Hi, Susan here from Organized 31. With summer here and the kiddos at home, keeping things organized is a priority. Reorganizing my house and particularly my pantry has been my focus the past week or so. With an organized pantry, my kids can be more self-sufficient and I can find items more easily when I’m cooking dinner. Because we’re a military family and we never know when we’ll be moving again, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on buying organizing items. Let me share 5 tips, that work for me, for how to organize the pantry for free!
To start a pantry reorganization, take everything out of the pantry and group similar items together. Purge anything that’s past its expiration date or anything that your family isn’t going to eat (remember those crackers/chips/pasta/soup whatever that you bought but no one likes?). There’s no reason to keep it (no matter how much it cost) if no one’s going to eat it! 🙂
Now you’re ready to put things back in the pantry.
5 Tips for Organizing Your Pantry
#1 Put heavier items lower and lighter items on higher shelves
Put heavier things on lower shelves so they don’t fall on your head or feet when you get them down. Put lighter items on the upper shelves. You won’t have as much trouble lifting lighter items down from higher shelves.
#2 Put items where it makes sense for your family
Place items you don’t want your children to reach (harmful items like chemicals or tempting items like cookies) out of their reach or view. Place items you want your children to reach to encourage self-sufficiency and independence lower where they can easily reach them. Put items you use all the time in the front and at eye-level. Place items that your family seldom uses in the back or less accessible areas of the pantry.
#3 Put similar items together
Place similar items together on a shelf or in a bin. This will make it easier find items and easier for the kiddos to know where things go when they put them away. It will also help you when you make your shopping list because you can easily see how many of each item you have.
#4 Use re-purposed containers for storage
I reuse plastic jars that food came in to store snacks. I know that the containers are already considered food safe. I simply remove the labels and wash them well. Why would I purchase a similar container for food storage when I already have one that was just about to go into the recycle bin. Using clear containers helps family members because they can clearly see what snacks are in the pantry and helps you with your grocery list since you can easily see what you have (no guessing how much is box).
I also use recycled containers like this one that fresh mushrooms came in as a free organizing bin. Just take a look at boxes and containers before you throw them in the recycle bin and you’ll find many that you can use as free organizing bins.
#5 Reduce packaging clutter
For the items that I leave in the original packaging, I do what I can to reduce the excess packaging clutter. A perfect example is that as we eat chips or snacks that come in a bag, I trim the excess top of the bag. This keeps the snacks more neatly organized and makes it easy for me to see how much is really left in the bag.
These 5 organizing tips will help you organize your pantry quickly and won’t cost you anything! What are you waiting for?
Here are some more great kitchen organizing ideas from Organized 31: