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The 411 on Pantry Organization

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The pantry is my happy place. I LIVE for bins (!!!!), organization, uniformity, and a pretty presentation. Not only does it soothe my soul, it really looks like you have your shit together to the outside world. But all jokes aside, an organized pantry is the secret to eliminating wasteful grocery shopping and allowing for efficient meal planning. When you can actually SEE what you have you are a lot more likely to get creative in the kitchen. No one likes boring meals Monday through Friday so I highly recommend tackling this area of your house.

Now, not to sound like an absolute nutcase, but a mood/theme / vibe for the pantry is step one. Are we into clear bins? Baskets? Jars with labels? These things matter. It is not only the method of organization, but it’s the aesthetic part, too. The decision might be made for you depending on your pantry size and layout, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a walk-in pantry. A larger cabinet is just as good.

Once you have established the vibe, the next step is to gather supplies. There are tons of places to get your storage solutions, but keep in mind that if you end up needing more you’ll probably want to stick to a store that will always have them in stock. Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and other discount stores will offer better pricing but you might not always be able to get your hands on the sizes or shapes you need. The Container Store or Bed Bath & Beyond are both great options for consistency.

The best way to go about this is to buy a bunch of different shapes and sizes, test the fit in your pantry, and then return whatever doesn’t work. Make sure to check the return policy of the store you buy from!

Something I have gotten in the habit of doing is writing down any ingredient I run out of (that I frequently use) on a magnetic pad on the fridge. Just really helps store runs go smoothly. I scan the pantry before any store run to make sure I have a visual so I don’t buy unnecessary items and overcrowd the pantry.

This is how I like to divide the goods. Obviously you’ll do what works best for your space, but in an ideal world here is what I’d do:

+ CANNED GOODS – stacked nicely and organized by type (ie: beans, soups, etc.)
+ JARS / CONDIMENTS – lined up by type
+ OILS / VINEGARS
+ SPICES – either in a designated spice rack or on a staggered insert to give maximum visibility
+ PASTAS / RICE – divided up into designated bins (pasta in one, rice/quinoa in another)
+ CHIPS / CRACKERS – usually best in larger bins/baskets
+ CANDY – designated bin or basket
+ BARS – I love to take them out of the box and line them up neatly in a narrow bin to save space
+ CEREAL / GRANOLA – I keep mine in air-tight jars that are extra large
+ BAKING – I like to put flour sugar, chia seeds, etc. in OXO canisters that seal nicely and label them. Much chicer than the primary-colored boxes they come in.
+ WATER / JUICE – nothing is more orgasmic than a clean shelf with drinks all lined up in order
+ MEDICATION – love using the staggered shelf insert for maximum visibility
+ TABLEWARE – I like to keep linens, paper goods, disposable utensils, etc. in a nice big basket since it can get messy
+ DOG TREATS – a large bin/basket works for this
+ WINE – if you don’t have a designated wine cabinet, there are a ton of great options for cabinet inserts or stand-alone wine racks that are aesthetically pleasing

TIP: As you organize, check the expiration dates on EVERYTHING (including canned goods, medication, chips, all of it!). Toss anything that is expired, obviously. This will open up the space and hopefully allow you to see things that you do or don’t need as frequently.

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