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Move In and Move out with Life

Matter Most

Our professional organizers can manage and transition so you can focus on what matter most

Save Energy

Save Time

Save your Sanity

Move In and Move out with Life

Matter Most

Our professional organizers can manage and transition so you can focus on what matter most

Save Energy

Save Time

Save your Sanity

Move In and Move out with Life

Matter Most

Our professional organizers can manage and transition so you can focus on what matter most

Save Energy

Save Time

Save your Sanity

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December 22, 202312 min read

Have you ever found yourself looking for a specific ingredient in your pantry, only to find it weeks later hiding behind a pile of unused cans? An organized pantry is more than just a pleasing sight. It can save you time, reduce food waste, and even save you money by preventing duplicate purchases. Imagine having a pantry where every item has its own place, where you can see at a glance what you have and what you need. That’s what we aim to help you achieve in this guide on how to maintain an organized pantry.

We will take you on a journey through the process of organizing your pantry, from assessing your needs to maintaining order with practical storage solutions. We’ll also share tips on how to keep your pantry clean and well-maintained, and even how to add a personal touch. Ready to transform your pantry into an efficient, well-organized space? Let’s dive in!

  • Establish an organization system tailored to individual needs.

  • Utilize organizational methods and prioritize accessibility for efficient use of space.

  • Incorporate labels and decor to personalize the pantry while maintaining order with regular cleanings, adjustments, and quality storage solutions.

Establishing a Pantry Organization System

A well-organized pantry with labeled storage containers and clear bins

A pantry organization system acts as the solid foundation for your well-organized pantry, catering to your specific needs. The process begins with assessing your needs, creating designated zones for different types of items, and prioritizing accessibility for your most frequently used items.

Imagine having a walk-in pantry, a dedicated room for every item in your pantry, from your baking ingredients to your school lunches. No more rummaging through shelves or digging into the black hole that is the back of your pantry. Instead, every item has a specific place, making it easy for you and your family to find what you need, and leaving no empty space behind the pantry doors.

Wondering how to create such a system? The subsequent sections will guide you through each step, offering practical tips and pantry organization ideas. Let’s begin by evaluating your needs.

Assess Your Needs

Before diving headfirst into buying storage bins and organizing your pantry, take a step back and evaluate your needs by carefully examining what’s currently in your pantry. What types of items do you store? How often do you use them? Are there any problem areas that need addressing? This is a key step towards creating an organized pantry system that works for you.

Consider the types of food you regularly store. Do you have a lot of canned goods? Or perhaps you like to keep a stock of baking ingredients? Knowing what you need to store will help you choose the right storage solutions. For example, canned goods may require a different storage solution than bags of flour or boxes of cereal. By assessing your needs first, you can ensure that your pantry organization system is tailored to your specific needs.

Create Zones

With a clear understanding of what your storage needs are, you can now commence the process of creating zones in your pantry. This involves grouping similar items together to make it easier to find what you need. Imagine having a dedicated space for all your baking ingredients, another for canned goods, and yet another for snacks. How much easier would that make your meal prep or your kids’ school lunches?

Start by grouping similar items together:

  • All your pastas and sauces in one zone

  • Spreads in another

  • Breakfast items in yet another

  • A dedicated zone for snacks, making it easy for the kids to find their after-school treats

The goal is to create a system where you can easily find what you need without having to rummage through your entire pantry.

Prioritize Accessibility

Having evaluated your needs and designated zones in your pantry, the subsequent step involves prioritizing accessibility. This simply means arranging your pantry in such a way that the items you use most frequently are within easy reach.

Consider using a Lazy Susan for items that might get lost in the back of the shelf, wire shelves for better visibility, or clear bins for odd-shaped items that don’t stack well. The goal here is to make it as easy as possible to find and grab the items you need. After all, what good is an organized pantry if you can’t find what you’re looking for?

Rotating and Restocking

Checking expiration dates in a pantry

With an organization system in place, maintaining it becomes paramount. Here’s where the idea of rotating and restocking plays its part. By regularly rotating your pantry items and shopping your pantry before you hit the grocery store, you can keep your pantry organized and prevent food waste.

The process of rotating and restocking involves moving older items to the front and adding new items in the back. This is known as the FIFO (First In, First Out) method. This not only helps maintain the freshness of your pantry items but also prevents them from getting lost in the back of the pantry.

However, rotating and restocking your pantry is more than just rearranging. It also includes regular checks of expiration dates and ‘shopping’ your pantry before making a trip to the grocery store. Let’s unpack these concepts further.

Check Expiration Dates

Regularly checking expiration dates is a critical aspect of upkeeping an organized pantry. It ensures that your pantry items remain fresh and prevents unnecessary disposal of items that may have been forgotten at the back of the pantry.

Regularly checking expiration dates also reduces the risk of food waste. By knowing exactly when an item expires, you can plan your meals in such a way that you use up items before they expire. Remember, an organized pantry is not just about looking nice – it’s about being efficient and reducing waste too!

Shop Your Pantry First

Before setting out for the grocery store, it’s beneficial to ‘shop’ your pantry first. This simply means taking inventory of what you already have and planning your meals around those items. By doing this, you can avoid overbuying items you already have and reduce food waste.

Think about it – how many times have you bought a can of beans, only to come home and realize you already had three cans sitting in your pantry? By shopping your pantry first, you can prevent this from happening and keep your pantry clutter-free.

Restock with Purpose

Restocking your pantry is not just about filling empty spaces. It’s about replenishing your pantry with purpose. This means buying only what you need and organizing new items as you put them away.

When you restock with purpose, you’re not just maintaining the organization of your pantry – you’re improving it. You’re ensuring that every item has its place, and that your pantry remains a space of efficiency and order.

Maintaining Order: Storage Solutions

Using clear containers for pantry organization

Upholding order in your pantry is an ongoing task. Although a clear organization system is fundamental, the right storage solutions can significantly simplify the task. From clear containers that let you see exactly what’s inside, to shelf risers that maximize vertical space, the right storage solutions can make a big difference in maintaining an organized pantry.

However, the selection of apt storage solutions is not solely about functionality, but also about what suits your individual needs. Some people may prefer glass jars for their aesthetic appeal, while others may prefer plastic bins for their durability and ease of use. The key is to find storage solutions that meet your specific needs and preferences.

Let’s examine some of these storage solutions more closely to understand how they can contribute to maintaining an orderly pantry.

Use Clear Containers

Clear containers are a popular choice for pantry organization – and for good reason. They allow you to see exactly what’s inside and how much you have left. This not only makes it easier to find what you need but also helps you keep track of what needs replenishing.

You can use clear containers for almost anything in your pantry, from flour and sugar to pasta and rice. Just remember to check the size of your shelves before you buy the containers. You want to make sure they fit comfortably on your shelves and that they’re easy to grab and use.

Maximize Vertical Space

If you’re working with a small pantry, maximizing vertical space can be a game-changer. Here are some tips to help you make the most of every inch of your pantry:

  • Use shelf risers to create additional storage space.

  • Stack items like cans and jars to make use of vertical space.

  • Consider adding additional shelving to maximize storage capacity.

Think of your pantry shelves as a high-rise building. Each shelf is a floor, and each floor can be used to its fullest potential. With a little creativity and the right storage solutions, you can maximize your shelf space and turn your small pantry into a high-rise of efficiency.

Organize Small Appliances

Small appliances can be tricky to store. They’re often bulky and take up a lot of space. But with a little planning and some clever storage solutions, you can store small appliances organized and accessible.

Consider creating a dedicated space for your small appliances, such as a shelf or a cabinet. You can also use baskets or bins to corral smaller items like toasters or blenders. The key is to keep your small appliances in a place where they’re easy to access but out of the way when not in use, maximizing your cabinet space.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Scheduling regular cleanings for a well-maintained pantry

An organized pantry isn’t a one-off project but rather a space you upkeep and refine over time. This involves regular cleanings, adjusting your system as needed, and investing in quality storage solutions.

Cleaning your pantry might not be the most exciting task, but it’s essential for maintaining an organized and efficient space. And with a few tips and tricks, it can be easier than you think.

Let’s explore some cleaning and maintenance strategies that will assist in keeping your pantry in prime condition.

Schedule Regular Cleanings

Just like any other part of your home, your pantry needs regular cleanings. This not only keeps your pantry looking nice, but it also helps prevent food waste and keeps pests at bay.

How often should you clean your pantry? Ideally, you should schedule a deep cleaning every six months. But a quick clean-out every month can help you keep on top of any issues and make your bi-annual clean-out much easier.

Adjust as Needed

Your pantry is a dynamic space. As your needs change, so should your pantry. Maybe you’ve started baking more and need a dedicated baking zone. Or perhaps you’ve started buying in bulk and need more space for storage.

Remember, an organized pantry is not a static thing. It’s something that changes and evolves with you. So don’t be afraid to adjust your system as needed. Your pantry should work for you, not the other way around.

Invest in Quality Storage Solutions

Investing in quality storage solutions, such as food storage containers, can make all the difference in maintaining an organized pantry. Quality storage containers will last longer, perform better, and often look nicer than their cheaper counterparts.

But investing in quality doesn’t always mean spending a lot of money. You can find quality storage solutions at various price points. The key is to choose items that are durable, functional, and easy to clean.

Personalizing Your Pantry

Adding labels to pantry storage containers

Your pantry is more than a storage space for food; it’s an integral part of your home, mirroring your lifestyle and personal preferences. And just like any other part of your home, your pantry can and should be personalized to reflect who you are.

From adding labels to incorporating decor, there are many ways to personalize your pantry. Let’s investigate a few of these methods.

Add Labels

Labels are not just functional – they can also add a personal touch to your pantry. You can use a label maker to create clear, easy-to-read labels, or you can get creative with chalkboard labels or custom stickers.

However you choose to label your pantry items, make sure it’s in a way that works for you. Whether that’s labels with big, bold letters or small, elegant script is entirely up to you.

Incorporate Decor

Who says pantries have to be boring? Adding decor to your pantry can make it a more enjoyable space to be in. Consider adding a splash of color with some wallpaper, or adding some decorative containers for a touch of elegance.

Even something as simple as a pretty contact paper can add a personal touch to your pantry.

Think Outside the Box

Lastly, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your pantry. From repurposing cereal boxes to using modular shelving, there are many unique storage solutions that can help you create a pantry that’s truly your own.

Remember, your pantry is not just a place to store food. It’s a reflection of your lifestyle and personal taste. So make it yours. Create a pantry that not only serves its function but also brings you joy through its pantry door.

Organizing your pantry may seem like a daunting task, but with the right plan and a bit of effort, it’s an achievable goal. By assessing your needs, creating zones, and prioritizing accessibility, you can build a pantry organization system that works for you. Regular rotations, checks for expiration dates, and purposeful restocking will ensure your pantry stays organized. And with quality storage solutions, regular cleaning, and a touch of personalization, your pantry can be more than just a storage space – it can be a reflection of your lifestyle and personal taste.

So why not take the first step today? Start assessing your needs, create those zones, and see how a well-organized pantry can transform your culinary experience. Remember, a well-organized pantry is not just about aesthetics – it’s about creating a functional space that saves you time, reduces waste, and makes cooking a more enjoyable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Simple is better.

In what order should a pantry be organized?

Organize your pantry by starting with the middle shelves for items used daily, followed by bottom shelves and finishing up with top shelves.

How do you professionally organize a pantry?

Categorize items, declutter regularly, bring soon-to-expire foods to the forefront, use shelf risers and vertical door space, and use containers that better fit the space for a professional pantry organization.

How does Marie Kondo organize the pantry?

When organizing a pantry, Marie Kondo recommends sorting items into categories, such as seasonings, canned goods, and dried carbohydrates, storing them in an upright position for easy visibility. For an even tidier look, decant dry goods into canisters.

How often should I clean my pantry?

It's recommended to give your pantry a deep cleaning every six months, and a quick clean-out each month.

What materials should I consider when investing in quality pantry storage solutions?

When investing in quality pantry storage solutions, consider materials such as glass, plastic, and wood.

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Keli Jakel

Having walked through many challenging transitions herself, Keli knows well the value of being able to find order in a season that feels chaotic. With a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Keli spent her early years working in the field of education. It was her passion for serving others and her ability to see patterns where others can’t that inspired her to launch Organized by Keli & Co. Since then, she’s dedicated her career to helping people reach their potential in spaces they love.

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Keli & Co provides move management and professional home organizing services in Denver, Co.