- Spaghetti sauces/meat sauces
- Cereals/breakfast items
- Baking ingredients
- Rice/pastas/meal mixes
- Soup boxes/cans/canned goods
- Snacks/cookies/chips (chips best in a bin)
- Paper and plastic products (plates, napkins, utensils, cups)
- Pet food
Check for expired goods and consider disposing of items older than a year (or plan to utilize them in the next week).
Put your least-used items on the top or bottom shelf (if these items are heavy, put on bottom shelf).
Then arrange via the categories above. The most-used and least-used items structure the space. Then start filling them in. What’s important here is to keep categories together and to arrange things so you can see them and they aren’t shoved in out of sight.
Spices are best stored alphabetically for easy retrieval. Use spin holders (lazy susans), such as these. They enable you to store a lot of little items in a small space.
You can stack duplicate items (canned goods, etc), but do not put an item that is different behind another item. That begins the path down to clutter.
When you put something back, put it where it was before. When you run out of an item, leave the space for it open until you find a replacement.
Weekly: go through your pantry and put everything in its place. If you do this once weekly, it should only take a few minutes.
When I coach a client, I spend 20-30 minutes just asking them their vision for the pantry. We get down to the nitty gritty of specifics. The powerful coaching questions create clarity, motivation and energy for the client to create a space that works best for them and their lifestyle needs. This is the key to sustainability--making it work for YOU for the long haul.
If you are able to jump right into your pantry organization following these basic guidelines, great. If not, first ask yourself these three questions:
- What are the biggest challenges around your pantry? (be specific).
- What is most important to you about your pantry?
- If the perfect organization plan was created for you around your pantry, what would that free up for your day?
Feel free to share your answers in the comments below. I can create other blog posts to address your responses!
Image credit: Decluttering pantry by kattebelletje via Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0