The pantry might be the greatest kitchen addition of all time, but it can be a nightmare if you don't know how to organize a pantry. Having a place for dry storage was once a necessity, but it's now a luxury that not everyone gets to experience. If you are one of the lucky ones, you may not feel so lucky if your pantry has fallen into disarray, making it impossible to find anything. Don't despair; these simple steps will help you organize your pantry and keep it organized.
Clear It Out
Your first step is to clear everything out of your pantry so you know what you're looking at. Once you have everything out of the pantry, you can clean up any food or other debris that has collected on the shelves over time.
Get Rid of What You Don't Need
Once everything is out of the pantry, you can take inventory of what you need and don't need. The first step is to check the expiration dates on all products in your pantry and toss them if they are past expiry. List any of the products you discard so you can replace them if needed. For instance, if you have any existing hardware in the pantry, like a lazy Susan, now is the best time to contemplate if you want to keep or remove it.
Understand Your Space
Now that everything is empty, you can take a step back and appreciate your pantry for the space it provides. Take this time to measure your shelves and the spaces between them. Once you have your measurements, you can decide if adding, removing, or rearranging shelving is feasible to better suit your needs. For example, a longer shelf at the bottom of the pantry might be a good fit for a self-serve area for kids' snacks.
Now is the time to start thinking about how you want to organize and categorize the items in your pantry. One thing to consider is the frequency you use the products. For instance, if you are not a heavy baker, flour and sugar can probably go in a harder-to-reach place than condiments you use daily. Another consideration should be categorizing items like baking, snacks, condiments, dishware, etc. Having categories for every item helps everybody know where to put them back neatly.
Transferring your dry goods to clear containers is an easy addition to your pantry to keep it organized and improve its aesthetics. This removes the multicolored and sized boxes, creating a more uniform look.
Once you've got everything neatly arranged in your pantry, you will want to make a habit of certain practices to keep it organized. The first is FIFO, which stands for first in, first out. That means that when you restock your pantry, you move older products toward the front and place the new products in the back. This ensures that older products are used first and don't end up pushed into a corner of your pantry to expire and collect dust.
Take The Time to Be Organized
One of the hardest things for a busy family is to slow down. When you are busy cooking, helping with homework, and doing the dishes, it can be tempting to just throw stuff in the pantry, but taking a few extra seconds to ensure that your items return to their designated spots will help keep that pantry clean and organized.
Take It to Another Level
If you have done all this and something still doesn't fit, it may be time to expand your pantry. If you are looking to install or renovate a pantry or other kitchen cabinets, contact us today. Our experienced designers will work with you to create the perfect kitchen space for your family.