Pantries are a lot like closets. You’re rarely there for more than a minute or two, very few guests will ever see them, and perhaps because of those reasons, they seem to be the first place to fall apart.
But just like with closets, there’s no better feeling than a perfectly clean and organized pantry.
If you’ve been looking for a few tips on how to feel that great feeling yourself, you’ve come to the right place. Here is how to organize the perfect pantry.
Clean Up, Clean Up
This might be an obvious first step, but its importance can’t be overstated. To fully organize your space, you want to start with a blank slate.
First up: tossing out unused or expired goods. Right off the bat, you’ll likely find plenty of items taking up space that have long since expired. There’s absolutely no harm in tossing those particular items out, but don’t be afraid to take it a step further.
Most pantries have a habit of building up items that, while maybe not expired, are something you never actually use. Short of being overly wasteful, get rid of or donate what you’re able to.
Now, all that’s left are the useful items you’re glad to have around. Take all those out to a separate area, and head back in the pantry for a nice, thorough deep clean.
And there you have it: your blank slate.
Now that you have a sparkling, empty pantry, it’s time to start putting things back together. To do that, we recommend categories.
Whether it’s basic ingredients or types of food, using categories is absolutely critical to a well-organized and stress-free pantry.
Exactly how you accomplish this depends on your preference and what you have available. Some categories may require an entire shelf, and some much less than that. But when everything you have now – and anything you may buy in the future – has a home, there’s a much smaller chance your pantry will slip back into chaos.
Here are a few examples to get you started: canned goods, baking goods, snacks, spices, and dried goods.
Keeping at it
With the clutter gone and your categories established, ongoing maintenance won’t be a burden. However, it isn’t something to be ignored entirely.
As the days turn into weeks, and you go in and out of the pantry, take brief moments here and there to ensure everything is staying organized. Chances are, some items may need throwing out and some items may have landed in the wrong location.
If you keep an eye out, maintenance can be as simple as a few seconds every couple days, and not a few hours every six months.