Seven basic supply groupings for a better-organized pantry…
Creating zones in your pantry is quite simply the practice of grouping like items together and then assigning them to a specific area within the overall space. Zoning is an excellent way to organize and maintain a clean functional pantry.
Paying close attention to how you zone your pantry will ensure that you have quick access to the items you reach for the most. What that means is that you should never have to move a 5-lb. bag of rice out of the way every time you want a bowl of cereal!
Implementing a zoning system in your pantry will also help you keep track of the freshness of your food and keep closer tabs on your overall inventory.
Here are our suggestions for zoning success:
Zone 1: Non-essentials
Store lesser-eaten foods in remoter areas such as top shelves or back corners. Save the accessible areas for everything else.
Zone 2: Dry Ingredients
Place dry ingredients like beans, rice, pasta, flour and oats in clear air-tight containers. This practice keeps them fresh and pest-free, and also lets you see just how much you have left of an ingredient.
Zone 3: Canned Goods
For safety and accessibility, store canned goods within arm’s reach if possible, or even lower. Use a space organizer or install a wire shelf to maximize space. Never stack cans too high.
Zone 4: Quick Meals
Place easy breakfast, lunch and dinner meals at eye level. These are usually the most commonly used items such as cereal and meal helpers so you want to make sure they are easy to see and reach.
Zone 5: Liquids
Oils, vinegars and any non-refrigerated sauces or condiments should be placed as low as possible on a spill-proof mat.
Zone 6: Herbs and Spices
As long as your pantry remains cool and dry, spices can go just about anywhere. Just be certain to place them in an area where they’re easy to reach. A spice rack placed on the back of the pantry door is a popular option.
Zone 7: Special Foods
Does someone in your home have allergies? Is someone in need of gluten- and wheat-free meals? Perhaps you have a baby who you’re feeding powdered formula, or baby food in jars. Consider designating an area in the pantry specifically for those special needs.
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