Thursday, February 16, 2017

7 Easy Tips to Organize Your Pantry

Friends, you may have already guessed by the lack of organization posts on my blog, that a perfectly organized home is not my forte.  I am very organized in some areas, and horrible in others.  It is something I am learning (and getting better at little by little) and I am learning that even a little organization brings us bliss in our chaotic world.  So today I bring you 7 tips for organizing your pantry by Maurine Anderson.  Your pantry gets a lot of traffic and it's time to get it put together right.  
7 Essential Tips for an Organized Pantry By: Maurine Anderson
*This post may contain affiliate links.

Many of us have stashed on our Pinterest boards photos upon photos of insanely organized kitchens, only to let our own kitchen organization fall to the wayside. But why? Why not have an incredibly organized kitchen, or at least a well-organized kitchen pantry? Unlike the penny tile floor or built-in kitchen island refrigerator that may be sitting on your “dream home” Pinterest board, an organized pantry is something that anyone and everyone can totally have in their kitchen.

A well organized pantry can also offer a myriad of benefits. First, you’re more likely to prepare meals at home, as the thought of pulling out all of the necessary ingredients for cooking a meal will be less intimidating. In addition, you’ll keep better track of your food, which means having to throw less food away. (And as this article mentions, throwing away less food—and knowing what food you have—means more money stays in your wallet.) And then there is the simple pleasure of having a well organized pantry that is easy to maintain, which can only serve to boost your mental health.

Want to make your kitchen pantry a little more organized? Here are seven essential tips that I’ve found really make a difference in establishing a well organized pantry.

1. Store pantry staples in clear, airtight food containers.

Consider clear, airtight food containers—be they plastic or glass—your main pantry organization weapon. They keep dry goods fresh, organized, and easy to spot. To make clear, airtight food containers a part of your pantry organization, simply invest in a set of matching containers, and then move major pantry staples from their original containers into these containers. Opt for a few different container sizes to handle different quantities, and for the best use of shelf space, get containers that match the depth of your shelves. For bonus points, label each container with the contents. A few pantry staples you might consider moving to clear containers:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Almond meal
  • Oats
  • Cocoa powder
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Salt

As an added bonus, storing these pantry staples in airtight containers will keep them safe from mice and other pests—a topic covered in this post.

2. Group other items in pull-out containers.

Not everything in the pantry is best stored in large containers with lids. Some things would be more conveniently stored in a pull-out container—something that you can easily pull off the shelf to access its contents (a basket, plastic bin, whatever). Anything “grab-and-go,” anything that is awkwardly shaped, or anything that hasn't quite reached “pantry staple” status, for example, is a perfect candidate for pull-out containers. Other pantry staples, like potatoes and garlic, simply store better when they have access to open air. Group similar items together and assign them their own container. Some things you might fill your pull-out containers with:

  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Different kinds of pasta
  • Various baking ingredients
  • Individually wrapped snacks
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Sandwich supplies
  • Salad toppings
  • Baking mixes
  • Seasoning packets
  • Oils and oil sprays
  • Condiments
  • Baby food

3. Add lazy susans.

Lazy susans are a pantry organization tool that many people don't consider, but they're ultra convenient—especially when placed at shelving corners where they can make use of an otherwise awkward space. You might use your lazy susan to store condiments, spices, oils, drink mixes, etc. Here's a lazy susan idea from Amazon to get the wheels turning.

4. Invest in a few can organizers.

Cans store fairly well on their own, but can organizers can help you make better use of your pantry space. Do a quick online search for “can organizer” like this one to find something that were work perfectly for your pantry space.

5. Utilize back-of-door space.

There are a ton of ways you can use the space on the back of your pantry door. You might install a spice rack, for example, for convenient storage of spices, herbs, seasonings, and extracts. You might include a designated space for seasoning packets, as well, and a tall, narrow shelf space specifically for holding foil, plastic wrap, and parchment paper. If you’re in a pinch, even a simple shoe rack can help you make efficient use of that back-of-the-door space. You may like this over the door pantry organizer from Amazon.

6. Don’t forget about that space between the shelving and the door.

You know that awkward space on either side of your pantry, between where the shelves end and where the door frame is? Use it! Use the space for convenient spice racks or for hanging special items like garlic.

7. Get some bag clips.

Bag clips are cheap and ultra convenient, yet many people seem to put off buying them. Go ahead and buy a few packs of bag clips (like these ones!)—and use them any time the need arises. It may seem simple, but it will really make tossing things into your pantry much easier. Plus, no more worrying about messy spills!

Good luck with your organizing and may your pantry always be clean!

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*This site may or may not contain affiliate links. These links help fund this site. All opinions are my own. I am never paid to give a specific opinion. Often I am asked to try products or services and share what I think about them.