It may be hidden from view, but one of the most important parts of the kitchen is the pantry. If it’s an unorganized mess, meal planning can be difficult and food always gets wasted. It’s crucial to have a functioning system that helps you monitor your inventory and use your perishables efficiently. When you have an organized pantry, it amounts to savings in time and money. So, here are five clever ways to organize your pantry.
Use the Pantry Door
The pantry door is the perfect unused space to maximize your storage and organize your pantry. You can install racks on the door that accommodate anything from snack foods to herbs and spices. There are all kinds of efficient ways to utilize the inside of your pantry door for the organization. You can use it for spools that dispense plastic wrap, parchment, and foil. You can even use hooks to hang kitchen tools or utensils. Incorporating storage as an additional function of the pantry door can either free up shelf space within the pantry or empty a kitchen drawer for better use.
Put Everything in Labeled Bins
Grouping your pantry items together in bins makes everything so much easier. Rather than fish around, pulling out jars and boxes to get to items you need, you can simply pull out a labeled bin with exactly the contents you are looking for. The bins you use can be bought at the local dollar store, or they can be a fashionable accent. They can be plastic tubs, with baskets, wooden crates…whatever you like. A clean row of boxes ensures that storage space does not get wasted and it keeps searching simple.
Create a Lid Rack
One of the most annoying things about kitchen storage is the plastic food container. Do you store them with the lids on? Do you stack the containers on the lids? Space saving solutions often make it difficult to keep track of lids and their matching counterparts. Instead of driving yourself crazy, simply incorporate a small wooden or wire rack and arrange your lids by size. It is so much easier to find and grab what you are looking for from an organized rack, rather than pulling apart and rearranging a stack of lids.
Arrange Your Inventory
Have a specific place for everything in your pantry. You should break the pantry into sections and even designate those with a color code. Place paper on the shelf to indicate where certain types of items should go. Break your pantry down into baking, pasta, dinner sides, cereal, seasonings, etc. Start with big segments and then break those categories into smaller segments which you use labeled boxes for. The most important thing is to base your segmentation on actual usage, rather than non-correlating variables.
Top to Bottom Coverage
Besides general cleanliness a key aspect to the accessibility of your pantry items is weight. Before you organize your pantry, make sure you plan your system to include the heaviest items on the bottom shelf and the lights on top. You should put the most frequently used items in the center for better accessibility as well. However, the center is also a good place for things that are less used and more likely to be forgotten. It’s a good idea to take regular stock of your pantry and throw out anything expired. More importantly, try to utilize what you have before it goes bad, and don’t buy items you have a tendency to not use.