Pantry Organizing Tips!
Measure. You will need to know the height, width and depth of all openings in order to find the right product. Finding the right product is important because you not only want the product you purchase to fit correctly, but you really want to be able to maximize the use of your space.
Tips on measuring: When measuring the opening note any lips or angles that would affect the size of the container. Also, take into account any hinges or raised surfaces. If there is anything blocking where you will be pulling your items from, this might sway you to put something there that won't get caught or stuck as you go to use it.
Decide what types of products you want to use and buy them. Take into account your budget while looking for the right size product for your panty. If you would like a Pinterest Perfect Pantry then we recommend deciding on a color scheme and being consistent with the product you purchase. We typically like to use a combination of 3 types of containers. Something with a fun texture to add some personality, a clear option, and a solid color (even if the color is white). If you decide you want to label your containers, make sure you find something that will coordinate with all the containers you choose. When you are planning what products to get, here are a few things to take into account:
What kind of food do you keep in your pantry normally?
Do you have baking items in the pantry or somewhere else in the kitchen?
Do you want to take everything out of the original packaging or use baskets/bins for the most part?
Do you have anything in your pantry besides food? (We recommend having nothing but food in your pantry whenever possible.)
Do you have a lot of cans or a lot of snacks?
If you have a deep pantry like 20-24 inches, consider looking for bins/baskets that are 10-12 deep so you can go two containers deep on some shelves. There are very few options at 20+ inches deep for baskets. 16 inches or less is pretty standard and you will find those most often. The goal is that you don’t lose anything in the back. Lastly, if you are working with a small pantry and need more room, consider wall or door mounted organizers for smaller items.
Take everything out of your pantry and wipe it down. Important! As you are removing the food, sort it into “like items”. This will create your different categories. For example, put all the cereal and breakfast items together and all the snacks together. Once everything is out of the panty, this is when you can implement the design of how your pantry will look. Start by putting the can storage product where you want the cans, bins and baskets where you want snacks and so on. You want to create zones. Examples of zones can be breakfast, dinner, snacks, cans, condiments, etc. You will want to put the food items you access most often at the easiest to reach parts of your pantry. Doing this will create a type of rough draft of how your pantry will look and function once the food is inside.
Putting your food back in. Where do you start? We usually start with the easy stuff. Snacks on the snack shelf or shelves, cans on the can storage, and condiments in one section. Don’t stress if things don’t fit the way you laid it out and you have to change it. You are now working toward the final draft and are absolutely allowed to make changes. Remember to prioritize easiest to access space with what you use most. Store things you don’t use often on the higher or more difficult to access shelves. Store heavy items lower. Take things out of packaging to save room whenever possible. Consider standing snacks vertically instead of horizontally for easy access and to fit more into the container. Try to avoid storing potatoes near onions and garlic. Also, avoid storing flour or bread near strong smelling items, as they tend to absorb odors.
Labeling. This is important to help you keep your pantry organized even if you are using clear bins. You can be as general or specific as you want. It's your pantry! You want the label to make sense to you and anyone else going in the pantry. It will help you to be able to locate items quickly and to put things away. You can create specific labels like “fruit snacks” or “chips”. If you are often changing the items you buy, you can be more general by labeling it something “snacks”. Label makers will typically make 1 inch labels or smaller. If you want bigger labels with a design feel you can use a cricut (vinyl lettering) to make whatever size and color you want.
For storing spices, baking, medicines/supplements, or other things in cabinets make sure you do step #1 and measure taking into account and lips in the back on the bottom shelving and hinges. Make sure you get bins or baskets that use as much of the depth/width/height as possible.
- Bins and/or Baskets for dinner items such as pastas, soups, rice, etc.
- Lazy Susans for condiments, sauces or any items in bottles
- Expand a Shelf (tiered riser) for cans and spices
- Clear bins or stackable containers for snacks
- If you prefer to remove items from packaging, large clear cereal dispenser for cereals
- Good Grips OXO pop top containers for Baking
16 inch deep mdesign clear bins are one of our favorites for all kinds of food options.