Have you ever had to run to the grocery store to pick up a jar of spaghetti sauce, only to return home to find one hidden behind the pasta boxes? Or reached for the cereal to find out it is stale or expired? The mess of pantries and cabinets can be overwhelming – and taking extra time to find what you need is frustrating!
Cleaning it out and creating a simple organization system can save you time, aggravation and money, and it can make preparing meals quicker and easier. So how do you get started?
The best way to get your pantry organization project underway is to empty it out! Take all the items off the shelves and set them on your table or floor. As you take products out, look through them. Check for expired goods that should be thrown away. Are there any items that no one in your family will eat? Consider donating them to a food drive or shelter, and put them aside. After removing everything, wipe down your shelves and clean up any messes.
Sort and Organize
Now that you have a pile of the food you will be keeping, decide how you want to categorize the items. It will be much easier to find products when they are stored with like items. Maybe you group the canned vegetables together, same with the pasta boxes, baking ingredients and spices. Choose a categorization system that makes sense to you. The better it works for you, the greater likelihood that it will stay in place.
Next, look at the products you have in front of you. Are there small or loose items that will be best stored in a basket on the shelf? Baskets
are a great way to keep items together, it is easy to see what is inside, and it makes for a much neater look! Try our Weave Baskets – the stylish weave design and range of sizes make them ideal for organizing pantry shelving, kitchen cabinets and countertops. Sterilite's Stacking Baskets are also an ideal option for organizing pantries. The accent rails flip to down to allow same size basket to stack on top of each other so you can maximize the vertical space in your pantry. Trays are also a great option for gathering smaller items; the Sterilite Storage Tray
is the perfect size for storing packets like instant oatmeal and the Mini Storage Tray
is ideal for storing packets of seasoning mix.
What about your dry goods? Ultra•Seal™ Food Storage Containers
will keep cookies, pretzels and other snacks fresher longer because of the airtight and watertight seals, and it is a neater way to store them. Do your cereals become stale before you get to the end of the box? Try keeping them in our 16 Cup
or 24 Cup Dry Food Containers
, the flip-top lid allows for easy pouring and the see-through base lets you see when it is time to refill. They are great for rice and pasta too!
Put Things Back
Time to begin placing items back into your pantry. The baskets, trays and food storage containers use space more efficiently and instantly make the area look orderly. Now start to place your other items – cans, boxes, etc. With a spot for everything, it will make it easier to see what items you need to replace during your next shopping trip. Stock up only on those items you use most often to avoid products expiring before you get to use them.
Getting organized is a hard task, but the feeling of accomplishment is worth the effort. Now that you have a system in place, share it with your family so they can help maintain it. It will be easy to see what you have on hand and what you need to buy. No longer will you waste money by buying things you already have or throwing out expired food. Preparing meals will be simpler and needless trips to the store can be avoided.
Good luck and happy organizing!