Since we have organized our wardrobes, decluttered closets and recently talked about dealing with sentimental items, I thought I would tackle the pantry next. I have outlined some of my tips below, but thought some of you visual people would like to look around my simple pantry. Bear with my on my first video as I am using this topic as a testing ground to enter the world of vlogging – still not sure, but in the name of being fearless - here goes nothing.
Below is a video tour of my pantry (refresh your browser if it is not visible).
Now that you have seen my pantry in all its simplicity I thought I would share some of my tips to setting up and maintaining an organised pantry. As you can see in my video it need not be fancy, colour coordinated or enormous to be effective. If you want to buy all matching canisters and containers or want to get fancier labels go right ahead, but do not let images of beautiful pantries hold you back from being organized. In my opinion the prettier the space the more stressed I would be trying to maintain that all the time.
Why take the time to set up and maintain an organised pantry?
By organising your pantry / food supplies you will know at a glance what you have in stock and avoid the issue of getting ready to prepare a dish only to find you are out of a key ingredient. This saves you last minute trips to the shops or disappointment as you scramble to make an alternative meal.
I use my pantry, fridge and freezer as I meal plan both in terms of seeing what ingredients need to be purchased that week and also what needs to be used up which influences what recipes get selected.
Effectively use your space
Store items in categories / zones – just like the rest of the home, focus on like-with -like.
Increase your storage capacity and make it easier to see things by using shelf risers and dividers where needed or possible.
While I don’t worry about everything matching in my pantry I do recommend buying multiples of the same containers for ease of stacking. As seen in the video I use the same containers for varieties of decanted pastas and rices. I don’t waste any space and they stack well.
Don’t ignore doors for added storage and organization depending on the depth of your pantry. In my case I used the doors for placing information and to do lists on Avery whiteboard stickers and cork tiles. Other options include adding shelves, baskets or hanging shoe bag sorters on the door.
Baskets and lazy Susan turntables can make access to groups of products easier. Grab a basket to take down and find what you want, sub sort categories into baskets, or use a turntable to make sure everything is visible as it is turned.
Decanting food into containers
If you decant items into containers and still need instructions (ie cous cous or a box mix of something) clip the instructions from the package and tape it to the container or place inside with the items.
As you use up some items you may want to take time to move remaining amounts to smaller containers to free up space in your pantry. This is not necessary, but can be important in homes with small storage spaces or for items that you don’t want to “top up” with new purchases. In my house I keep adding wrapped cereal bars to the container with the older bars, but might move nuts or something I won’t buy frequently to a smaller container every now and then.
What to do if you don’t have a traditional pantry in your home
Think outside the box when it comes to having a pantry. It does not have to be a big walk in closet in a kitchen. Any place you can find to store your most used items can be classed as a pantry. Think about cabinets, dressers, a buffet unit, a shelving unit in your garage. The key point is being able to organise items and have a steady supply of goods.
If you only have a few cupboards in your kitchen reserve them for the most used items like breakfast foods and key ingredients. If you rarely bake, store those items elsewhere. if you currently give p valuable real estate in your kitchen to appliances not often in use, move those items to a storage space and use the cupboard, closet or cabinet for what you will use regularly.
How do you maintain an organised space?
To maintain an organised pantry make it part of your weekly or monthly routines and just tidy it back up. It is normal in a busy household for there to be days when someone puts something back on the “wrong” shelf. The trick is to stop it descending into a free for all.
Make sure those accessing the pantry understand your organization methods – either verbally or through a label system (of the shelves / cabinets).
Do you have any tips or tricks to share on organising your pantry? Please share the knowledge in the comments.
Find your simple,
And since it is Tuesday I will be joining the gang at Jess’ place for I blog on Tuesdays. Come check it out and see what great new blogs await you.