I work with a lot of clients on organizing their pantries. From families to empty-nesters, the pantry is an important part of the kitchen and meal planning! Recently, I was working with a client who takes care of the grandchildren, so her pantry was filled with food for her and her husband, along with food for the grandkids. Her pantry was disorganized because she couldn’t keep up with all the different types of food for her family, so we needed to create a system for the pantry, along with teaching the entire family how to use the pantry.
We started the process by removing everything from the pantry and sorting it into categories, such as kid food, canned food, teas, s’mores, and baking. We checked the expiration dates on the food products and combined half-eaten boxes of cereal. Then we started to put things back into the pantry.
When we started to put things away, we followed these 5 ways to keep a pantry organized to ensure that the pantry would stay organized and remain useful for the entire family and grand kids!
1. Keep Like Items Together
By keeping shelves with a similar theme, you will be able to find what you are looking for quickly. And, you will be able to meal plan easier, because you will be able to quickly scan the shelves for what you have in the house and get cooking!
I also recommend keeping like items together, especially when there is someone with a food allergy. This particular client has a member of the family who has Celiac Disease. By keeping the baking products separate from one another, she is able to distinguish which flours to use for that particular member of the family.
2. Make Stations
I love making stations when it comes to organizing. It is an easy way to keep yourself organized and keep all your items together! This particular client enjoys teas and making s’mores, so we created some stations in the pantry.
We started by gathering all the teas that the clients have in all the cabinets of the kitchen. Then, we used some containers to create a tea station. This particular container can be pulled out of the pantry for when guests come over, yet it is easy to access so it can remain in the pantry for other occasions.
The s’mores station was created because this client has a fire pit built into the backyard. The bins have handles on them, so when the clients want to have a s’mores night, they can grab all the supplies in one easy container and carry it outside to the fire pit.
3. Use Clear Storage
If you do use storage containers in your pantry, I always recommend using clear or acrylic. I say this because you can see everything inside the container, so you are less likely to let things pile up and get lost in the container. Plus, I think it looks pretty when you can see everything in the containers.
- OXO Good Grips Containers
- Stackable Glass Airtight Canisters
- Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill Glass Jars
- InterDesign Fridge and Freezer Storage Bins
- InterDesign Stackable Organizer Bins
4. Store Extras Behind Jars
Once we move flours, sugars, and other baking goods into glass jars or containers, I always get asked the question of what to do if there is anything left over. I typically recommend putting the extra products in a sealed baggie behind the jar. This is an easy way to keep things together, which makes it easy to refill your jar and know what you have!
If it isn’t possible to store the extras behind the jars, then I recommend creating one place for all the extra products. This will help you know that anything that is left over is in this one particular place. If it isn’t in that location, then you don’t have any more product left!
Finally, you need to label your pantry. I say to label because it looks pretty, but it is also really functional when it comes to finding what you need. Some flours can look alike, so by clearly labeling your pantry, you are able to know what you have.
There are many ways to label a pantry, so really think about what and how you use your containers in your pantry. Then decide on labels. If you have containers that you switch out frequently, then use chalkboard labels. If you have containers that you keep the same every time you use them, then get creative with the labels! I even have some labels in my Etsy shop!
By keeping like items together, creating stations, using clear containers, storing extra products behind jars, and labeling everything, your pantry is sure to stay organized as long as you stick with the system you created!