3 tips for a perfectly organized pantry

A well-organized pantry allows you to maximize the space, keep your kitchen items organized and even makes grocery shopping and meal planning simpler.

3 tips for a perfectly organized pantry

A pantry is a useful feature in any kitchen, but it can easily become cluttered and disorganized. Make the most of your pantry, whether you have a few shelves or a walk-in space suitable for nonperishable food and more, by using smart organizational tools.

1. Organize similar items

The first step toward a better-organized pantry is deciding what items go where. Assign each shelf, or even a section of a shelf, to like items. Grouping similar items makes finding things easier and putting groceries away simpler. For example, one shelf can be dedicated to canned goods such as soups, broths and canned vegetables. Baking items, such as flour, sugar, chocolate chips and cornmeal can go on another shelf. Put nonperishable snacks together. If you have kids, consider putting snacks on a low shelf that is within their reach. Other items you can group together include breakfast foods (oatmeal, cereal and granola) and grains (pasta, rice and breads). Stick to this organization as you add more groceries to your pantry.

2. Use baskets and bins

Small items often fall to the back of the pantry and you end up throwing them out months later. Use baskets and bins to organize smaller items so they are always accessible. For added convenience, label bins so everyone in the family knows what goes where. Fill a basket with individual snack items such as granola bars, cereal bars and fruit snacks. Keep seasoning and gravy packets in a separate bin.

3. Supplement your shelving

If space is limited, maximize the pantry space you do have with supplemental shelving units. An over-the-door unit gives you more shelves where you can store lightweight items. A multi-tier can organizer prevents those cans from taking up an entire shelf; instead, the cans can be stacked on top of each other while remaining accessible. Explore reasonably priced supplemental shelving units to enhance your existing pantry space.

An organized pantry puts you one step closer to an organized kitchen. You won't waste precious time searching for items, the kids won't ask where the snacks are located and you'll reduce cooking prep time greatly. Spending just an hour or two organizing your pantry can save you many hours shuffling food around to find what you need.

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