When you head to the library, you know that you’ll easily find what you need among the many thousands of books. It is great organization that makes this possible. Did you know you could approach your kitchen pantry in a similar way? As Apartment Therapy puts it, “Organizing your pantry is a bit like setting up your library of dry food goods.”
Consider how often you prepare meals at home. Think about how much time you spend looking for essential ingredients. You can save precious minutes with a well-organized pantry. That’s time better spent doing other things, like relaxing at the dinner table. Sure, it will take some time to whip that pantry into shape. However, consider the return on investment in the months ahead—not in dollars, but in time.
Preparing your Pantry For Organization
Before you can organize your pantry, you have to do a little “spring cleaning,” regardless of the season. Empty and clean the pantry, tossing expired items as you go. Consider any new shelving, bins, baskets, or other containers you might add. Next, play “matchmaker,” clustering items similar in type and size. Group similar products together on a shelf, bin, basket, or other containers where they will reside. Canned goods will likely dominate, but there will be boxes and bags of pasta and rice as well. Other examples include: herbs and spices, sweeteners, oils and vinegar, and baking supplies such as flour, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract. You might also store an assortment of snacks and cereals in the pantry as well.
Finally, create a master list of everything you have. Get a head start by checking out this list prepared by the Food Network. This list can live on your fridge, your laptop, or on your phone. As you deplete items, add them to your shopping list.
7 Tips and Tricks to Organize your Pantry
All that time spent searching for items adds up. The right labeling system will save you many hours every year. Eliminate those moments when you search and search for something only to discover that you don’t have enough to prepare the next meal.
1. Pantry Zones
Overall organization is essential. Dividing your storage areas into zones helps to speed up meal preparation. For example, you could have pantry zones for:
- Portable Lunches
Prioritize your zones, putting the most popular ones within easy reach.
2. Inventory Control
Inventory control for your pantry? Actually, yes! Finding what you need without delays and frustration is important. Whenever you use the last of something, or that bottle or jar is almost empty, add the item to your grocery list on the fridge, or your phone, etc. Not only does this help you to have everything you need in stock in your pantry when you’re ready to cook, but it can also save you money. With inventory control, you’ll never mistakenly buy duplicates of items you already have in stock because you forgot they were in your pantry.
Some items, like canned goods, are easy to organize. Others, like zip-lock storage bags, are less so. A bag organizer keeps all those different sizes of food storage bags separate and ready to use. Those deep, dark recesses of your pantry become repositories for little-used items. Strategically placed single and multi-tiered lazy susans will instantly transform these spots into active storage areas. With a quick flick of the wrist, you’ll access your spices, oils, baking essentials, condiments, and more. Finally, a pantry door organizer guarantees quick access to all kinds of items. It also provides the perfect place to store after-school snacks.
4. Bins, Baskets, and Containers
Save time shuffling through everything on your pantry shelves. Think of bins and baskets as drawers. Pull out the right basket and get easy access to whatever you may need. Clearly label each one, and store items vertically for quick identification. Corral easy-to-lose or unwieldy items, like nuts, shredded coconut, and dried cranberries. Toss smaller bags into a basket or a bin.
Apartment dwellers are in the habit of making free space count. In the pantry, you want to think both horizontally and vertically. Plan to use every nook and cranny, including spots near the floor and the ceiling. For example, make good use of floor space by sliding deeper baskets under the bottom shelves.
Transparent bins, jars, and other containers make it easy to identify contents. Take note when stocks run low. Whenever possible, select containers with leak-proof, non-spill lids. In general, rectangular containers will store more than round ones. To maximize the use of shelf space, choose Mason jars with flattened sides, for example. Stackable storage maximizes the use of available vertical space.
5. Magazine Holders for Produce
Those wire mesh magazine holders can double as storage for produce. The open mesh design allows for the needed airflow. It’s a great way to store onions, garlic, and other produce that does not need refrigeration.
6. Label It
Easy-to-read labels and see-through containers are an ideal combination. Since the contents of some containers may change over time, consider using water-soluble chalkboard markers where appropriate. Masking tape and a Sharpie work as well.
7. Light It Up
Make those quick trips to the pantry easier still. Motion-sensor lighting is a great finishing touch. Install battery-powered LED lighting with motion sensors. Add well-placed LED light strips to fill in shadows cast by standard ceiling lights. LEDs run cool and they last a long time.
A little extra effort now will pay off in time savings for a long time to come. Organize your pantry today, and enjoy better a tomorrow in the kitchen. Clutter, be gone!
Luxury Apartments with Spacious Kitchens
Draper and Kramer luxury apartment properties feature modern, spacious kitchens with generous amounts of storage that make it even easier to organize all your spices and staples! For example, consider the gourmet kitchens at Senita on Cave Creek in Phoenix, AZ. Kitchens feature ample countertops, an island, black stainless-steel appliances, and cognac Shaker-style cabinetry.
Crest at Las Colinas Station features stainless steel appliances, kitchen islands, and stone countertops. You’ll find this luxury apartment property in Irving, TX. In St. Louis, MO, the new Moda at The Hill offers modern kitchens replete with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and an island.
Draper and Kramer is a full services real estate firm founded in 1893. You’ll find Draper and Kramer luxury apartments from Chicago to St. Louis and from Dallas to Phoenix. Browse our complete selection of luxury apartment properties today!