For some reason, when a woman has a neat pantry, where she knows where everything is stored, everything else in life seems to fall into place. Here’s how to achieve that perfect pantry in a few easy steps.
Last month, we tackled the toys in this post, and as we learned, every space is different. You might have a big walk-in pantry and limited cabinets, or lots of cabinets and only a small closet. Whatever the space, the techniques below will work for you and get you excited every time you open that pantry door.
Again, we tapped the expertise of Raquel and Rachel at The Organizing Shoppe for their advice and tips on getting your pantry picture-perfect.
1 – Take everything out of the pantry and place it all on a surface that’s waist-high so you’re comfortable to get to work.
2 – Sort your products into categories. Often, pantries tend to get messy when you haven’t decided which specific categories of products belong in the pantry…so everything ends up there. Categories include pastas, beans and barley, baking ingredients, snack bags, cans, condiments, Shabbos nosh…you can even make specific categories that fit your family’s personality like sushi stuff or ice cream toppings.
3- Purge! While you’re sorting, throw out all the items that are either open, expired, or the ingredients you’re simply never going to use.
4- Assign a home. Decide where every category is going to live. Not everything might end up in your pantry. Ideally, if your kitchen has space, it’s best to have a “cooking center” with commonly used items like spices, oil, and cooking spray near your food prep area. It’s nice to keep all the baking supplies near where the mixer is stored, if your space allows.
5- This is the fun part…containerizing! Once you decide where each category will live, now you can decide what to containerize and which items can simply go into bins. This is where you should take your lifestyle into account. Yes, you can transfer all your ingredients into OXO containers and your pantry will look pretty. We don’t believe you need to transfer everything. It’s best to be practical and implement the system you’ll actually keep up with. If you have a large family and you’re a busy person, stick to the basics. Anything that gets stale or messy can go into a container. That includes things like cocoa, confectioners’ sugar, regular sugar, rice, and flour. All the OXO containers you would need for these items are available in the Baker’s Bundle and Fresh & Functional bundle. Transfer cereals into the containers available in our Breakfast in Bulk bundle.
Other items that are not going into individual containers can go into bins designated for their category. While you can organize a pantry for as little as$25 using low cost bins, often, when something looks beautiful, a homeowner is more motivated to keep it up.
Should I containerize my spices?
Only if you’ll keep up with it! Spices are beautiful and enjoyable to use when they’re stored in matching jars, such as these acrylic spice jars. But if you’re not going to transfer, stick to buying spices of the same brand, so that all of your spice jars are the same size and shape.
Once your pantry is organized, you’ll find things faster, prepare meals faster, and function so much more efficiently.