A well-organized pantry can be a thing of beauty that truly lets you bask in the joy of cooking. Though a disorganized pantry can make meal prep and time in the kitchen feel like a frustrating chore. Whether you are a foodie, or you just want to get your pantry back in order and keep it organized, you might want to consider using some of the following food pantry organization hacks.
Clear Tote Bins
Plastic tote bins are perennially popular for organizing all manner of things. They are great for seasonal storage and keeping similar items grouped together. Today, advances in plastic production have made clear plastic totes a great option for keeping bulk pantry items in order. You can seal them away to help keep things like bulk flour, rice, and grains fresh.
Clear tote bins in the pantry can also make it easy for you to group similar items. Depending on how deep your pantry’s shelves are you can leave the top off the tote bin and simply pull it out like an improvised shelf. This can also be a great way to keep tall items like bottles of oil and vinegar from toppling over like bowling pins.
Lazy Susans In Deep Corners
Deep corners are the bane of many food pantries. Things get lost in the deep recesses, only to be seen again after their expiration date has passed. One convenient way to prevent this from happening is to place a lazy Susan on each deep shelf in all your critical corners. This lets you rotate the disk to easily access items that are lurking in the shadows at the back.
Use Shelf Labels & Inventory Whiteboard
Simple shelf labels will go a long way toward making sure that everything goes in its proper place. They are especially handy if you have other family members who occasionally put away the groceries. It might seem like a simple thing, but having dedicated shelves for canned goods, dry goods, and other non-perishable items will spare you having to search for things at the last second.
With some high-frequency items, like rice, flour, and canned vegetables, you might want to also keep a simple whiteboard to track how much there is left. This lets you see when it’s time to add something to your list, and keeps you from accidentally doubling up on too much of one thing while running out of another.
Wire Baskets For Lightweight Snacks
When you stop to think about it, there are a lot of popular family snacks that come in grab-and-go bags. This might include things like fruit snacks for the little ones, fun-size bags of chips for cold lunch bags, and trail mix pods for adult protein snacks. Though left to their own devices, these lightweight little bags can spread out into a heap of trouble.
Installing pull-out wire baskets under your shelves will go a long way toward helping keep these items grouped together and easy to grab. These wire baskets can be installed onto simple rail systems to let them pull out just like a drawer. They are a great way to make the most out of your vertical space.
Shelf dividers are a great way to make the most out of your horizontal space. They can also go a long way toward keeping similar items grouped together. This is a great way to make the most out of precious square inches in a somewhat smaller kitchen food pantry.
Adjustable Shelves & Half Shelves
Adjustable shelves can be an absolute godsend for making the most out of the vertical space on a pantry shelf. You can adjust sturdy metal brackets or simple dowel pegs to move shelves up and down to match the inventory. It’s a great way to make the most out of each shelf’s vertical potential. Especially when you change out seasonal items.
Even if your pantry doesn’t have, or won’t accommodate the hardware for adjustable shelves, you might be able to optimize the storage space with removable half shelves. Sometimes referred to as “Shelf Helpers” they have four or sometimes six small legs connected by a lightweight plastic or expanded wire shelf. This gives you more space to store short items below and tall items on the temporary shelf helper, without having to install any adjustable shelf hardware.
Overhead Hooks For Cooking Utensils
A lot of food pantries are also asked to play double duty for storing cookware. This includes things that don’t get a lot of daily use, like large pans and platters that can take up an enormous amount of shelf space. Installing heavy-duty overhead utility hooks makes it possible to hang these items up and out of the way. Then they are easy to find and grab when needed.
Drawer Dividers & Separators
There is a lot of gray area between a “Disorganized Drawer” and a “Junk Drawer.” Though one thing is for sure, neither one of them belongs in a well-organized food pantry. One of the best ways to prevent drawer chaos is to install adjustable drawer dividers. As the name implies, these are small metal, wood, or plastic pieces that lock into place to match the size of the items you need to keep organized. Then they can be easily repositioned to match the inventory changes later on.
If your food pantry is blessed with deeper drawers, you can install separators to help maximize their potential storage volume. This can be a great way to keep bottles of cooking wine, oils, and specialty kinds of vinegar from toppling each other like bowling pins.
Velcro For Small Spices & Seasonings
Buying spices and popular seasonings in bulk is a handy way to save money. Though a big container of cinnamon or a giant bulk of granulated garlic can be ungainly. One simple, inexpensive way to keep key spices on hand, is to store the bulk containers away, and put small amounts in little containers. You can then attach good old Velcro hook tabs on the container, and the partner loop on a wall or behind the pantry door. This saves shelf space and makes it easy to grab a small amount of the seasoning you want at a moment’s notice.
Pegboard For The Pantry
Peg board has evolved from the stuff your grandpa used to keep his hand tools and extension cords organized. The different attachments, hooks, and accessories can now be brought into the pantry to keep a staggering number of kitchen tools and lightweight items properly organized.
Step Up With A Step Ladder
A lot of food pantries offer floor-to-ceiling storage, which is great for holding an impressive volume of dry and non-perishable goods. Though it can be a real hassle to try to get items down from top shelves. Especially if a member of your family is vertically challenged.
Something as simple as a collapsible step stool or folding step ladder can make sure everyone in the family can get things down from the top shelf safely. Giving that step ladder a dedicated space or a spot to hang on a heavy-duty hook further helps keep it from becoming a tripping hazard when not in use.