How to Organize a Pantry in 5 Easy Steps
Pantry open. Camera ready. Shoot!
Does this idea send shivers down your spine? Do you have bags of out-of-date jerky and stale crackers piled up behind those Mixed Berry RXBARs? Are you short on space and feeling like an organized kitchen is only for celebrities whose name begins with “K”?
We’ve got you! With minimal investment (think a few containers, labels, and handy little gadgets) you too can bring some organizational joy back to the most important space in the house.
Step 1: Take everything out of the cupboards
We know, we know… this can be a daunting task depending on how long it is since you did a spot of pantry reorganization, but trust us, you really don’t need that can of beans from 2015 taking up space.
- Toss what is no longer in date
- Donate to a food bank what is in date but you likely won’t eat before it expires
- Group like foods together (think pasta and pasta sauce)
Step 2: Get yourself some storage bins
You can go as bougie as you like on these, but some simple see-through bins or wire baskets will do the job perfectly. The key is to be able to pull out, say, that bin of pasta and pasta sauce that’s next to the bin of rice and noodles without having to blindly fumble through the cupboard or shelf.
- Try to maximize space by finding bins or containers that can sit side-by-side and even on top of each other
- Add a label to each bin that notes what’s inside for extra visibility and a “touch of Martha”
Step 3: Ditch the boxes
Yep, we’re even talking about your favorite RXBAR boxes here. You see, when it comes to pantry organization, boxes are not your friend. By taking your protein bars, dried fruit bites and more out of their boxes, you make it far easier to grab a nutritious snack on the fly.
- Remove your RXBARs (and similar snacks) from the box and group them in a container where you can see them. Whether you use a low plastic container or stand them vertically in a repurposed shoe box, the key is to make it as easy as possible to find and grab one when the munchies hit
- Repurpose the boxes! Wouldn’t that RXBAR box make a perfect first aid container in your car?
- Recycle what you don’t repurpose
Step 4: Make use of doors
If your pantry doesn’t have a lot of space but it does have a door, you’re in luck. Make that door work for you and buy yourself back some valuable real estate.
- If you’ve got a flat door without ridges, consider turning the inside of it into your very own blackboard. Whether you go with stick-on blackboard paper or spray it with blackboard paint, you can use it for recipes, grocery lists, cheesy jokes, and more.
- Invest in an over-the-door organizer. These nifty space-savers can hold all manner of pantry goods, from cans of beans to cleaning products.
Step 4: Don't forget the fridge
How many times a day do you open your fridge, stare inside, and decide there’s “nothing to eat”? We’re going to take a wild guess that it’s too many. Here are a few tips on organizing your fridge so it doesn’t get left behind during this newfound food organization mission.
- Understand the zones. The top shelf and door are the warmest zones while the middle and bottom shelves are cooler. That means meats and veggies lower down, while condiments will do just fine in the fridge door
- Create an “Eat-me-first” clear container. You never know, your family may actually do something you ask of them and chomp down on the soon-to-be-expired foods first… Maybe...
- Bins, bins, bins! What works in your pantry works in your fridge, and by adding in some clear bins you can sort “like” foods together and maximize on space by stacking them on top of each other.
While we could write an essay on this strangely satisfying topic, we figured these steps were a good launch point. If you want to go deep into the food organization rabbit hole, there is most definitely a Pinterest page for that!