A well organized pantry makes meal planning easier, means you can find food easily, makes you a better cook, and saves you money by cutting out expired or duplicate items and more. Instead of being the place your food goes to expire, make your pantry a staging area for healthy living.

Kitchen CabinetRemove everything from your pantry and clean it out

1| Remove everything and place it all in boxes or on the counter.
2| Throw out food that has gone bad, is outdated or bottles that have less than a teaspoon on the bottom.
3| Remove shelf paper and clean and scrub the pantry shelves. Use new shelf paper.
4| If you have adjustable shelves, move them up to minimize the amount of dead space.
5| If it is required paint inside with a white or pastel colored paint.

Organize Your Pantry

Now that you have a nice, clean cupboard with plenty of space, it’s time to bring order to the foods you’re storing.

1| Put the baking items (cake mixes, icing, and baking powder) together with spices, oils and utensils. These will go on a shelf next to each other.
2| Place canned soups together, placing the same ones next to or on top of each other. Place packaged soups nearby. On the same shelf place canned veggies, canned tuna, etc
3| Another shelf will be for peanut butter, jellies, and items used often and for meals or snacks. Place bags of chips, crackers, and cereals on the same shelf.
4| One shelf will be for paper products – napkins, paper towels, lunch bags, etc.
5| Organize all your bottled items and place them in one area. Where you put them depends on the size of your pantry. However, arrange items so that the taller ones are behind the shorter ones; a three-tier organizer expedites this, and a slide-out organizer eliminates the problem of trying to reach items in the rear.

Keep your pantry clean and organized any time

1| If you’re going to experiment by buying new things, make sure you have a recipe and a plan for the whole meal you want to cook.
2| Place most used items at eye level, rarely used items on the top shelf and heavy items go on the bottom shelf.

3| Invest in a spice rack that really works well for your space. If one fits over the back of your pantry door, it’s a great way to keep spices visible and out of the way.
4| Keep same type products together. All cereals hot and cold next to each other, packets of hot chocolate, near cookies and snack cakes, packaged soups, near canned soups, noodles, and pasta varieties also near each other.
5| Make sure there is nothing sticky on the outside of food packages, if there is, it would be wise to clean it off, because failing to do so would leave you with an unclean pantry.
6| Take noodles, flour, sugar, rice, popcorn, or any other foods that come in plastic or paper bags and put them in airtight containers. These maintain freshness, keep out bugs, and keep goods from spilling out of opened bags.