An organized pantry will not only make cooking dinner easier, but it will also save you from buying groceries that you already have hidden among the mess. Here, organization expert Amy Revell shares her top tips on how to organize your pantry so you can always find what you need.
1. Take Everything Out
Take everything out. Make sure your countertop or kitchen table is empty so you can sort as you go and see everything clearly. Once your pantry is emptied, give your shelves a good clean. Now look at what you have. Check expiration dates and throw out anything overdue. Add items to your shopping list as you clean so you don't find yourself caught without the essentials.
2. Sort Into Categories
Now that you can see everything, group what you have into categories. Put your baking goods together, cereals together, cans and jars together, spices together, etc. This enables you to see what you have and makes the decluttering and organizing process much quicker.
3. Dispose of Out-of-Date Items
Next, move through each category and throw anything out that has passed its expiration date. Once your pantry is organized, you'll waste less food because you'll be able to see what you have and nothing gets hidden at the back of the cupboard. If you come across items with a long shelf life and you know you'll never use them, set them aside to donate to a food bank. There are usually pick-up points at your local supermarket.
4. Use Clear Modular Containers
To make the most of your pantry space and to keep food fresh for longer, use clear containers to store all your food items. Pick containers that stack well and are large enough so you don't end up with half bags of food that won't fit. Label your containers so you know what's inside.
5. Use Additional Storage
For items that don't need sealable containers, use baskets, tubs, or stands to maximize space and visibility in your pantry. Cans are great on tiered shelving, meal packets are easy to grab when kept in a basket, and having your grocery bags in a bag holder keeps the floor of your pantry clear.
6. Set Up for Everyday Use
When deciding where to put everything, keep items you use regularly at eye level and items you use less often higher up. Consider using open tubs for snack items and storing them below eye level so you can empty packets into the tub and the whole family can see what's available. Your organized pantry will inspire you to cook and eat healthy, and writing your shopping list will be easy because you can quickly and easily see what is running low.
Other Handy Hints
Place opened packets in secure containers to keep pests such as pantry moths away.
For deep shelves where food tends to get lost or forgotten about, add a shallow second shelf against the back wall to make them more visible.
Add labels to your shelves so that everyone in your household knows what belongs where and can help keep the pantry tidy.
Organize sections into baskets so they are easy to pull out of the pantry and go through.
If you have a small pantry and are struggling for space, stick to buying only what you need, or find another cupboard in your house to store things such as cans, back-up items, and extras including paper plates and napkins.
A lazy Susan is a great way to store condiments or sauces that you need to access regularly.
Make a meal plan for the coming weeks that will help you use up any close-to-expiring products or anything you have over-bought.
This post was written by Homes to Love editors. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.