You just walked in the door from work — time to make dinner. As you walk over to the pantry the perfect dinner idea pops into your head: pasta. Easy, quick, done. Then you remember: your pantry is a disaster. You’ll be lucky if you can even find a box of mac and cheese in the swirling vortex of canned goods and non-perishables. Deep breath. We have some pantry organization tips to help make your food-prepping efforts less hectic.
Unbox: Use Consistent Container Sizes
Taking food out of boxes and putting it into plastic, airtight containers may seem like a hassle. However, it’s quick and helps your pantry organization while keeping your food fresh for longer. You’ll notice the biggest difference if you swap your cereal boxes for plastic (or glass if you’re feeling fancy!) containers. Because cereal boxes come in all different sizes, they can cramp shelves and waste space. Try putting your cereals into plastic containers (same size, if possible).
Rewrite: Make Your Own Labels
Labeling will save you even more time. With easy-to-read labels you’ll be able to open your pantry, take a quick glance and grab whatever you need. These labels, from Shanty 2 Chic are great because they’re a fun DIY project for you to do with your family and they’re chalkboard labels! You can switch up the labels whenever you need to – so convenient. These labels also help with pantry organization because they are consistent shapes and sizes. This obviously isn’t necessary, but it helps. The uniform look makes your pantry feel less cluttered.
Some people have trouble finding the foods they are looking for without the familiar logos and colors. To help, you can cut the original packaging and tape the logo directly to the glass container. This is an even more kid-friendly way to label your items.
Lay it Out: Organize by Convenience
Similar to how you’d organize your closet, your pantry organization should be based on convenience. For example, if you make your kids’ lunches every day and use white bread, put the white bread front-and-center. Start in the middle of the pantry, at the eye-level shelves and work your way out. It can get a little difficult if you want to keep food-types together. However, even if you put certain types of foods on certain shelves, start by placing the most-used in the center.
In this photo from A Bowl Full of Lemons, you can see the paper goods and less-used or unopened items tucked away up top. Kids’ snacks are on the lower shelf and cereals and condiments are in the middle. Simple enough!
Starting with these three easy steps will help immediately unclutter your pantry. Make sure you’re looking at expiration dates on original packaging when you transfer to plastic containers. Take note of the expiration dates on your DIY labels. (Make sure to toss anything that is past its prime.) Lastly, arrange everything based on how often you use the items. Happy organizing!
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