Creating your ideal organized pantry can seem like a big task. Pantries can easily become quickly cluttered with dry foods after unloading the groceries after each grocery trip. Before you know it the pantry is packed full, but cluttered and you’re unable to see what’s even in there. There are different ways you can create the ideal organized pantry. If you set it up realistically and commit to it you can be on your way to keep a nice organized pantry year round. There’s always the option of re-doing your pantry with pull out drawers, shelves, etc. but I’m going to dive into some ways you can organize the pantry with what you currently have rather then a whole remodel.
My pantry is a mess, now what?
The first step to creating your ideal organized pantry is to take everything out of your pantry currently. Set everything out on a table, counters, or where ever you have the space. Next, you are going to individually go through each product. Make sure it is something you actually use and check the expiration date on everything. If there are items you don’t use that are unopened and not expired consider setting those aside to donate to a local food bank or shelter. Once you’ve gone through everything and tossed what you don’t use or what is expired it’s time to categorize.
Categorizing Your Pantry
Categorizing your pantry is going to look slightly different for each household depending on what foods are in your pantry and how large your pantry is. If you have a smaller pantry consider seeing how many shelves you have and narrow everything down into that many categories. For example, if you have 5 shelves let’s do 5 categories. You might be able to expand past 5 categories if you’re pantry is larger or you have a small number of items in 2 categories, so they could share a shelf. Some basic categories to consider are grains (pastas, rice, etc.), baking goods (flour, sugar, cake mixes, etc.), canned goods, breakfast (coffee, tea, cereal, oatmeal, etc., and/ or snacks (chips, pretzels, etc.). Once you’ve decided on your categories it might be helpful to grab a sheet of paper and write down the categories.
Now that you have picked your categories it’s going to be time to arrange each item from the pantry into a space on the table or surface you are using to put everything in the same category together. Once everything is together take an inventory of what you have. Is there anything that you are currently out of but routinely have in your pantry? If there is you’ll want to make a list of those items to grab next time you’re at the store. This list is also going to help you make sure you account for those items, so there’s room for them in the pantry once you stock up. Now everything is categorized, so it’s time to work on putting everything back into the pantry in an organized fashion.
Containers and Baskets to Organize Your Pantry
It will be helpful now that you have all your food items categorized out in front of you to evaluate what you have and consider how you want your pantry to look. I highly recommend using clear containers for the majority of your dry goods. This allows you to see what is there, see how much is left, and creates a nice cohesive look. Then for your other goods like canned goods, jars, granola bars, etc. I like to use baskets. Baskets are easy to pull out to see what’s inside, but they also keep the pantry looking nice and organized. First, decide what you want going into clear containers and what you want going into baskets. This is another spot where making a list might be helpful. Once you’ve decided what’s going into the clear containers determine how many you need and what sizes. The same goes for the baskets determine how many baskets you need.
With both the baskets and clear containers I recommend trying to find just one brand/set for each that maybe has different sizes. This will keep everything looking organized and put together in the pantry rather then having all different baskets and containers everywhere.
Once you know how many you need of each it’s time to go to the store or search online for what you need for your pantry. I’ve included my favorite clear containers that I use in my pantry below. Once you get the containers and baskets it is time to fill them up with everything as you categorized and planned it. Then start to place them into your pantry in an ordered fashion. Try keeping everything in the same category together still.
Shop Pantry Containers:
Labels to Organize Your Pantry
Now that everything is back in your pantry organized and looking great you could stop here. I like to add an extra touch of having everything labeled. I think this helps to maintain an organized pantry because everything has a place. It also adds a great finished look to the pantry as well. You could simply use a label maker to create labels or you can order premade pantry labels. Below are some ideas of pantry labels.
Shop Pantry Labels:
Ways You Can Create the Ideal Organized Pantry
Above I broke down step by step of how you can create the ideal organized pantry. In summary, here are some key points to keep your pantry organized.
- Take everything out of your pantry to evaluate what you don’t use and what’s expired. Toss everything that you never use that is expired. If it’s something you just don’t use but it’s not expired consider donating these items to a local food bank or shelter.
- Categorize all your food items into different categories such as baking goods, breakfast items, canned goods, snacks, etc.
- Decide how many clear containers and/or baskets you need.
- Place your items in the containers and baskets. Then arrange everything back into the pantry with keeping foods in the same category near each other.
- Add labels if desired!
- Lastly, commit to keeping that pantry organized. It’s easy to toss things back in there, but you’ll thank yourself for taking the few extra minutes to keep everything tidy.
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