In September, we moved into our current rental unit which has a small kitchen pantry. Our pantry also has deep shelves which seems to cause things to get lost. It wasn’t very functional and hard to keep organized. We had a really busy holiday season and earlier this month I realized what a mess our small pantry had become.
I resolved to come up with a better, more functional way to organize it. So far we love it and are finding it much easier to keep organized!
How to Organize Your Small Kitchen Pantry
Remove everything from your pantry and make a plan.
Start by grouping similar items together. For example, place all your canned items together. This will allow you to assess what you have and start making a plan for how it will fit back into your pantry. Some other categories you might use include grains, nuts/seeds, baking items, coffees and teas, and snacks. See my post on 15 Foods that Belong in Your Healthy Pantry for more ideas on stocking your pantry.
Use small baskets or containers.
You can use baskets or containers to group similar items together. This helps to keep food from floating all over the pantry. This works especially great for deep pantries like ours. It’s much easier to pull a basket out to get to the items behind it than to pull out 10 million tiny bags of steel cut oats, quinoa, and popcorn kernels.
Store less healthy snack options on the bottom.
We don’t buy many unhealthy snack choices such as chips or other highly processed treats. However, we keep tortilla chips on hand which we eat when we have taco salads or with salsa occasionally. Placing these on the bottom instead of at eye level prevents us from staring at them when we open the pantry. If they were at eye level, I would be much more likely to grab a few when I got into the pantry to make dinner!
Clean through foods as you organize.
As you organize your pantry, take the time to weed out things that you no longer need. This is a great time get rid of less healthy options that somehow wound up in your pantry. It’s also a great time to check expiration dates and throw out expired products.
Put foods back where they go.
After you are finished with something make sure you place it back in the basket it belongs. This will save you tons of time in the long run. You will always be able to quickly find what you are looking for since everything is put in it’s place.
And finally our organized and functional small kitchen pantry…
How an Organized Pantry Aids in Healthy Eating
An organized pantry helps you to keep better stock of what items you have on hand. This will help you to be more effective in meal planning as well as making your grocery list. It’s helpful to quickly see what you have available when you need to come up with a quick meal idea. Finally, when it comes time to cook it will save you time and hassle searching for your ingredients.