Posted on December 15, 2015

Organizing your pantry

An organized pantry saves you time in the kitchen and makes your grocery shopping, meal-planning and cooking easier. Though the project may seem daunting, decluttering this space is worth the effort as it will streamline your daily routine.

Clear clutter
The first step is to clean out your pantry. Remove everything and, working from top to bottom, vacuum the shelves and wipe them with a damp cloth. Now is the time to throw out any expired items and make some donations to the local food bank.

Start sorting
Separate the remaining contents of your pantry into groups: breakfast items, baking necessities, canned goods, spices, snack foods etc. This will help you see what you have the most of and determine which size of containers you need to buy.

Choose containers
Transfer all the food you use regularly into clear, airtight jars or containers. Choosing clear containers lets you see when your stock is low. Throwing out bulky packaging saves space and uniform containers also add to your pantry’s visual appeal. A Beautiful Mess recommends these Weck jars labeled using washable paint pens. Erasable labels make swapping out contents easy. Pretty containers also work well on open shelves, which are common in condo pantries.

Arrange artfully
Put heavy items, like bags of flour, on the bottom shelf and keep things you reach for every day, like breakfast cereal, at eye level. Group things you tend to use at the same time together but pay attention to aesthetics: a pantry that looks beautiful will motivate you to keep it that way! Use baskets to store packaged goods, recommends blogger Susan Haskins. “I just slide them out and get what I need,” she said.

Being able to see your pantry’s contents at a glance can save you money at the grocery store since you won’t be overbuying and well-organized breakfast and packed lunch items will make your mornings smoother. Who knows, a pretty pantry may even inspire you to bake more!