Since having a system for my pantry organization, it became much easier to find items, to know when to restock, and also to avoid going past expiration dates. Being a mom, I know quiet well, that sometimes life takes over, leaving little time for organizing. So, here are some quick and simple tips to help you ease the process.
#1 - Designate cabinet space for specific items.
Keep similar food items together—e.g., cooking oils together, all spices in the same spot, pastas in one place, pasta sauces close by, and canned foods together. Furthermore, think about your daily routine and designate specific storage areas for them. Some examples are: a coffee or tea station, a cereal shelf, or an exercise fuel bin.
Doing this will not only make finding things much easier, you'll also know when it's time to restock your pantry with certain food items. Turn food labels outward for a quick inventory check. I love how easy it is to see, what I need to buy when writing my grocery list.
#2 - Use a variety of containers
Besides shelving space, it's good to have some baskets, ideally wire baskets that let you see what’s inside. Clear bins or jars are also great for smaller items, e.g. a snack bin. If you have the space, drawers will help keep items organized very well. In my kitchen, you'll find one drawer dedicated to healthy snacks, so my kids know exactly where to look. We have another drawer to store a variety of teas, and a smaller one for sweets. Yes, I admit it, we all love chocolate.
#3 Create a "First in, First out" system
Wouldn't it be nice to have no items in your pantry that are past their expiration date? Use this simple trick to stay ahead of the game. The items that you may have multiples of like chicken broth, canned foods, or boxes of cereal, should be stored in a way that the older item gets used first. Move the items you bought first to the front when you restock with recently purchased items, just like what they do in the grocery store.
#4 Label containers
Label bins, containers and shelves so every member of your household knows where items are located. Use a label maker for quick labeling or chalkboard labels so you can easily change the writing.
#5 A well-organized pantry means less work for parents.
No matter if you have smaller children or teenagers, be sure to store healthy snacks on a shelf that they can easily find and access. When they ask you for a snack, you can simply tell them to check the pantry themselves—a much better alternative than having to go to the pantry, report the contents, repeat it all, and retrieve a snack for them. My teenagers know exactly where to look for crackers, cereal bars, or any snack they might like since they're always in the same place. Makes my life much easier!
I hope you'll find these five tips helpful and that they'll make your life a little bit easier as well.