Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.
-A. A. Milne
- Dump Out the Old
No matter the size of your pantry, giving it a deep cleaning should be the first task on your list. You can start by taking everything out at once or by working top to bottom. When taking items out it’s important to develop a system. Having a simple keep and discard system will do just fine. For the items you wish to dispose of, if they are still good and you are able to donate them to a food bank, we encourage you to do so. For the things you wish to keep, sort out every item into categories. An essential item to add to your pantry in deep cleaning are shelf liners. Not only do they add a layer or protection to the shelf, it makes cleaning up any mess a breeze. On top of that, it gives shelves a polished look. Lastly, vacuum and clean the floors. Now you have a blank and clean canvas to work with!
- Get the Proper Storage Containers
Having the proper containers to store food in not only is visually appealing to the eye, it can also allow you to utilize all of your pantry space. There are so many options to choose from when looking for the right storage containers for your pantry. Things to take into account would be material (glass or plastic) and also lid security. Picking a style then transferring your food into these containers is one of the easiest ways to organize your pantry. Square shaped containers are highly preferred over other shapes because squares are stackable and easy to arrange. “Square containers take up 25% less space than round ones, so if you wish your freezer was 25% bigger, start saving those square plastic containers from your last takeout meal!” Examples of food you can place in these containers include: cereal, flour, nuts, small snacks, dried fruits, oatmeal, cookies, etc. These items look incredible when displayed in this manner! These containers often come with sticky labels so you are able to add some text to the containers. You can do simple text or get creative and add some fun fonts and drawings.
- Utilize All Space
The inside of the cabinet door makes for perfect additional storage space. Items that are slim and lightweight are the easiest to fit inside of the door. Examples include spices, boxes of aluminum foil and freezer bags, small packages of food or snacks, and cooking tools such a pot and pan lids. You can find a door organizer off of Amazon for a reasonable price and one that fits your kitchen’s aesthetic. Some people even use an over the door shoe rack to achieve this! If you have used up all of your cabinet door storage space and need more storage space, use a small cart! Using a small cart is a trendy and easy way to add space. If you have a small pantry and can’t fit a cart into the space, place the items you grab for most often into a cart and place the cart nearby. This allows you easy access to your essential and frees up more storage space in your pantry.
- Keep a Cleaning/Organizing Checklist Handy
Creating an organization/cleaning checklist will help keep your pantry well kempt over time. This checklist or chart will provide you with all the necessary tasks you need to keep your pantry clear of clutter. This lowers the stress of having to clean an unorganized pantry because you are able to tackle it in small doses and you have something to guide you along the way to reach your desired end goal. Do some researching on the web to find an organization checklist you feel is right for your own pantry and organizational needs. These checklists and charts come in a variety of templates that can fit anyone’s style. Pinterest is a great site to research these charts and checklists on (be sure to check out our Pinterest page). If you have a particular way you want to govern your pantry, creating a chart of your own on Google Docs, Microsoft Word or Excel are also great resources to utilize. Do whatever you feel will make the biggest impact on your pantry and find or create a system that fits your needs.