It can seem like you just organized your pantry, and suddenly, containers are empty, cereal boxes spilled, cans stacked out of order, and you can’t find that extra peanut butter you had tucked away. This project can seem overwhelming and never-ending. But it is possible to maintain an organized pantry.
6 Steps for Pantry Organization
The most important way to organize your pantry is to take it one step at a time. If you revisit these steps every couple of months instead of years, it won’t be such a lengthy endeavor.
1. Throw away expired and unused food. Dig deep into your pantry and throw out that brown rice you haven’t used in months, the new cereal that nobody liked, or the stale marshmallows that never made it into rice crispy treats. Your pantry can fill up with old, dusty food, so clear it out and stop saving food you’ll never need.
2. Take everything out to vacuum and wipe down shelves and floor. Removing food and bins from the pantry will give you a chance to really wipe away the crumbs and sticky surfaces that accumulate. You can start with a clean slate before you begin on the organized flow that makes the most sense for your pantry.
3. Locate snacks and sandwich fixings for easy access. Design a plan for your pantry that makes the most sense. If there are after-school snacks and easy lunch ideas that you want to keep at a child’s eye level for easy access, then start there. And then think about household cleaning supplies and medicine that you want to keep out of reach. Food storage items like extra ketchup, peanut butter, and black beans can be in the back of the pantry since you don’t need to access them often.
4. Add extra shelves for small items. Add additional shelves between the existing shelves to stack the small ingredients like baking soda, vanilla, spices, and honey. This way, you can maximize the space and see those items that may get lost in a large pantry.
5. Hang an over-the-door pantry organizer. Maximize the space in your pantry by adding an organizing unit. This will quickly turn a cluttered pantry into an organized one making all your food and household essentials easily visible.
6. If you don’t see it, you won’t use it. Try to put as many items on display as possible. If you bought malt powder or sesame oil for a recipe once upon a time, you might forget you had it and buy it again. Always have a spot for everything and know where to look.
Once your pantry is organized, implement a system to rotate out your food storage and find a place for everything you need.
Maintaining an Organized Pantry
Continually check for expired food and wipe down shelves before each shopping trip when they are empty. The most important step to maintaining a tidy pantry is consistency.
Teach your family members the goal of the pantry and how everyone can do their part. Enlist your 5-year-old to sweep out the pantry each week with a dustbin and broom. Use bins for packaging that leaves behind a lot of crumbs. Find ways to set yourself up for long-term success with your pantry organization.
When everyone is working together to keep your pantry organized, you will find the maintenance to be minimal. Now your kitchen can be a relaxing retreat without feeling stressed every time you open the pantry door.
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