Having an organized pantry will set you up for success. You’ll eat healthier, save money and enjoy knowing what’s actually in there.
You’ll also experience fewer trips to the grocery store and be able to quickly find what you need.
Chances are you already have food/cooking items in your pantry. Completing this challenge can be tricky if you have kids and work full-time. If you have both variables working against you, be sure to find time to do this when you don’t have any distractions. If you work a 9-5 during the week, pick a weekend morning to do this. You want to complete a task like this when your tank is full and you are your most productive self.
Here’s how you can get your pantry organized:
- Empty everything out of the pantry. You’ll want to make sure you have space to put all of the items. Whether it be the counter, table, or a mix of both. Be sure you have plenty of space to work with.
- Sort by category. Next, you’ll want to sort all the items by category. This likely will be the most challenging part because of all of the different food categories. Try to stay high level with the categories, the more detailed you get can make things frustrating because you won’t have a bin/space for that particular category. Plus, you don’t always buy the same stuff for the year. Here are some examples of high-level categories:
- Breakfast (cereal, oatmeal, pancakes)
- Produce (potatoes, onions, avocados)
- Snacks (chips, pretzels, graham crackers, goldfish)
- Canned food
- Once everything is sorted by category, create subcategories for frequently purchased foods. For example, we eat a lot of Mac N’ Cheese, cereal bars, and bananas in our house. Each of these categories has their own dedicated bin because they take up the entire pasta, breakfast, and produce bins.
- Use Storage Containers and Bins. Store dry items such as cereal, baking goods, chips, pretzels etc in storage containers. Use square storage containers as they are easier to store than round ones. If space is limited and you don’t have the height to fit containers, use storage bins and use a clip to keep snack bags closed. We don’t have space for cereal containers so we take them out of the box and use a food clip to keep it sealed. This helps us see how much is left and makes it easier to storage because of the flexibility of a plastic bag versus a cereal box.
- Label. Labeling is one of the most important steps when it comes to organization. It keeps you organized because you can see where everything is at. Use a label maker or oil-based Sharpie pens to label storage containers for items that never change. For bins and containers that change occasionally, use chalkboard labels. They give you better versatility.