A question I’m often asked by busy parents is, “Where do I start?” My answers vary, but if you are totally overwhelmed and craving a done-in-a-day project, these pantry organizing tips are the perfect starting place.
The task is not too large, the contents are easily put into categories and the keep-or-toss/what-to-buy decisions are determined by an expiration date or activity date, which usually means decision-making is less stressful.
The pantry is also one of the quickest ways to get your family organized, save money, time, and shelf space and improve the health of your family.
Here are a few pantry organizing tips to help you get started.
- Begin by discarding anything stale, spoiled, or expired.
- Wipe down the shelves and walls.
- Use glass or sturdy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids to hold dry goods such as flour, sugar, pasta, teabags, coffee beans, and cereal. Remember: square containers take up less space than round ones and fit better on shelves.
- Group like items together: breakfast items, snacks, baking goods, etc. Then, create groups within groups (for example separate the tuna from the tomatoes and the soup from the beans in the canned goods section.)
- Label the shelves (condiments, beverages, etc.) as well as the individual containers (baking chips, sweetener, rice).
- Don’t forget to save room for your paper products – napkins, paper towels, lunch bags, etc.
With these simple pantry organizing tips, you’ll spend less time planning your menus and your shopping trips, and you won’t waste money buying items you already have or tossing food that’s past its shelf life.