Our pantry tends to go through stages of organization. If yours is anything like mine it goes like this.
It starts off with everything in its place, organized, and straightened.
Then it gets a little out of order as you start to use things in the pantry. You reach behind a box of noodles for something, and as you pull it out it jostles the things in front. Those items lay slightly askew, and putting the original items back makes it more so.
Then the kids go in for a snack and rummage through another shelf.
A few days later you bring home some things from the grocery store and you’re so happy to be home and done with the shopping that you don’t bother to take the time required to put things away in an orderly fashion. Instead you cram in the new items wherever they fit.
A month or two of this and you have a royal mess on your hands.
At some point you declutter, throw out old stuff, straighten, and organize.
This is the cycle of the pantry.
I did the declutter, throw out, straighten, and organize earlier this week. I also rearranged some things to make it less likely to clutter in the near future. (I’m sure it will clutter eventually so I just hope for short term wins at this point.)
Here are my tips to keeping an organized pantry
1. Place kids’ snacks on a lower shelf. This allows the little ones to reach them. Using the lower shelf also allows you keep the prime middle shelves for items you use the most.
2. Place your most used items at or just below eye level. For us that means things like rice, pasta, mac ‘n cheese for the kids, soups, and canned vegetables.
3. Group like items together. We have our meal items (mentioned above) on the shelf just below eye level. On our at-eye-level shelf we have cooking supplies. This includes things like olive oil, non-stick spray, honey, flour, sugar, etc. Keeping liked items grouped together makes it easier and faster to find things. It also makes it easier to put them back where they belong.
4. Keep frequently used items toward the front. To keep everything straightened, it helps to keep the frequently used items in the front. For some unknown reason I had a few items, like olive oil, in the back. Olive or vegetable oil is a common cooking ingredient and when I reached over other things to get it they would get all out of whack. I reorganized to put things like that in the front and it’s been working much better.
Share Your Tips
Our readers want to hear your tips. How do you keep your pantry organized? Share your tips in the comments section below.