The pantry is another area that you can tackle while you have time on your hands. It might be both entertaining and educational for young children to help with this. Again we will use the the S.P.A.C.E. process for organizing, developed by best-selling author and organizer, Julie Morgenstern. You can organize anything using this system.
SORT – Pull out everything (ideally) or by shelf or category and sort into category groups. It helps to make temporary labels to make the process go more quickly:
- grains, pastas, beans
- packaged mixes/sauces
- baking related: flour, sugar, baking soda & powder, cocoa, decorations
- snacks: chips, cookies, crackers
- dried fruit, nuts
- canned goods
- oils and vinegars
- paper products
You’ll often find that there are different categories of items (hardware, for example) stored in unorganized places like a pantry. Separate those out and dedicate a location to sort and store those items later.
PURGE – eliminate expired items and items you had good intentions around but know you’ll never eat. Offer non-expired items to friends or drop-off in a food collection barrel available at many supermarkets.
ASSIGN A HOME – Re-evaluate the available real estate of your pantry. High use items do best in easily accessible places.
CONTAINERIZE – There are a few different products that can help with maximizing space in a pantry. Tiered shelves work well to keep canned goods and spices visible. Lazy susans work well to keep oils accessible, shelf risers are a great way to maximize vertical space in a cabinet, and small open bins are a nice way to group and contain bulk packages or soft packaged items.
EQUALIZE – Remember, life isn’t static and you’ll continue to have new influxes of food supplies regularly. As tastes and eating habits change, so should your pantry system. It’s good to plan a reorganization at least once a year – this is the step to EQUALIZE your systems with your stuff!
Experience the joy of an organized pantry that, especially when shelves and bins are labeled, everyone can contribute to keeping tidy.