Day 6: The Pantry
“A well stocked pantry helps you think creatively about how
to feed yourself and anyone who happens to be with you,
a thoughtfully prepared, flavorful, and wholesome meal…
A familiar pantry is like being surrounded by friends
who won’t let you down, within instant reach.”
~ Alice Waters, author
Yesterday, we cleaned, decluttered, and organized kitchen cupboard and drawers. The work invested yesterday will reap tomorrow’s rewards. When I open my organized and tidy cupboards, even on the most hectic days, everything seems easier and more possible.
As you know, the kitchen area will be split into 5 days.
Day 5: Cupboards and Drawers
Day 6: Pantry (today)
Day 7: Refrigerator
Day 8: A Junk Drawer
An organized pantry is a relief when it’s time for dinner meal prep. It can also be a lifesaver when planned meals go awry and pantry staple dinners are a must. Organizing it strategically with clear labels and zones will help keep it that way.
While it seems profitable to organize items in a pantry by size, grouping in zones help keep food organized, meal prep simple, and grocery shopping easy.
For some inspiring ideas, be sure to check out the photos at the bottom of this post.
Zone ideas: Pick and choose according to lifestyle and family need.
Cooking & Spice Zone
A zone for seasonings, spices, and oils. A Lazy Susan or dedicated drawer can be a space saver for spices.
Stocked with clear, airtight containers for flour, sugar, mixes, frostings, dried fruit, etc.
General Food Zone
A zone for canned foods, organized by type (soup, veggies, fruit, broth, etc) and then size. Consider a stair-step shelf to keep items in easy view.
Store items in this zone that pertain to quick and brown bag lunches. A basket or bin could hold various size baggies, lunch sacks, twist ties, plastic utensils. Also a great location for quick fix meals like macaroni and cheese, etc.
Foods relating to breakfast should be kept in this zone; boxed and instant cereals, breakfast drinks, bagels, crumpets, etc. Easy to grab on busy mornings.
For me this consists of a portable container, in my case a basket with handles, that contains snacking foods (individual size chips, microwave popcorn, nuts, dried fruit, etc). When kids visit, or hungry people begin grazing and raiding the pantry or refrigerator, this portable snack bin is perfect.
I use a large shallow basket to keep breads within easy reach.
Coffee, tea, drink packets, and beverage condiments.
Objective: To organize and divide pantry into zones to keep food organized and meal prep simple. Keep everything labeled and visible, small items contained.
• Empty pantry and dust from the highest to the lowest shelf.
• Eliminate clutter, broken containers, empty wrappers and expired food items.
• Determine zones that fit lifestyle and pantry size and designate an area for each. Frequently used zones should be in easy-to-reach locations.
• Organize and group small items in appropriate containers.
• Install any portable or hardware organizational units.
• Group foods into appropriate zones and locations and place in the pantry.
GET THE BOOK:
Easy Steps to an Organized Life in 31 Days or Less (Amazon.com)
Organized Pantry Inspirations
Commercial kitchens have utilized portage storage for years. Rolling kitchen carts have many uses, including the convenience of movable storage. Perfect for holding heavy items like stand mixers, cases of water, or overflow.
Dividing by Zone
Keeping food zoned helps keep it organized.
Adding Bulk Storage
Expand your storage capacity with an attractive commercial steel rack found at The Container Store.
Clear Storage Bins
Also found at the Container Store, these clear bins with handles help contain and organize smaller.
Stackable, snap storage keep everything from pasta to cereal in plain sight and preserved in air-tight containers. Available at most home stores as well as Amazon.com.
Going Vertical for Small Spaces
Investing in can racks are smart ideas to extend storage space. Found at most home stores. This particular model comes in a 3-shelf or 6-shelf options.
An innovative idea to attach a 1/3 cup measure to food storage for an easy 1-step breakfast. Try this idea with coffee beans and other bulk storage. I like to keep a 1 cup measure in my bulk flour container as well.
Be innovative with tricky storage items.