How To Organize Your Pantry
With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time to get your pantry in order. You will be cooking for family get-togethers, you’ll probably be doing some holiday entertaining and then there will be all the baking for the holidays.
If you have your pantry in order, it will make all these things easier and faster to do.
When your pantry is well organized, you will be able to see immediately what you need to buy to restock. Now, before all the frantic holiday activities start is a great time to organize your pantry. Once you’re organized, you won’t be caught without some ingredient you need and being organized will make it easier to take advantage of all those great sales on pantry items that are offered this time of year. Most canned goods, chocolate chips and other pantry items will last until next year’s sales roll around again, so you’ll save a bundle of money, too!
- First, clean each shelf and lay down shelf paper where needed. It you have sticky things like honey or syrup, use a plastic lid like the one from a cool whip container or cottage cheese container for these things to sit on. If they get sticky, it is much easier to wash or throw away a disposable lid than to try to clean the shelf.
- Instead of using expensive shelf liner, you can find inexpensive rolls of kitchen wallpaper or scrap pieces of vinyl flooring. Just use thumb tacks to hold the corners down.
- When putting food away, put like things together. Put your canned goods in rows so you can easily see how many of each item you have. Store all the corn together, beans together, peas together, fruits together, (peaches, pears, plums), soups, crackers, cereal, etc.
Organize your pantry in similar groups like:
Grains and pastas
Meats in cans (tuna, spam, roast beef)
Coffees, teas, creamers, sweeteners, etc.
- If you store your baking supplies in the pantry, group the baking supplies together. Keep a tray by the baking supplies. That way you can quickly stack everything you need on it and carry it all at one time to the baking center.
- Arrange all the labels of the canned goods facing forward so you can see them. Place all your corn on one row one behind the other so you know everything behind that can of corn is corn. Do this instead of placing two cans of corn side by side. Do this with all your canned goods.
- If you need to, buy the little wire shelving or adjust your shelving to use all of your space. I often don’t think about adjusting my shelving and, if you have 2-4 inches of space at the top of each shelf, that can add up to 12 inches of wasted space for just three shelves.
- Use a basket to hold things like small box mixes, juice packets, cake mix packets, etc. You can take it out in one movement instead of digging through the entire cabinet. It will also save when grocery shopping so you can see what you have at a glance.
Put all of the breakfast cereals, bowls and cups on a low shelf so the kids can get their own cereal. Put milk on a lower shelf of the fridge, too. For 3 and 4 year olds put a pre-measured cup of milk on the shelf.
Note: This applies to many things. If your children keep asking for you to reach a glass for them for a drink, place a few glasses in a lower cabinet for them. Just today, my 16 month old grandson came marching into my house, went straight for the cup cabinet, got himself a cup and handed it to me for a drink of water, so they can start young.
- Be sure to put food you use every day on a shelf in the front and middle. I store the tea I use every day at the front and the tea I use every now and then in the back.
- If you have children, put the canned goods on the lower shelves of the pantry. This way, if they try to get something out, there isn’t a risk of cans falling down on them.
For more help with organizing, cleaning and laundry, take a look at our Keeping It Clean e-books.
photo by: irisheyes