Monday, August 19, 2013

An Organized Pantry is a Happy Pantry

If you’ve got a pantry, this probably looks familiar.

Most people give up the battle to keep a pantry organized. So many odd shaped items and different colored packages create an instantly cluttered look, even if you know what’s in there. Just shut the door and forget, right?

Not around here! The look of your pantry can be transformed with a few simple organizing tricks, and you’ll see some practical benefits that’ll save you money and reduce waste.

We used the Hyacinth Baskets from The Container Store

Once you’ve organized your pantry, you won’t lose track of that quarter bag of flour and you’ll end up using it instead of throwing it away. You’ll also avoid over-buying because you’ll know exactly how much is left in that bag of dried cranberries or the partially used box of spaghetti.

You can quickly plan meals when you can see what you’ve got and the cans of beans aren’t mixed in with school lunch items.

With a few matching bins and clear glass jars, your pantry can be transformed into an organized and attractive space. Bins give you easy access to like items, such as cereals - pull the cereal basket down at breakfast time and put it away quickly and easily.

I like to use bins to conceal clutter and hold all those odd shaped bags of chips and packages of pasta. Tie on a tag so it’s easy to identify what’s in each basket, keeping items categorized and easy to find.

I love the Martha Stewart Kraft Tags

Put all the parent-approved snacks in one bin, so the kids know where to go when they want something to munch on.  Keep grab’n’go lunch items in a bin so they’re easy to find and you’ll know when you’re running low.

If you’re not sure how to deal with sticky sauces and syrups, consider a lazy Susan. You’ll be able to access all the bottles without pulling everything out one by one. Plus, if you have spills or sticky spots, a lazy Susan is easy to wipe clean. Protect your pretty shelf paper and make it easier to keep things neat and organized.

Glass jars and airtight BPA-free plastic containers are also great to decant items like grains or flour, especially if you only use part of a bag. Some items may need a label  (self raising vs. regular flour), while others will be easy to find and identify (rolled oats or pasta).  For dry goods that usually have the recipe on the box, you can cut out the recipe and attach it to the back of the jar. Get crafty and enjoy making the system work for you! 

If you give yourself a system that looks great and works well, you’ll keep things organized. Make your pantry organization system easy to use and you’ll be happy to keep it organized!

 Ball Mason Jars are easy to find and affordable

Short on kitchen space?  Here's an easy tip.  Hang large utensils that are not used everyday on small nails inside your pantry.

Operation Organization Quick Tips

  • Avoid over-buying by categorizing like items
  • Decorative bins conceal clutter and make your pantry beautiful
  • Using tags and labels allows you to quickly identify what you have and what you need
  • Use a lazy Susan for sticky sauces that get lost in the back of a shelf and make a mess
  • Decant dry goods, dried fruit, nuts and grains to keep them fresher, longer
  • Utilize extra wall space to hang infrequently used utensils and aprons 
  • When your pantry looks organized you're more inclined to keep it up
  • Factor in 15 extra minutes when you get home from the store to organize and decant

Happy Organizing,
Katrina Teeple

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