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How to Organize Your Kitchen Pantry

During the summer we had to move into a new house and while packing I had to clean out my black hole, the kitchen pantry. There were things in there I don’t even remember buying. There were three Tarragon Leaf spice jars and I don’t think anyone needs that much Tarragon. I found more flour then I know what to do with and way too many expired marinades and glazes.

The pantry is probably the fastest space to go awry. Once that first box is on the wrong shelf, new boxes will follow. And it’s exhausting to maintain. After strolling the isles, battling the checkout line, loading and unloading groceries, we are just too tired to put things away. So things just get shoved anywhere on the shelf.

I’m tired of the disorder so I asked Closet Factory Washington DC how to organize my cabinets and pantry, so I can plan that last-minute dinner or pack school lunches in a flash. Here are seven tips to keep your pantry organized.

  • Group like things together. This can either be all your pastas, rice and grain in one spot or even keeping all the ingredients necessary for your favorite, most often cooked meals in one place. You will know which system will work for you.
  • Spices should be kept in alphabetical order. That’s how you find them at the store and that’s how you should find them at home. I know it sounds anal, but it does work. It makes finding things easier!
  • Spices should never be purchased in large amounts. After 6 months they usually lose their potency. If it is not fragrant nor is it going to do what you want. Take advantage of the really small jars for those once a year spices. Big jars are cheaper per ounce but not when you start throwing old spices away.
  • Keep a pad and pen in your pantry. Use this to jot down anything you notice that’s getting low. When you are ready to go to the store, grab this list so you don’t have to rummage thru your pantry again. This list will be the start of your grocery list.
  • Take 10-15 minutes each month and look through your pantry. Take inventory and toss out any out dated items. General rule:  If you can’t remember buying it, toss it… it’s probably too old anyway.
  • Arrange items by date. Recently purchased items should get sent to the back and older items should be moved to the front. This guarantees that you are eating the older products first.
  • You can also purchase plastic lazy susans or “step” shelves from places like to help you find things more easily.

Keeping your pantry organized will save you time in the kitchen. Take a few minutes to put things away when you get home from the grocery store and encourage families member to put things back in their place.

Pantry’s range in size and shape they can take up a single cabinet or an entire room. In our last house we had a small but deep pantry; in this house we don’t have one at all so it’s been a challenge trying to find space to store spices and dry goods. If you are frustrated with your space and struggling with ways to organize it, Closet Factory can help you design a pantry that fits your personal style.

What things do you do to maintain order in your pantry?

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