How to Organize a Pantry: 9 Solutions
An organized pantry can be blissful, but a little disorganization can quickly give you that overwhelmed feeling. I have a simple system for putting organization back into your pantry—with a little time and focus, you can experience food storage bliss, too. You’ll be able to locate food quickly and you’ll know precisely what you have on hand and what you need.
1. Before you do anything, determine a couple zones that you can put everything into. Determine categories that work for how you cook and bake and what you store: snacks, cooking, baking, beverages, cereals, lunch supplies, food storage supplies, canned goods, grains and pastas, condiments, etc.
2. Write these zones down on sticky notes and place the notes on a kitchen table or counter where you will be grouping items together.
3. Completely empty your pantry or food storage area and place items in their appropriate category on your kitchen table or counter.
4. Toss any expired food. If you have other food items that you no longer want or need that haven’t expired, donate them to your local food bank.
5. Spray the food storage area with all-purpose cleaner (make sure it’s nontoxic) and wipe with your cleaning cloth. Wipe up any spills and drips that you see. You can spray a little cleaner on your cloth and wipe that way as well.
6. Put your pantry or food storage into zones. Once you’ve set up your categories, place items back in a way that makes sense. If you have wire shelving, use short-sided plastic boxes to contain baking and cooking supplies. If you have solid shelves, indulge in lazy Susans—they will change your life. Both of these solutions allow you to see each item, and if the oil or vinegar drips or leaks, it stays inside the container and off the shelf below. If you love to bake and bake often, baking supplies should be front and center. If your kids pack their own lunches or get their own snacks, put them where they are easily accessible.
7. Contain and label. The pantry is where labels and containers do their best work—they are definitely worth considering. You can purchase containers that come with their own labels or reuse glass canning jars with taped labels. I love using a white oil-based paint marker on glass jars to label the contents. It looks custom and will stay on through washing. I use a drop of lemon essential oil on a cotton pad when I want to remove the label. Easy-peasy. Think outside the box and inside your budget to come up with a solution that works for you!
8. Running short on storage? Use clear, stackable containers to group like items together that don’t fit in the drawers.
9. Keep produce freshest by keeping vegetables and strawberries at the high-humidity setting and most fruit at low humidity in the crisper drawers.