4 Easy Steps to Organizing your Pantry on a Budget
Is there anything more frustrating than digging through your pantry looking for that elusive bottle of vanilla extract trapped somewhere in a pile of pasta and cookies? Excavating a granola bar only to drop a bag of flour and spend the next ten minutes trying to pat your pants clean?
The thought of organizing your pantry is similar to that of cleaning out your fridge: Usually something along the lines of “it’s not that urgent, I’ve got more important things to clean”.
An organized pantry would not only greatly reduce frustration, it would save you money. How many times have you found something old and expired that you didn’t even know you had? All the while you’re buying duplicates and wasting money.
The good news is that if you follow these tips, it will ensure that not only will your pantry be organized; Spill prevention and cleaning will be a breeze.
Step 1: Cleanup
First thing’s first, remove all items from your pantry and place them in an area where they are easy for you to organize (preferably not too far away).
Dust every nook and cranny in your pantry from top to bottom. Once you have finished, scrub out any stains and wipe everything down with multi-purpose cleaner (again, always from top to bottom).
Step 2: Sorting
Sort all your items by the group, not by size. Put all your oils and vinegar together, all your snacks together, all your grains together and all your spices together. You can also create sub-categories; whatever suits your lifestyle. As you are sorting, check expiry dates and discard all spoiled or stale food.
Step 3: Buy some baskets
Purchase translucent baskets that maximize the space in your pantry. Purchase labels as well. If you are the creative type, it’s fun to use stylish labels like tiny little chalkboards you can affix to the baskets.
Place each separate food category you have sorted in a basket. You may need more than one basket per category. In this case, it’s a good to create subcategories so it stays as organized as possible.
Once all your food has found its new home, it time to label all those baskets. Once labeled, place them in the pantry. Organize them in a way that makes sense in regards to your needs and place related subcategories adjacent to each other.
Step 4: Maintenance
Once you have your pantry organized, maintenance is easy, but don’t neglect to maintain your pantry or all your work will be in vain.
Replacing foods will be easy, you will quickly notice when you’re a low on a particular food in your neatly organized baskets. When you are low or out of a particular essential food, keep a shopping list you can add to when necessary on your fridge or smartphone.
Clean up is a breeze: Simply remove baskets one at a time from top to bottom, clean the area and replace each basket as you go. It sure beats the tediousness of having to remove everything all at once and sorting every time you want to clean.
Want to learn more organization tips? Check out some easy ways to organize your messy garage.