You may have already done some spring cleaning in your home, but if you missed the pantry, you’re missing a great opportunity to make your life easier and more organized. If your pantry has become a source of stress because you can’t find what you need–or are finding a little too much–when you need it, we’ve got you. Here’s how to organize a pantry in just a short amount of time, and trust us, you won’t believe what a difference it makes in your daily life!
Do a clean sweep
First thing’s first: Organizing your pantry starts with shelves that are clean and fresh, so you want to remove everything from the pantry and wipe down shelves using L’AVANT Collective Multipurpose Surface Cleaner. Take care to scrub away any marks on shelves, wipe down crumbs, and run a cloth or paper towel on the tops, bottoms, and backs of shelving units and doors. The light scent of this natural multipurpose cleaner will leave your pantry smelling like fresh linen without fear of dangerous chemicals coming in contact with the food you store in it.
Check expiration dates
After you’re wiped down your shelves, it’s time to take stock of the products you’ve pulled out of your pantry. Check expiration dates and toss anything that’s past its prime. Find a stash of canned beans or other items you bought during the early days of Covid-19 that you know you won’t use? Put them aside in a separate pile to donate to your local food pantry later. Any items that are down to their last few crumbs (hello, chips!) can be tossed here, too.
Group similar items together
Now that you’ve made sure your pantry items are still within their expiration dates, it’s time to group like items together. Snacks, pasta, beans, oils, vinegars: Pair similar items with one another to make it easy to organize them when you put them back in the pantry. Try not to skip this step in organizing your pantry, as it will make your life much easier–and neater– in the long run!
Make use of clear containers
When it comes to organizing your pantry, clear containers are your new best friend. While plastic containers are definitely kid-friendly, lightweight, and ubiquitous, we love repurposing glass mason jars, pasta sauce jars, and using our favorite stackable Pyrex containers whenever possible to cut back on plastic use. These are especially great for storing loose grains like quinoa, couscous, oatmeal, or pasta–things the kids probably won’t gravitate towards and that can fit easily on higher shelves to prevent small hands from grabbing at, just in case.
If you have kids in the house, make use of your clear plastic containers for their food, like dry cereal, fruit snacks, or cookies, and store them on lower shelves where they can help themselves without the worry of them reaching for breakable containers.
Utilize door space
We often think about our pantry as the shelving that greets us when we open the door, but the door itself offers ample storage space when you add over-the-door organization. Wire shelving racks are ideal for holding spices and oils. Treat yourself to a label gun to clearly mark your spice containers and keep things looking streamlined, and if you’re feeling really inspired, go ahead and organize them alphabetically on your over-the-door organizer. (We dare you not to be excited about this the next time you’re reaching for the fenugreek!)
Fill your shelves
Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to have fun filling your shelves back up! Using the groups of food you created earlier, begin putting your pantry back together. Consider the items your reach for regularly and be sure to keep those within reach. Not a frequent baker? Keep flours, sugars, nuts, and other baking ingredients higher up and out of the way until you need them. You can even give the kiddos their own pantry shelf or storage basket where they can reach a snack when they get home from school (bonus points if they put it back where it belongs!).
Organizing your pantry doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, when you follow these easy steps, you can actually have fun getting your pantry organized–we promise!