It is easy for the pantry to become cluttered with each grocery shopping trip. Here are ways to organize the pantry, and have it looking neat and tidy all the time.
An organized pantry is a homemaker’s delight. Being able to find the right ingredients just when they are needed and without having to hunt for them through a pile of other groceries is a joy for a cooking enthusiast. Unfortunately, the pantry tends to get cluttered and disorderly very quickly. Here are five simple steps to organize this important kitchen storage area.
Clear Out the Pantry
The first step in pantry organizing is to empty out the pantry of all its contents. Whether you have a cabinet that doubles up as a pantry or a small pantry closet, remove everything from the shelves and cupboards and place them on a table. Discard items that are past their best before the date and keep aside items that have not been used ever. Donate the latter items to charity or a friend who will use them.
Sort and Organize Pantry Items
The next step involves going through all the remaining grocery items and grouping them into groups according to type and usage. For instance, cartons can be kept together. Then, club breakfast cereal cartons together and milk cartons together. The thumb rule for this sorting exercise should be to have like items together. This will make it easy to find groceries when they are needed.
There are many storage options available for a pantry. Whether a pantry is big or small, it is possible to maximize storage using a few easily available solutions. Shelf dividers, pantry organizers and even, simple plastic boxes and trays to hold like items together can all solve storage and organization problems.
A pantry closet is an ideal kitchen storage solution. Scrub the shelves clean and line them with paper. Add a few wire baskets to the insides of the closet doors for smaller items. Use pantry organizers and racks to optimize storage and increase space for smaller pantries, such as a small cabinet or even a row of shelves.
Arrange and Label
Once storage has been taken care of, label shelves according to main groups of food items – cans, cartons, ready to eat, and so on. Start arranging the items by placing the ones that are rarely used at the back and those that are used most frequently at the front. Remember to keep like items together for easy and quick access. Smaller items can be stored in racks or boxes. Label containers according to their contents.
Maintaining an Organized Pantry
The most important part of organizing the pantry is in keeping it that way. In other words, with every trip to the supermarket, make it a point to store contents according to type and usage. By regularly organizing and sorting the pantry, disorder and clutter will be kept at arm’s length.
These five steps will keep the kitchen pantry looking just the way it should – neat, organized and a cook’s delight. An organized kitchen is a pleasure to work in, and since the pantry is such an essential part of kitchen storage, it is essential that it be sorted, arranged and kept in the most orderly fashion.