We are in our pantries more than ever right now! Meals are shared times that bring us comfort and hope during stressful times. Emergency preparation has us supplying our pantry so that we are prepared to eat at home while we work at home. The combination of both access and extensive supply can be a challenge for us. Here are 7 tips for getting organized and making meals happen in your home.
Pull it all out and expect chaos
The first step of all organizing is decluttering and categorizing. Start this step with lots of counter space available. Even the most organized cook has items that are past expiration dates. Check dates and let go of items that you feel are past the prime. This first step may feel chaotic and overwhelmed, however push through to clear the pantry and wipe the shelves clean.
Categorize and group items together by use
Think of your grocery store and how items are grouped together. Use this to group items together for your pantry. You can also create useful zones which apply to your family, such as the breakfast zone, beverage zone, and snack zone. You can group as you empty your pantry too.
Think about auxiliary locations
Most of us have added a substantial amount of additional products to last through the time we are at home. Locate auxiliary storage in an adjacent closet, in a nearby laundry room, or near the door in your garage. Before you return items to your pantry, think about where you would store which items.
- Store items used frequently in your kitchen pantry.
- Store back up items in your adjacent closet.
- Group items used together (speghetti, sauce) in the pantry or adjacent closet.
- Adjust shelves or add additional organizing products to add space.
- Add storage to your door.
Place items by use in your pantry
The best organizing advice has to do with placing items by function. Place what you use most frequently at eye level. For your kids, place snacks at their eye levels. Heavy items go on the bottom of your pantry and be sure to keep entry clear for access. Use the top shelf for overflow items.
Use organizing products for access
Here are some favorite bins for organizing your pantry.
- Baskets and labels for snacks and condiments
- Plastic bins of various sizes to consolidate pasta and floppy containers
- Clear plastic bins for various uses
Use labeling to be sure your pantry stays organized
My favorite labels are simple with black lettering and white background. A Brother P Touch labeler is what I use. There are tons of fun options on Pinterest. I label both the bins and the shelves. Its easy for everyone to put away groceries and help!
Keep your extra supplies organized
In your new auxiliary space, organize just like your pantry. Be sure to use a list posted in the auxiliary space to be sure you keep on top of inventory. Use vertical space wisely to maximize the access and space as well. For the freezer, you a magnetic dry erase board to list what is located there. Group items by shelf or use a plastic bin in the deep freeze. Categories in your freezer include veggies,
Have fun with getting your pantry and extra stock organized. Organizing is a team sport! Your family can join in sorting and categorizing. One family member will love to help you with labels. Organizing is a skill like all others your kids are learning at home schooling. Take this to the next step with sharing meal preparation and kitchen clean up too. If you are on your own, pull up your organizing playlist for fun.
More pantry organizing here!