Do you struggle to find things in your panty? Is it hard to see and know what you have because stuff is everywhere? Have you been about to cook or bake, check the pantry and realize the ingredients are not there? Solve this problem and follow these simple steps to organize your pantry.
Clean Out Your Pantry
The first step to an organized pantry is cleaning out your pantry. The space should be decluttered and wiped down. Get rid of items that are expired or that you are never going to use. Set aside a little space near the front of the pantry for items that you need to use in the next couple weeks. This also helps you to not waste food. For more on how to clean out your pantry click here.
Sort Like Items Together to Organize Your Pantry
When you begin to put items back into the pantry start by sorting similar items together. This way you can see all your options with one quick glance. For example in my pantry I have all my baking items in one area. Then I move to peanut butter which is used for baking, but for sandwiches, crackers and eating as well. After peanut butter it transitions to all condiments and dressings. In another area I have pastas, stuffing, rice, boxed potatoes and dinners. So when I am looking for dinner sides and meals all my options are in one spot.
Face Labels Outward to Organize Your Pantry
As you stack your shelves face all the labels outward. This way you can easily see everything. Stack duplicate items on top and behind one another, and go vertical instead of hiding other items. This way you always know what you have and how many at a quick glance.
Sort Like Items by Expiration Date to Organize Your Pantry
Sort like items by expiration date. When you have multiples of something put the one that will expire first in the front. Then stack and organize them by expiration date. This way when you or someone else grabs the first or front one on the self you use the one that will expire first.
Personally, a huge pet peeve of mine is throwing away expired food. Especially if it was because I missed it in my pantry from lack of organization and used a newer version of the exact same item. So after every grocery store trip I always make sure to check dates and add the furthest out dates to the back of the pantry.
Organize Your Pantry For Accessibility
Put things you use most at eye and stomach level. This alleviates bending over all the time or needing a step stool to reach up to grab an item. In addition, depending on how large your pantry is, put things you use most towards the front.
If you are keeping kitchen dishes, small appliances, etc in your pantry, put them away in the same spot each time you use them. Do this so you always know what you have and don’t waste time looking for something.
Organize Your Pantry to Be Kid Friendly
Put unbreakable items and things that your kids are allowed to have on the lower shelves. My 4 year old loves going in the pantry and picking out something to eat. It is handy for me to tell him to go in the panty and pick out a snack because I put things he can have and reach on the bottom shelf.
In fact, right before I had my second baby I was working with him to be more independent so when the baby came he could do more himself (and help me out). I did a little reorganizing of the pantry and put his appropriate snacks like applesauce, granola bars, raisins, crackers, and pretzels on the bottom shelf. This worked out great because it seemed every time I started to feed the baby he needed a snack. So instead of me getting up while feeding, I would give him permission to go and get one himself from the pantry. This was a win/win because he could get a snack himself and felt like a big boy doing it.
Benefits to an Organized Pantry
There are many benefits to having an organized pantry.
- Always know what you have
- Know where everything is located
- Use up expired food first
- Know how long food lasts
- Save time by not looking for items
- Save money by stocking up on appropriate items
- Everyone in the house can easily find and use items
By organizing your pantry you see what you use and what you hardly use. In addition, it helps you learn how long a particular item lasts at your house. This becomes extremely helpful at the grocery store and knowing what to buy and how much to buy. This way you can take advantage of good sales and stock up on certain groceries that you use often.
Final Thoughts on Organizing Your Pantry
Keeping your pantry organized can be a challenge. There is always food items to put away from grocery shopping, cans and boxes to rotate because of expiration dates, and new food items you are trying that need a spot. Follow this ultimate guide to organizing your pantry and reap the benefits of saving time, money and energy.