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An Organized Pantry Makes for a Happy Cook

Spring is here early, bringing with it the undeniable urge to clean every sun-lit inch of our homes, purge all the junk we stored in winter, and organize what’s left to get ready for the busy seasons ahead. For many homeowners, it’s also the season to start those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off. One of the most common requests we see from kitchen remodels is a better organized pantry. Whether you remodel your current cabinet layout to make room for a cabinet pantry or you repurpose a rarely used closet as your new pantry, finding the space is only half the battle. Organizing your pantry (and keeping it organized) takes a little more time and consistency than building out the pantry itself. A few good products used as you build, however, can make the organization easier.

As you design your ideal pantry, keep in mind what types of food items you will store there and who will need access to each one. To begin, separate items into categories so that they are easy to locate. For food items, this means creating sections for breakfast items, school lunch supplies, and family dinner ingredients. If you’re concerned about losing small items in the back of your pantry consider pull-out drawers to keep your stored items easy to access and organized.

Items like sugar, flour, and bread can be stored on front with items that are used less frequently, like canned foods, can be stored on the backside. If you have swing out doors on your pantry, consider using door-mounted baskets to store snack items, spices, and condiments. To maximize space, use slim, clear canisters for dry staple items so that they are easy to see and don’t take up too much space. This also provides a clean, uniform look to you pantry.

Finally, we know you’re not just storing food items in your pantry. Try using shelving on the inside of your cabinet or pantry doors to harness items that can clutter shelves like plastic wrap, aluminum foil, crockpot liners, and zipper bags. The shelves provide a place for small items, too—spice jars, seasoning packets, and drink mixes.

For a crafty touch, create labels for your pantry shelves and pull-out drawers using card-stock. This will make it even easier to track down ingredients for quick meals. On a weekly basis, plan out lunches and meals for the week and store components for each in small bins that can be lined up on a shelf. Having an organized pantry means less time running around the kitchen and more time doing the things you enjoy.

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