1. Declutter & Decide
The first step of organizing any space is taking clutter out of the picture. In your pantry, this means throwing away anything that has expired or too little left to use. Find the bags and boxes that so easily get pushed back, hidden away and forgotten and decide whether to keep or trash. Make sure everything left is visible, whether in your pantry or on your kitchen counters.
Next decide how you're going to reorganize. You know your kitchen and cooking routine best. What system makes the most sense for your pantry? A few options include zoning items by food type, cooking type or convenience.
Every bag and box is a different size, which isn't very helpful when it comes to organizing your pantry. Transfer the staples of your household into clear containers. A few foods that could transfer to a container include rice, flour, sugar, oats and cereal.
You don't want to choose just any container for your food. Even though containers can be glass or plastic, square or cylinder, the most important thing is make sure they seal tight. Try to place similar containers together to maximize space. If you're especially limited on shelf space, try finding slender containers that can fit in a tight area and not take up the width of your shelf.
You can use baskets for almost anything, and they're available in countless materials and functions. For instance, small baskets are ideal for storing little packages like oatmeal, snacks and hot chocolate, while medium baskets are the perfect size for fruits and vegetables. Large baskets allow you to utilize floor space without any food or cooking item touching the floor.
Baskets in a pantry are usually used on shelves or the floor, but there are more options available. Some baskets hang from the shelf above, allowing you to store damageable goods like bread. Ultimate Closet Systems offers baskets that roll out from underneath shelves for a clean yet highly functional look. Another option is to hang small baskets on unused wall space.
4. Seasons & Spices
Spices and seasonings make the kitchen go round. The main goals in organizing your spices are being able to read labels and pull one without the others tumbling over. A Lazy Susan could be a solution if you have corner space available. Otherwise, a tiered spice rack might be your best option. If you're low on shelf space, try using wall bins to create your own shelves for spices.
If you tend to buy seasonings in bulk, store your surplus in small, stackable, tightly sealed containers.
Labels make life easier. Labeling your containers will not only allow you to tell the difference between flour and sugar but also create a more uniform look to your pantry.
If you have a section of your pantry you can turn into drawers, do it. Drawers can give your pantry a clean, chic look while increasing your space and allowing you to reach every corner.
There are two types of drawers you can install, open or closed. Both achieve the same functionality, but open drawers let you see the tops of the items in the drawer while it's closed. See the difference below.
7. Vertical Dividers
Trays can be useful on the shelf or on the wall. On the shelf, a tray can act as a divider to keep like items grouped together. Depending on the shelf, you could even pull out the trays to reach the items toward the back as needed.
Our Ultimate designers recommend the Ultimate Wall whenever possible. Ultimate Wall is a version of slatwall, a board with grooves that allow you to slide in various accessories. There are so many ways to personalize the wall with accessories based on your needs and lifestyle. Trays are just one of the many.
Last but not least, hooks! Hooks are an quick, easy fix for any pantry storage problem. Place hooks on open wall space to hang measuring cups, cooking utensils and the apron you wear every Thanksgiving and Christmas. If your pantry tends to be a catch-all closet, hooks are ideal for holding brooms and other cleaning supplies off the floor and out of the way.
Hooks are also another accessory available for the Ultimate Wall. Depending on what you're trying to store, hooks come in a variety of lengths and shapes so you can choose exactly what you need to organize your pantry best.
What are some of your favorite pantry organization tricks? Comment below!
Ultimate Closet Systems designs custom closets, garages, kitchen pantries, home offices, wine cellars, Laundry rooms. Located in Baton Rouge, LA but also serving New Orleans, Lafayette and all South Louisiana.