Keeping your kitchen pantry clean can seem like a never-ending, impossible task. There’s always food going in and out, there’s always someone grabbing a snack and putting it back in a random spot, and there’s only so much room on your shelves. We get it, and we’re here to help. With just a few adjustments, we’re confident you can have the organized Pinterest-worthy pantry of your dreams. Read on: here’s our complete guide on how to organize your pantry.
Step 1: Take Everything Out
Clearing out your pantry entirely is a key step in kitchen organization—it’s impossible to know exactly what you have and what you’ll need in the future without doing so. Take absolutely every item out of your pantry and check the expiration dates. Toss anything that is expired, and donate any food items that you know you aren’t actually going to use.
Step 2: You Guessed It: Clean!
It’s easy for those crowded shelves of canned foods to get dusty, so be sure to take a duster and disinfectant spray to thoroughly clean the entirety of your pantry. This step just makes sense: you want to make sure the food you’re consuming is stored in a safe, dry, and clean environment. For more information on how keeping a clean kitchen is essential to the health of your home, click here.
Step 3: Clear Containers and a Label Maker
While this step isn’t totally necessary, it will help with your pantry organization in the long run. Investing in clear containers is a great idea when it comes to how to organize your pantry because they allow you to see and stack your food items easier.
We’ve all rummaged through the pantry to find a bag of brown sugar in the corner, leaving a mess of random bags and cans in our wake. A key to pantry organization is consistency, so having designated clear, labeled containers makes it easy to know precisely where an item is. So next time you run out of brown sugar, you’ll know exactly where to put it; and next time you’re ready to bake some delicious chocolate chip cookies, you’ll know exactly where to find every ingredient.
Looking for small kitchen organization tips? Check out our article here.
Step 4: Use Pantry Organizers
Clear containers are great for many dry ingredients like cereal, flour, dried fruits, and nuts, but they may not be ideal for every single item in your pantry. Here are some kitchen organizers to sort every item in your pantry easily!
Spicy Shelf Spice Rack
Many of us have a resident spice drawer, bottles haphazardly strewn around, with the labels facing any which way. Try out a spice rack (like this one from Target) to keep your spices standing upright and in plain view.
Mesh Packet Holder
Those random packets of seasonings and baking mixes are prime suspects in the case of pantry disorganization. Keep them organized and in one spot with a mesh packet holder. This is a super affordable and easy way to organize those miscellaneous pantry items you can never seem to find a good spot for.
Over-the-Door Food Rack
If your pantry has doors, use that extra space with an over-the-door food rack. This will free up tons of shelf space, making all the items in your pantry spaced wider-apart and easier to see. Cooking oils, jars, and cans are usually the perfect size to hang on your door.
Now that you’re on your way to pantry organization check out our guide on how to organize your kitchen for more great tips!
Step 5: Put Everything Back
Now that your items are labeled and in easy-to-see containers, it’s time to place them back on the shelves. Here’s some general rules-of-thumb for easy organization!
Group Similar Items Together
To quickly find any item, create groups of similar food groups. Some common groupings are healthy snacks, junk food, breakfast foods, canned goods, grains and pastas, dry ingredients (flour, sugar, nuts, etc..), and wet ingredients (cooking oils, water, and other liquids)—stack items of the same grouping on top of and around each other to maximize space.
Consider Placement Height
It’s smart to place the food items you use most at eye level. For example, if you have kids, you can place their favorite snacks on lower shelves for them to reach. Plus, they can help you put away their snacking items after a grocery store run.
Make it a Habit
When it comes to how to organize your pantry, nobody’s perfect, and try as you might; sometimes, your pantry may get a bit messy again. Avoid starting the whole process all over by dedicating a little time every two weeks to re-organize. Throw away expired goods and group similar items back together if they’ve wandered to another shelf.
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