Pantry Organization Tips

A pantry that is organized, where you can find everything and everything has a place, is key to any functional kitchen. Unfortunately, storage and space issues can make pantry organization difficult to achieve. Here are some tips to help you in your organization project.

Clear the Area and Plan the Space

First, remove everything. Emptying out what is already in your pantry space will give you a real idea of what you can store in there. Clean the space and paint or lay contact paper if desired.

Decide what you’re going to store in there. Is your pantry separate from your spice storage, or do you need to store both shelf stable herbs, spices and staples in the same space? Do you need to make room for any pots and pans?

Consider Adding On

When you know what you’re going to be storing in your pantry, determine how deep your shelves need to be. For storage of bags and small bottles, shallower shelves are better. If shelves are too deep, you can lose things in their depths, though deeper shelves are better for storing flat trays and pans.

Maximize the Space

Consider using pull out trays or vertical dividers if the depth of the shelves cannot be changed easily. Vertical dividers can be used for storing long flat pans, such as baking sheets, cooling racks and pizza pans. Pull out trays can be flat for storing countertop appliances like mixers, or they can look like bins to store things like onions or potatoes.

If space for herbs and spices is needed, small stair-like shelves can be placed on a shelf, to ensure that you can see the labels on each small jar. Other options for storing seasonings are pull out baskets or battery powered rotating spice racks, which can rotate and display the jars with the push of a button.

Organization is Key

A good rule of thumb for pantry storage is to determine what you use most often, and store them on the middle shelves, where they can be easily reached. Other items that are used more rarely but remain in a regular rotation can be stored on lower shelves. Finally, items that are used only one in a while can be placed on upper shelves. Make sure everything goes back in the same place, every time, so that it can easily be see items that need to be replenished.

Don’t Neglect the Door!

One storage area that is often neglected is the door of your pantry. There are many ways to utilize this space. Pegboard or screw in hooks can be installed to hang frying pans or sauce pans. Narrow wire baskets can be attached to store spices, cleaning supplies, or other necessary items. Another nice addition to this space is dispensers for paper towels, plastic wrap, or tin foil.

With a little planning and wise use of your available space, your pantry can become the most important and helpful area of your kitchen.

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