It’s hard enough organizing a grocery list to go with the layout of your favorite supermarket, no matter how many times you’ve strolled its aisles. You’d think the hard work was done by the time you unload all of your bags from the car and into the kitchen, but no. The worst is yet to come.
That’s because you still have to consider where you’re going to put all of this new food. You can stuff, shuffle and slam as much as you want, but kitchen pantry organization requires more than a bit of elbow grease.
Don’t worry, though. We know how much of a pain it can be to organize your pantry and keep it that way for the long haul. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the following six organization tips that’ll make the final leg of your shopping trips way less horrible. We promise.
Buy Only What You Need
Do you know what’s going to make your pantry the least-organized version of itself? Having too much stuff to pack into it. Therefore, the number one trick to organizing your pantry is to buy only the stuff you need — no matter how good the sale is.
To make your life easier, find a spot on your pantry door or wall where you can put a hook. On that hook, hang a clipboard where you and your family members can write down the things you’re running low on if you trust them not to add junk food only. Then grab the clipboard and use the list as the outline for your next shopping trip. Filling in only what runs out? Now that is one genius way to ease the job of an organization.
Befriend the Basket
No matter how well they stack, your cans of veggies, sauce, and soup can get lost behind other cans of veggies, sauce, and soup.
By outfitting your pantry with pullout baskets, you’ll no longer have to peer through the stacks and squint to make sure you have the proper ingredients. Instead, you can pull out the drawers and sort through them easily.
The same goes for snacks, baking supplies, spices … just about anything that can fit inside of the baskets will be better organized once placed inside. You can even label the outside of your baskets so you know where to look for what you need.
Stay in the Clear
Some shelves lack the depth to hold functional storage baskets and bins. In this case, try transferring your food into clear plastic containers that fit compactly next to one another and make it obvious what you have and how much you have.
As an added bonus, these containers keep your snacks, baking supplies, and cereals fresher for longer since you won’t be leaving bags unclipped and open to stale air any longer.
Oh, and if you want to make your life even more convenient, add a little hook to the side of larger containers, hang a scooper on the side, and make morning bowls of cereal that much easier to build.
Find a Home for Your Shopping Bags
Sure, you can fill one bag with a bunch of other bags and leave it somewhere on the floor in your pantry. Or, you could take the 20 minutes needed to build this DIY sack, which not only holds the bags but dispenses them from the bottom whenever you need them again.
Oh, and the final project hangs easily on your wall or on the door of the pantry, so you can use your floor space for more food storage.
Stagger and Stack
Remember in the high school choir when your teacher would place you on the risers? It was generally understood that the tallest kids would stand at the back, the average-sized ones would be in the middle, and the shortest would take the front row. This would ensure all of you could see the conductor, and your parents could see you and snap horribly embarrassing photos they still like to whip out from time to time.
Now, you can use this concept to help you improve your kitchen pantry organization. All you need to do is build some simple risers to place on top of your pre-existing pantry shelves; voila, you can see everything, and it can see you. You can harmoniously combine the above tips — risers, baskets, and clear containers — and create a pantry that’s really working for you.
Go on a Roll
Finally, you can carve out a corner to house all of your non-food kitchen supplies, specific things on rolls:
- Aluminum foil
- Cling wrap
- Parchment paper
- Wax paper
Pick up a few upright magazine holders from your favorite office store and slide them onto the shelf. Then place the rolls inside in an upright position. You’re done in about 30 seconds and will be able to keep much better track of how much aluminum foil you have and where the heck the parchment paper has gone off to.
Now It’s Your Turn
These six tips are super simple and give you a great jumping-off point for your own foray into kitchen pantry organization. You might find DIY tips to fit your own pantry or come up with your own methods just by staring into the chip-bag-filled abyss.
No matter what, you’ll come out on the other side with a closet that works better for you and your family. There’s seriously nothing better than having one less source of stress, and you can quash that by organizing your pantry this weekend.