries can either make or break a kitchen. If you are like most people when you get home from the grocery store, you just toss all the items into the pantry without much thought. That may be the easy way, but it actually makes life harder for you in the long run. An organized pantry will help you save money too! Here are some simple steps you can take to jump start your pantry organization project!
Simple Steps for Pantry Organization!
First step To PANTRY ORGANIZATION: REMOVE AND CLEAN
Start off by removing everything from the pantry. You may have to recruit some help from the kids for this project. Once you have removed everything, wipe off the shelves and the sides of your pantry. If your pantry is looking a little dingy, you might consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. Consider putting contact paper down on the shelves to protect the wood! If the interior looks good, then move to the next step.
NEXT STEP: Return Items to Pantry
The bulky items need to be on the lower shelves, and the items you use the most should be on the middle shelves. As you pick up an item to return it to the shelf, check the expiration date. If it’s past, it’s time; toss it. It’s really helpful keep like items together. For example, put all the soups together on one shelf and all the baking items together. It will make it much easier to make a shopping list if you can see what you have.
THIRD STEP: PREP FOR FUTURE SHOPPING TRIPS
Keep a small notebook or pad in the pantry. When you use your last box of pasta, make a note. Don’t forget to use that information when you make up your shopping list!
FINAL STEP: ITEM PLACEMENT
If possible, put the newer items to the back of the shelves and older items in front. That will enable you to use items before they hit the expiration date. Throwing out food is so costly! One way to ensure foods last longer is to store them in glass or plastic jars, these are also usually less bulkier than cereal bags and boxes.
For small items that may get lost way in the back, use a small plastic bin that you can buy at any organization store. I use these amazing mdesign bins to hold all of the kids snacks, check out the photo below for my pantry area that accessible to the kids!
NO PANTRY? NO PROBLEM!
Note: If you don’t have a pantry and use your kitchen cabinets for food storage, the same basics apply. Try to delegate certain cabinets for food storage and don’t buy more than you have room to store.
Even a small pantry can hold a lot of necessities if it is well organized. Make good use of the space you have and keep it organized, and when dinner time comes along, you will be one step ahead of the game!