Whether you have a spacious pantry or a small space, organizing it really makes sense. An effective and efficient pantry means you’ll spend less time looking for ingredients and as an added bonus, you will know when you’re almost out of a staple so you can make sure you never run out. The following tips will help you organize your pantry for quick and easy meal preparation.
Zones create a space for everything. You might place lesser used items on the highest shelf and the often used items at eye level. Heavy bags of flour, potatoes, and rice can sit on the floor of the pantry. Keep canned soups, canned vegetables, and pastas in separate sections. Creating zones in your panty is a simple and effective means of organizing your pantry. You can help others follow your system by labeling each zone. For example, place a label that says, “Cereal” under or over the cereal section in your pantry.
Storage containers take the zone concept to a new level. They help keep smaller items together and give your pantry a cohesive look. And when you’re going to be using more than one item from a zone, you can simply remove the storage container and set it on the counter. For example, you might store your garlic and onions in a lined bin or basket.
Clear storage containers are useful for items like beans and pastas as well. You can see what’s inside without having to open the container.
Space Saving Systems
If you’re tight for space consider investing in tiered systems. For example, there are tiered shelves designed to store canned foods. The tiered system ensures you can see the label on each can. It can help keep your pantry neat and organized. Another useful tool is the pantry door rack. If you have a swinging door on your pantry, a door rack provides additional space for spices, canned food, and condiments.
Organize by Meal Type or Day of the Week
Another way to approach pantry organization is to create a shelf dedicated to your week’s meals. Label each bin or container with the day of the week. Place the ingredients for that meal into the storage container. For example, if you’re making spaghetti on Monday your bin might include pasta, canned tomato sauce, garlic cloves and onions in it.
You can also organize by meal type. For example, breakfast items may be placed in a container or basket labeled accordingly.
Store Utensils and Appliances
Finally, consider installing a hanging rack where you can store all of your frequently used cooking utensils. You can also store your frequently used appliances, like your food processor, in your pantry. This saves time digging around in drawers and cupboards trying to find the right tool for the job.
Find a system that works well for your personal needs and meal preparation style. Some people prefer to organize by type, others by purpose or meal. Choose a method that works for you and be sure to follow through. You’ll always be able to find what you need, when you need it.