New Year, New Fridge, New Pantry, Tips on Organizing-Part Two. You can view Part One here.
Moving onto the pantry…We are going to apply several of the same principles and strategies when it comes to organizing a pantry.
If you don’t have a built-in pantry or a pantry-type closet in your kitchen, that is ok. You can easily re-purpose a piece of furniture like a glass cabinet, hutch, or bakers rack and turn it into a pantry.
Step 1: Clean out your pantry just like your refrigerator. Take EVERYTHING out and wipe down the shelves and drawers. After your pantry has been cleaned out, wiped out, and expired items tossed, it’s time to create a system BEFORE putting everything back in.
Step 2: Begin to group things into categories- baking items, breakfast items, snacks, candy, etc. Be careful not to over categorize- really focus on the basics. Once you have your categories, you can begin to find a place for each category of items. Think about what you use daily and be sure those items are more accessible.
Step 3: Now is when you will figure out what baskets, bins, and containers you will use as you reassemble your pantry.
Use baskets, bins, and containers to your advantage. Baskets are great to put chips, boxed snacks, bars, etc. You can even put jars/cans in a basket if your pantry is more visible and you want it to be more visually appealing and tidy. Baskets are a great tool to help maintain cleanliness and organization in your pantry. I also highly recommend the OXO pop top containers. They keep food fresh and are easy to wash. These containers can be used for virtually anything in your pantry (or even elsewhere in your home).
Use glass jars for pantry staples. Transfer common ingredients (especially baking ingredients) such as flour, sugars, spices, pasta, rice, granola, nuts, etc. into large glass jars with lids. Mason jars work great and are an affordable option. One idea is to take the jars to your local grocery store that sells bulk items (i.e. grains, beans, nuts) and replenish your staple items from the bulk bins. This will be a more cost-effective option versus purchasing these items pre-packaged.
Add shelving. If you have a pantry with a door, you can add an over the door shelving unit to add even more storage space to your pantry. These are particularly great for spices, cans, and other small items.
Everyone’s pantry and refrigerator situations are a little different, but I hope these tips inspire you to clean out, organize, and set yourself up for success this new year and beyond. Our home environments have such an impact on our health and our ability to maintain our goals. Systems, routines, and organization play such a crucial role in us being able to maintain our health and keep moving forward with our goals so that it truly becomes a sustainable lifestyle. Happy organizing!