Ask Away...: How To Keep Your Pantry Organized

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How To Keep Your Pantry Organized









Alright I'm like, the queen of organizing and if you've ever seen my organizing posts you'll notice that even though the cupboards in our kitchen are older (which means they are tinier) I still make do.  There are just a few key tips to keep in mind when trying to keep your pantry and food supply organized and they'll work no matter how big or how small your space is!

//Organize by Type then Frequency\\

There is a science to the organization of any area of your home that holds a supply of items that you frequently use.  I always like to organize by type first.  I keep cereals and boxed foods together, gluten free items in one specific spot, and cans and bottles organized by what they are used for (dressings, sauces, baking ingredients).  This also helps when I'm gathering ingredients for a recipe and a lot of them are in the same area. It's easier to put away afterwards and I'm  not feeling overwhelmed as I prepare.   Then I always suggest organizing by frequency.  If you have pantry space or cabinets that are higher up and not very convenient to reach, you may want to store the less often used items there.  Since we don't bake brownies and cakes often, those go in the top shelf of our one cupboard so that on the rare occasion I have to grab a stool to get up there, it's not such a big deal.  If you have items you use every day to pack in a lunch, you  may want to put those all in the same area.  That way you are quickly grabbing items from the same spot and tossing them in your bag in the morning.


//Meal Plan\\

Last week I did a blog post about how to master the art of meal planning and it plays a huge part in keeping a kitchen and pantry organized.  When you meal plan you not only plan what you'll eat but you plan what ingredients you'll purchase and keep on hand.  This not only helps eliminate impulse buys at the grocery store but it keeps you on a great routine of eating better, well thought out meals, and using what you have in your pantry.  Of course I always have some extra cans of soup on hand (Chicken Noodle is a must when I'm sick) and beans too but for the most part, all of what you'll find in my kitchen is going to be used within a few weeks for meals.  I also have a rule that we don't buy a ton of "extras" just because they are on sale.  You end up with 5 or 6 bottles of hot sauce and no space to put them.  So we only ever have 1 or 2 extras on hand. 


Also plan meals around excess items you may have.  If you noticed you have some random cans of green beans, incorporate those into your plans by adding them as a veggie dish to a chicken recipe.  In the beginning you may have lots of excess stuff from before you meal planned, so you can use those items to plan your first few meals.


//Only Buy What You Need\\

It may sound simple but when we're caught up in the moment at the grocery store we don't think clearly.  We may see a huge tub of something thinking that it wouldn't hurt to have some of that but then ask yourself "Do I really need this?"   or "Do I have space for this?". I've noticed when I buy something I have no place for, I end up eating it too often and it's normally something that's not so healthy.  When you only buy what you need, you only use what you have and you eliminate the wasting of food and money because you won't forget to use items in the back of your pantry. 


//Get Creative\\

When it comes to storage, get creative and don't be afraid to use ideas you think of on a whim.  I've seen people add little shelves to the inside of a pantry door for their spices and they end up having space for something else on the actual pantry shelf that used to hold the spices.  If you have an excess of pretty storage containers or jars, don't be afraid to use them as d├ęcor AND storage.  I love seeing people keep cookies and snacks in a gorgeous glass jar or decorative ceramic container.   I also love using little bins from the dollar stores to hold certain items in the pantry so that when I need to grab something I can just pull the basket out instead of root around on the shelf and knock stuff over.


//Label\\ 

If you end up using containers make sure you use labels to identify what's in the baskets or containers.  This is also great for other members of your home when they are wondering where something is.  Not to mention, it gives them the correct place to put something back.  They have no excuse for not knowing where the canned vegetables go!


What do you do to keep your pantry organized?







3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these tips. This is some thing I need to get better at.

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  2. Fantastic I loved it . I will read again as i am also trying hard to improve or extend the stay of my visitors.
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