What do they always say? A new year, a new you? Well, I’m kinda partial to the old me, but I do constantly need some improving, especially in the organization department. I am pretty organized, yet I do live with three other people that are very used to the tidiness being done for them. Though I do practice tough love, it’s always good to come up with organizational methods that makes it easy for everyone in the family to abide by, starting with the kitchen pantry. Here are some organizing tips that you can do to keep your pantry neat and tidy.
Our pantry may be the busiest area in our house — what with two growing kids that are always hungry and all. I started by grouping like foods together: pasta with pasta, rice and grains together, too. Canned goods and condiments get fair game with tiered expandable shelves for easy viewing, and those quickly disappearing snacks get grouped in their own canvas bins.
Let’s take it a step further and make things not only very organized, but esthetically pleasing to look at, and keeping unwanted critters out as well. It’s difficult to stay organized with half-filled pasta boxes and rubber-banded bags that don’t stack and slide off the shelf and onto the floor. Buy some clear containers and place all pastas and such in these vessels. The method to my madness here is this: first of all, it’s easier to see what and how much you have. Second, the containers stack well and won’t move unless you move them (no comments from the peanut gallery). Next, no matter how much of a clean freak you may be, pesky moths and other unwanted critters get into your home and pull up their dinner table in your opened food, not to mention they have a tendency to nest in flour, grains, etc. You get the picture. And lastly, when things are visible and organized in your pantry, you can only hope (be optimistic, positive, dream) it’s easier for those precious tax deductions to help you put away your weekly groceries. Long story short, buy a few clear containers and a plastic expandable shelf or two to store your food. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this.
Do you have an overload of takeout containers you just can’t seem to part with? I’ll work with you on this one, as they do come in handy for leftovers. The great thing about these containers is they do stack, and what better way to keep them organized than with a magazine holder. The cardboard kind will do. Buy a couple, tape one side of each together and lay the holders on the side, creating a makeshift shelf. Place the containers inside and on the top for easy-to-store, easy-to-grab selections.
Cabinets get a bad wrap. I know I’m not alone in admitting that we have a cabinet or two in which everything gets shoved, and we only hope for the best. My “a-ha” organizing solution for this is a good one. Take a file holder you may already have in your house and put it on the floor of the cabinet. This way, grill and boiler pans, and even lids can slide right into the space and stay in its own spot for easy storage and grabbing. Even if you don’t have a file holder lying around, they’re inexpensive (no need for a fancy-looking one) and can be found at office supply stores or in the office supply section of big box stores.
These are just a few clever ideas to help you keep your pantry and cabinets organized. Shop your house; chances are you have a few empty clear containers lying around, and you may just have a file holder of some sort you haven’t been able to part with yet. These tips are sure-fire ways to keep your home running smoothly.
Stay tuned for next week when I share with you bedroom closet organizing tips and a how-to on building your own clothing rack.