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How to Organize Your Pantry in Five Steps

Why is it that pantries, in particular, are notorious for being the most overstocked area of a home? It may be because they’re used so often and cleaned so little. We also tend to forget about items once they’re moved or pushed out of sight. Whatever the reason, organizing a pantry is easy. All it takes is identifying all the usable items and optimizing the space for those items. Check out these tips, and prepare to revamp your pantry today.

1. Take inventory.

It may seem simple, but organizing your pantry begins with finding out what’s in your pantry. That includes removing everything from it and giving the shelves a good wipe down. Then, sort through the contents, toss out the items that have expired or are past their shelf life and take inventory of what’s left, so you know all the ingredients and nonperishables you have on hand. Take note of duplicate and low-stock items to help you stay organized in the future.  

2. Gather your vessels.

One important piece of advice: Get pantry organizers. Keep your pantry de-cluttered by putting everything in containers and labeling them, so you know what’s within reach. Shallow baskets and Tupperware work well, but if you’re looking for specific storage solutions for spices, canned goods, lids, and more, the following resources provide helpful recommendations.

3. Put similar items together.

Birds of a feather—or in this case, spices—flock together. Store similar-use items, like oils, spices, canned goods, and condiments, in the same place. Corralling these items streamlines the cooking experience and prevents them from getting lost. We love using tools like Lazy Susan turntables and tiered shelves to create a practical and aesthetically pleasing solution.

4. Consider bulk storage.

Do you buy bag after bag of almonds or multiple bottles of olive oil and only get halfway through them? Consider investing in bulk jars or bins so that you can not only keep your nonperishables for longer, but also save a little space in your cupboards (and avoid wasting so much plastic in the long run). Check out this post for the best bins and containers for bulk pantry storage.

5. Think about placement.

The location of items in your pantry is more important than you might think. Always store your frequently used items at eye level in a place that’s easily accessible. Keep soon-to-expire ingredients front and center as a reminder to use them before they go bad. And lastly, make sure to store electric kettles or other utensils and appliances that have nowhere else to go away from your food items. This way, you won’t get stuck performing a complicated maneuver every time you need to use them.