No matter the size of your pantry or how full it is, it’s always tough to keep it organized. Items get pushed to the back and forgotten, and reorganizing it is often the last thing on your mind – especially when you’re living a busy life or have kids.
As a maid service, we know that having a clean, tidy, organized home is beneficial to your mental well-being. It’s great to be in your home and not feel stressed about disorganization or mess. Studies have even shown that people feel happier and more productive in well-organized spaces.
Other studies have found that people who clean enjoy a reduction in anxiety and stress. Accomplishing a cleaning project simply makes you feel satisfied! It’s no wonder Marie Kondo’s “The Art of Tidying Up” is so popular nowadays.
So if your pantry is fully stocked but a disorganized mess, take some time and make it a project to organize it and make it work for your lifestyle.
Creating an organization system and keeping it long-term can be tough. But it’s definitely not impossible. With these tips and tricks, we hope that you’ll find organizing your pantry doable, and even rewarding.
1. Divide your pantry based on your lifestyle
“Pair similar food items together” tends to be the general recommendation for organizing your pantry. But that can end up with you having a cluttered “sauce shelf” that you have to go searching through to find the item you want.
So take that “pair similar foods together” rule, and make it work for your lifestyle.
A more effective way – one that can also help you save time when you’re cooking – is to divide your pantry up in ways that make sense for what you usually cook.
Rather than having generic shelves, like “sauces” and “dried goods,” try putting items together that go together when you cook. Some examples:
A quick, grab-and-go lunch and snack shelf, for ramen noodles, mac and cheese, and granola bars
A baking shelf, for brown sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and all of your other baking necessities
Shelves for world cuisines you enjoy cooking, grouping ingredients that usually get cooked together. Put curry paste, coconut milk, and rice noodles on one shelf. Put dry pasta and tomato sauce on another.
Organizing your pantry for your lifestyle and what you usually cook makes your life a lot simpler. You can quickly grab items from your pantry and cook, rather than wasting time hunting for what you need. Everything from weeknight dinners to birthday cakes will be a breeze to put together.
2. Label your shelves or use storage bins to keep your pantry organized
To make sure your pantry stays tidy after you make future shopping trips, try labeling the new sections of your pantry.
The simplest way is to label the shelves themselves, with anything from masking tape to stickers. This can help you and the rest of your family know where items go upon future shopping trips. When you buy something new, make sure it goes on the proper shelf.
If you want an even more foolproof way to stay organized, you can also store items in storage bins or baskets on your pantry shelves. Either invest in new ones or use containers you already have.
Storage baskets are just as easy to label as shelves. Plus, they help you stay organized by creating boundaries between the sections of your pantry. As an added benefit, storage bins are easy to pull out and bring with you into the kitchen if you need a lot of ingredients from one section of your pantry.
3. Store dry goods in clear, reusable containers
It’s so easy to have a disorganized pantry when you have open bags of rice, beans, and flour cluttering up your shelves. Store-bought packaging doesn’t always stack well, despite your best efforts.
Try putting dry goods into glass or plastic containers and labeling them. If you don’t have the ability to go out and buy a bunch of containers right now, any containers will work. Try using extra tupperware or mason jars. Just make sure the container is clean and dry before putting any dry goods into it.
This helps make your pantry look neater. It also lets you monitor how much of each staple you have left. It can also help preserve the freshness of your food.
Not only that, but it’s also an eco-friendly technique – something we actively try and accomplish in any way we can. By buying in bulk, you can save money and help save the environment.
It’s a win-win all around.
4. Stack canned food more efficiently
Canned food is easy to stack, but it’s hard to see what’s behind a column of cans. And cans often get pushed to the back of your pantry and forgotten – at least until you do another cleaning out of your pantry.
To avoid this problem, try stacking your cans so you can see what’s behind other things, with one can in the front, two behind.
Or if you have a lot of the same kind of canned food, put them all in a row, just like at the grocery store. Push the row forward as cans get used, so that you’ll always have easy access to your cans.
5. Take advantage of unused space in your pantry.
Is there an awkward nook by the door, or a bit of wall space you don’t know what to do with? By hanging up kitchen supplies in these unused spaces, you can maximize your storage space.
Your pantry door can also be used to store items, and there are even organizers made for that purpose.
Use door storage units for items that are not bulky or heavy (think items like spices, seasoning packets, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap). Use a door organizer or another lightweight over-the-door storage system to hold your items.
6. Make it a habit to tidy up your pantry
As a maid service, we know that regular cleanings can make all the difference. Instead of having to deep clean a few times a year, why not maintain cleanliness as you go along? It’s a lot more efficient in the long run.
By giving your pantry a regular clean, ensuring that items are in the proper place, you can make sure your pantry stays organized in the months to come.