If you spend most of your time at home, then you know how crucial it is to have a well-stocked and well-organized pantry. But unfortunately, the pantries built into old homes probably didn’t account for your toaster, air fryer, griddle, InstantPot, mixer, five coffee makers, and everything else you need.
It’s exceedingly common for those of us cursed with smaller pantries to spread their food out among multiple cabinets and store their appliances wherever they have space. But at some point, enough is enough, and it’s time to get your pantry in order.
Here are our top five tips for making the most out of the pantry space you have.
1. Keep All the Food Together
This may seem relatively simple, but it will help you keep everything in order if you keep all of your food in one place. Your pantry organization begins with separating all of the food and placing it in one location, and putting your appliances in the other cabinets you’ve been using for food.
The simplest reason behind this is that if you don’t have all of your dry goods in one place, you’ll probably forget about things you have. Ideally, you’ll have a pantry closet that you can keep all your food products in; if not, it’s best to choose one or two cabinets to be your food cabinets.
2. Designate a Place for Everything
The best time to reorganize your pantry is right after returning from the grocery store. If you have all of your groceries in hand, then you’ll make sure that you have a spot for everything you generally have in the house.
As you choose a location for your items, be sure to put the things you use the most often towards the front. Additionally, if you have kids, it’s helpful to put their snacks where they can easily reach them or just far enough out of reach.
3. Use Containers and Lazy Susans
You might want to measure your pantry for the exact dimensions and go shopping before you get your groceries because it will be easier for you to organize your pantry if you have a bit of help. You’ll want to pick up a few clear drawer-like containers, containers with sealed lids, and lazy susans.
The drawer-like containers will help you section off your pantry. You’ll be able to stand up packaged goods, and everything will have its own spot.
The containers with the lids allow you to throw away the packaging from your products and increase the longevity of your items. It can be helpful if you designate a bin for things you always have on hand like flour, sugars, rice, and coffee.
Lazy susans are the key to keeping your pantry organized. They allow you to reach as many items as possible without rummaging through everything, and they can help you make the most of dead space in a pantry. Put your spices, oils, and other products that live in your pantry for a while on turntables.
4. Break Out That Label Maker
Now that everything has a place in the pantry, use your label maker to solidify your system. While you may promise yourself that you won’t mess up the organization, the rest of your family might not know the ins and outs of your system. At the same time, labels make it easier for your family members to find something they’re looking for.
You can be as generic or specific with your labels as you’d like. You can label containers as “Breakfast,” “Baking,” or “Spices,” or you can create individual spots for items you always have on hand and buy in bulk.
5. Install Custom Cabinetry
If you love the idea of having an organized pantry but hate the idea of plastic containers keeping it organized, then you can bring in the big guns and have custom cabinetry installed.
Breathing life into your pantry can be as easy as having stunning shelving engineered to make the most out of the space you already have.