While all my Nashville and Franklin friends are stuck inside during this crazy ice storm, it might be a good time to do some organizing! Here’s a pantry and kitchen project I completed a few weeks ago. I always start by pulling EVERYTHING out, purging expired products along the way, then sorting the items into categories. Cooking, Baking, Snacks, Canned Goods, Vinegars, Oils, Coffee, Tea, and Drink Mixes, Paper Goods, Medicines- these are the main categories most of your pantry items will fall into.
A few other guidelines:
1.) Keep whatever you use the most often on shelves that are easy to access.
2.) If you have small children (and you trust them with access to the pantry) leave a bin or two with their favorite snacks on a lower shelf.
3.) Keep the baking items and sweets on a higher shelf. Typically baking doesn’t occur on a daily basis, and keeping the sweets out of sight (and therefore, out of mind) will help curb cravings!
4.) Let heavier items like crock-pots and cases of water live on lower shelves so they are easier to lift. Lighter items like baskets or plastic serving platters are great to keep on higher shelves.
5.) Contain muffin liners, paper plates, plastic cups, etc. in lidded clear plastic bins to keep them dust-free. (Yes…pantries do get dusty.) The exception to this rule is if you use those items on a daily basis. In that case, contain them in an open bin for easy access.
Moving onto the kitchen. While the cabinet under the sink is often neglected, it doesn’t have to be! Contain your sponges, rags, dish detergents, and cleaning products in open plastic bins. Lazy Susans are great for tall, skinny bottles. I also highly recommend lining the shelf of this cabinet. Inevitably there’s that one cleaning product that leaks, creating a gross crusty gunk that even a neat-freak like myself does NOT want to clean. Bleh.
I love, love, LOVE these clear drawer organizers. They’re fantastic because they come in all different shapes and sizes, and they even have little rubber feet on the bottom to prevent sliding back and forth as you open and close your drawers. I use them in my kitchen AND my bathroom.
Even if you’re not snowed-in, take a few minutes to examine your pantry and kitchen. Does it function well? Are you constantly buying duplicate groceries because you didn’t know what you already had in the pantry? Do you find yourself throwing away expired food products because they were shoved in a back corner and allowed to age unnoticed?
Tip: If you’re short on time, take the first step by going through your food items and tossing the expired products. That way, the next time you go to organize your pantry, you already know everything in there is a keeper.
Happy organizing 🙂