A well-organized pantry can make it easy for you and your family to find what you want and can help avoid wasting food. You should create an organizational system that works for you based on the size and design of your pantry as well as the foods and other items you want to store in it. Here are some general ideas to get you started.
Create a Game Plan
Before you start organizing your pantry, think about what you want to store in it and problems you currently have, such as not being able to find certain foods or having things spill. Then, brainstorm ways that you could arrange items and use containers to save space and make food easily accessible.
If you have large items or small appliances that you want to store in the pantry, first think about where to put those and then organize the rest of your pantry around them. You may need to get creative to figure out how to fit everything.
Choose Appropriate Containers
Putting dry goods such as flour and rice in glass decanters or plastic storage bins can protect them from insects and mice. Depending on the layout of your pantry, you might find that glass jars would work better, or you might decide to go with tall and narrow plastic containers or stackable flat ones. Whatever type of containers you decide to use, label them with the date you bought each product or its expiration date.
Baskets can help you organize pantry items in categories. Pull-out drawers can make it easy to find items that might otherwise get pushed around and lost in the back, such as jars of spices. If two shelves meet at a right angle, a Lazy Susan can help you avoid having things get lost in the corner.
For some items, it may be helpful to borrow storage ideas from other parts of your home. For example, you might find that a shower caddy or a shoe organizer is the perfect way to take advantage of space in a corner or on a door, to make commonly used items easily accessible and to prevent them from spilling.
How to Avoid Wasting Food
When you buy more of something, put it behind what you already have so older foods will get used up first. That can help you avoid having to throw away food because it has expired.
Some foods should not be stored near each other in a pantry. For instance, you should keep potatoes away from onions and garlic to prevent premature spoiling. Don’t store flour near anything with a strong smell, as the flour could absorb the odor.
Think of Organizing Your Pantry as a Work in Progress
You probably store a wide variety of foods and other items in your pantry, and figuring out the best way to organize them may take some time. These suggestions can help you get started, but you might come up with other ideas later and decide to make some changes.