1. First, decide where your pantry will be. Do you have a pantry already built into your kitchen? Could you dedicate a cupboard to your pantry? Or part of the coat closet? Some metal shelving in your furnace room? Under-bed bins in your bedroom?
2. Divide and conquer:
Start by getting several cardboard boxes. Label them with the following:
-Toss (for items past their expiration date)
-Donate (for unopened packaged goods that can be used by others)
-Oils & vinegars
-Canned goods (tomatoes, pumpkin, tuna, salmon etc.)
-Sauces & Broths
-Nuts & seeds
Empty out all of the contents of your pantry and cupboards into these boxes, sorting as you go.
Also take stock of what’s on your counter. Sometimes we get into the habit of storing things on our counters that we don’t actually use that often. Take stock of what’s there- tea? cereal? sugar? Could any of these things be put away in the pantry to clear up counter space?
3. Take away your Toss and Donate boxes and get down to the gritty business of creating homes for all your pantry items.
4. Give each category a home. Now that you have all of your similar items grouped together, you can see clearly how much space each one takes.
Small items can be grouped together in a bin, basket or other container. Larger items can be grouped together on the shelf. Heavy items should be placed on the bottom.
5. Be sure to label your bins and shelves with what category of items go there- that way family members can help put things away in the right spot.
Have you organized your pantry lately? What worked for you?
Other pantry posts to check out: