Written by Lisa Salem
Have you ever grudgingly repurchased a bag of flour or a can of condensed milk for your pantry because you just couldn’t find it anywhere, but you know it’s in there… somewhere? My guess is a lot of you will answer yes to this question. In this article, I will discuss some of the benefits of having a well-organized pantry, such as being able to quickly find what you already have, which will save you precious time and money. With food inflation on the rise due to the pandemic, every penny saved in your pantry is a penny earned!
Disorganization and mess in the kitchen lead to distracting visual clutter, as these items likely end up getting piled back into your pantry in a giant mess of disheveled spices, cans, and other pantry staples. When cooking dinner and you can’t find the flour in a pinch, valuable time is wasted having to sift through shelf after shelf to find it. The value of your time is just one of the reasons why having a proper organization system setup in your pantry can be beneficial.
Here are five helpful tips to help you create and maintain an organized pantry:
- Sort your products into similar categories: soups, dry goods, cereals, sweets, etc. and use bins, tiered shelves, Lazy Susans, canisters, etc. to neatly contain and organize these items. Label the contents of the bins if they are not translucent.
- After each use, immediately return items back to where they belong (your kids may have to practice this a few times before it becomes automatic for them).
- Go through your pantry often and discard expired food, spices, etc. to free up valuable space.
- Before you go grocery shopping, create a grocery list and go through your pantry to see if you already have the items you plan to purchase to avoid ending up with multiples.
- If you have extra space elsewhere in your home (like your basement), store large, bulky products there (bags of rice, etc.), and fill up smaller containers with these products for use in the pantry instead. Then all you need to do is refill the containers in your pantry when running low. Backstock of similar items can also be stored away from your pantry, if space permits.
An organized pantry has many benefits. Here are five:
- Obtain inner/outer pantry peace. A well-organized pantry is calming and aesthetically pleasing. Clutter is known to be distracting, which can result in a decrease of focus and productivity levels.
- Save precious time and money by not having to constantly search for or repurchase pantry items.
- Ups the creativity. The ability to be able to clearly see what you have on hand may inspire you to cook and/or bake more for your family as well as get more creative with your recipes! A pinch of an extra spice you easily found in your pantry can up the flavor of any recipe. Creativity in the kitchen may also result in eating out less, too (your wallet will thank you!).
- Meal planning is easy. Grouping specific items together for a meal is easier when you have an organized pantry. For example, create and label different bins to store your favorite dishes and their corresponding items in, such as pasta and sauce for Meatless Monday and taco shells and spices for Taco Tuesday! If someone in your family has dietary restrictions, having a customized bin or area to store their specific products in can help to ensure their items are always easy to locate and don’t end up in the wrong hands.
- Creating an organized pantry is a great way to teach your children good habits at a young age! As a parent of two kids who love to help me around the house, I like to get them involved by having them put away groceries on the pantry shelves they can reach, which promotes independence. The key is to make organizing fun for kids! Have your kids help you create a snack zone or customized bin to store their favorite treats in (keep the bins out of reach of younger ones to prevent them from being easily accessible) or put together a fun family movie night bin the kids can easily pull off the pantry shelf come showtime! Fill the bin with your family’s favs, like popcorn, chips, and sweets!
Move over, spring cleaning! A bitterly cold winter day in Calgary is the perfect time to stay warm, get busy, and organize the family pantry. Afterward, reward yourself with a hot cup of cocoa from the tin of hot chocolate powder you found shoved in the back of a pantry shelf…
Lisa is a mom of two and a Trained Professional Organizer. She is the owner of Light at The End of The Clutter Professional Organizing Services. For more information, visit her Instagram, Light at The End of The Clutter, or her website, lightattheendoftheclutter.com.