From Elle magazine’s “Décor” department, we found a helpful list of pantry organizing tips to share, and then added some advice from our own space planning experts as well. Invest an afternoon to organize and stock your pantry, and reap the benefits every day thereafter!
1. Designate a space. No matter how small your kitchen, find a space to create a pantry – whether it's an entire room or just a corner. If you have your dried goods and canned food spread out in cabinets all over the kitchen, it will be much more difficult to keep track of what you have, and you’ll probably end up buying and stocking more food than you need.
2. Make zones. The key to an organized pantry is to group things the way you and your family use them. For example: all breakfast items together, pastas together, grains together, all snack foods together – you get the picture.
3. Seeing is essential. In a well-organized pantry, it's important that things are visible. Putting dry goods (sugar, flour, etc.) into clear containers gives you a quick visual of how much of any one item is left. Plus, keep the items you use most at the forefront and a stool on hand for accessing overhead shelves.
4. Bins and baskets are your friends. Using matching containers is a great way to give your pantry space a uniform look. If space permits, give each person their own bin filled with their favorite treats. (Great for kids of all ages!)
5. Clean regularly. Don't be afraid to clean out your panty just as you would your clothes closet. Do a thorough edit at least twice a year, tossing any foods that may have expired and pulling out anything your family no longer eats. As long as they’re still within their use-by dates, you can donate extra canned goods to a food bank or shelter in your area.
6. Use labels. The best way to stay organized is to label the items in your pantry. This also helps everyone in the household find what they are looking for and know where things go when they put them away. (It helps to enforce the idea of putting things back where they belong!)
7. Know what you have. Professional organizers suggest creating a list of staples in the pantry and tacking it to the door. As things get low, check them off the list so you have a visual tab of what you have left on hand. Obviously this only works if you make a point of consistently doing it!
8. Keep it stocked. The concept of a pantry is a space to store food, so stock up! Having a hardy reserve means you are always prepared to cook-up a last minute meal (and won’t “starve” during the next winter snowstorm or summer hurricane).
9. Make it your own. The pantry is part of your daily ritual, and it should be organized in a way that is most efficient for your needs. It should also fit with the rest of your home's aesthetic. Don't be afraid to paint it a fun color or get creative with your basket selection!
By using some (or all) of these suggestions, your pantry will be well stocked and organized -- making food prep and entertaining much easier for you. If you need a pantry space created or revamped to better suit your needs, contact the experts at Closet City. You'll be amazed at the way your space can be maximized by our creative storage solutions and the slew of organizing gadgets available!
(Need help organizing your collection of wine bottles? We have a variety of solutions to suggest -- from wine shelves to a WineLogic cabinet rack. The storage possibilities are endless!)
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