How to Organize Your Pantry
Follow these simple steps to set up an organized pantry that will keep items easily accessible while maximizing your available storage space.
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A few hours
It doesn't take long to mess up a kitchen pantry. Everyone's in a hurry, grabbing what they want, then not putting things back where they found them. Pretty soon, no one can find anything! It's time to take control and restore order. Let's get started!
Project step-by-step (4)
Plan Your Project and Purchase Organizers
Before starting, open your pantry door and identify your storage problems. Which areas are hard to see? Where are items getting lost? Then, take measurements and select storage solutions that will help keep items in sight and easily accessible. Here are some ideas.
- Use lazy Susans to maximize the usable space of deep shelves and hidden corners.
- Consider bins, baskets or trays to store items like lunch-making supplies, snacks, nuts and crackers. If it's hard to see items on lower shelves due to a narrow walk-in, storage bins or baskets will make it easy to pull items out for easy visibility and access.
- Use clear containers to keep items visible and/or use labels to easily keep track of items.
- Can organizers help make canned goods more visible.
- Designate separate containers for onions and potatoes and store them in different areas of your pantry.
- Consider adding shelves or shelf-risers to make the most of shelf space.
Empty Your Pantry
Pull items out of your pantry and use your counters or kitchen table to roughly sort items by category. Categories may include:
- Baking supplies;
- Canned goods;
- Rice and other grains;
- Breakfast or lunch items;
- Oils and vinegar;
- Small appliances;
- Paper goods (napkins, plates, plastic wear);
- Check expiration dates and discard expired items.
Clean Your Pantry
With your pantry empty, now's the time to eliminate crumbs and wipe up spills.
Sweep or vacuum, then mop the floor.
Set up Your Organized Pantry
Return items to your pantry, using the following guidelines:
- Start with the middle shelves. These are the easiest to see and access, so load them with daily-use items such as dinner or lunch-making supplies, or with food you want to keep in sight, such as healthy snacks.
- Move on to bottom shelves. Stow heavy items such as kitchen appliances that don't have a home elsewhere in your kitchen, or less frequently used/seasonal items. If you have young children, these are good shelves for self-serve snacks and lunch items.
- Finish up with top shelves. This area is perfect for infrequently used items like lightweight kitchen appliances, extra chips, snacks or paper goods. Store like-items together in baskets or bins for easy access.