If you’re anything like most of us, you have certainly wondered “How do I organize my pantry” from time to time. Even with the best intentions, the pantry is a space that quickly becomes cluttered and overrun with products that linger in its depths until they covertly pass their use-by-dates (hello, herbs and spices!) simply because they are lost among everything else that resides there.
Whether you have a fabulous walk-in pantry, a pantry with deep shelves, or a minimal amount of space for your pantry in a regular kitchen cupboard, there are things you can do to organize a pantry so that it looks great and functions optimally for you.
What is the Best Way to Organize a Pantry?
Pantries can quickly become cluttered because it’s easy to forget what is in them. By organizing your pantry, you can keep track of what you have and use items before they pass their best. This enables you to only stock up when you really need to – saving both money and your sanity at the same time.
Organize your pantry with products by type. This means, for example, keeping baking ingredients together, cereals and grains together, snacks together, herbs, spices, and condiments together and tinned goods together. This helps you clearly see what you have and find what you need without needing to go hunting.
Ultimately, by arranging your pantry well, you’ll reduce the time it takes to prepare meals, to clean up, to compose your shopping list, and to put your shopping away.
- Start by taking everything out and giving your pantry a good clean.
- Sort your pantry items into categories
- Discard items that are out of date or old/unused
- Get set to organize what you are keeping…
How do I Store Items in my Pantry?
Your pantry will be much more pleasing to the eye and satisfying to the mind if it looks amazing. This is not difficult to achieve, by using food caddies, plastic containers, canisters, shelf dividers, baskets, and organizers such as corner racks and tiered pantry organizers. These are widely available in stores and online.
Arrange your pantry by zones:
- Baking Goods – flour, sugar, baking powder/baking soda.
- Herbs and Spices, including salt pepper, curry powder, and gravy mix.
- Canned goods – arrange by vegetable, fruit, soup, etc.
- Jar sauces etc.
- Breakfast cereals
- Packaged snack foods
- Tea, coffee, drinking chocolate
- Bottled drinks i.e. juice, sodas, etc.
Pantry Organization Tips
- Use a shopping list so that you only purchase what you need – plan to have no more than a month’s worth of stock at any given time.
- Purchase items like spices and herbs in the smallest quantity available to minimize waste down the track.
- Resist the temptation to overstock – even when items are on sale.
- Have products placed with labels facing forwards for easy identification.
- Place what you use the most at the front of your pantry.
- Organize products with nearest use-by or best-before dates at the front, so that you use the oldest item first.
- It may be worth purchasing a labeller – label and date each item so you know at a glance what it is, when it was opened/purchased, and when it expires.
- Try not to fill your valuable pantry space with appliances. Keep only the appliances you actually use. Ditch or donate that old crepe maker/ice-cream maker/popcorn popper that you never use and which just gathers dust and takes up space.
- Aim to deep-clean and reorganize your pantry every six months – early spring and at the end of summer are perfect times to do this.
An organized pantry is not only fantastic for maintaining the neatness of your home and your sanity; it is a step towards minimalist living and spending less. When you know and practice the best way to organize a pantry, you purchase less, thereby consuming less, creating less waste, and contributing to a better life for you and a happier planet overall. Little things make a huge difference – so make a date to organize your pantry!