• Lahni Carney

Day 5: Kitchen Pantry

Hello, friends! Welcome to Day 5 of Organizing Your Entire Home in 20 Days!

We are going to keep working in your kitchen and organize your pantry today!

Just like the other areas in your kitchen (Day's 3 & 4 can be read here), the pantry is visited often throughout the day by many different people. Therefore, the functionality and design of your pantry is so important to ensure your kitchen stays organized. Let’s get started!

The first step in today's process is to bring out all of the items in the pantry. Bring out all of the food, paper ware, utensils, reusable shopping bags, beverages and anything else that you keep in your pantry.

Keep pulling out all of the items until there is nothing left there. By pulling out all of the items from the pantry, you will be able to clearly see what items you are working with.

After you have brought all of the items out from the pantry, categorize everything into groups based on the different types of food groups.

Group together the pastas, sauces, grains, chips, baking ingredients, back stock items, breakfast items, breads, beverages, and cooking utensils, until all of the items in the pantry are in a group with similar items.

Grouping together all of the items based on categories will help find the right "homes" for all of the different food you keep in your pantry.

Check out the picture below if you need some extra help figuring out how to categorize your food. For additional help, the rest of the article is a great source to see easy ways to have your food sectioned!

While you are grouping together the items, check expiration dates on all of the food and throw anything away that has expired. Also be on the lookout for empty boxes or old food containers to throw away.

The next step to organizing the pantry is making decisions on whether you will be keeping, donating, or trashing the items.

The decisions for items from the pantry aren't as intense but still be honest with yourself about the needs of your family and which items you could part ways with.

Things you want to keep are food items that is still within the expiration date, food that your family will be eating, and utensils that your family will be using.

Items that you want to donate are going to be nonperishable items that your family will not eat and kitchen utensils your family no longer uses. For example, the last time I decluttered my pantry, I donated my snow cone maker that I bought impulsively and only ever used once.

Items that you should trash are food items that have expired and any kitchen utensils that are broken.

Once you have categorized all of the items from your pantry and made decisions on what you'll be keeping, it's time to clean it!

Wipe down all of the shelves, clean the inside any baskets or bins, wipe any bottles or glasses that are stored in the pantry and vacuum/sweep the floor.

Once the pantry is cleaned, its time to put all the items in containers based on the categories that you previously grouped them together in.

You may be asking yourself "Do I have to use containers and bins?"

To ensure your pantry stays organized, the best strategy is to contain the item so everything doesn't get scattered around. Containment gives "homes" to all of the food items so everything is easy to find and easy to put away.

So the answer to that question is solely dependent on you. I do highly recommend it for the best long term results, however, build an organization system that is best for you and your family.

My favorite product to use in pantries (and refrigerators!) to contain items are these acrylic bins from Target.