By Contributing Writer, Hilary Kimes Bernstein
Once every season I come to the same startling realization: my kitchen pantry has turned into quite a disaster.
Currently I don’t have the luxury of having a separate pantry area – I use five kitchen cabinets for my pantry – but I’ve found that it doesn’t matter if you have a dedicated pantry or just some shelves. Any sort of pantry gets disorganized.
And once every season, when I simply can’t take another day with my messy shelves, I take every single item off of my shelves. I spread everything on our kitchen table and then start organizing. My children have gotten old enough to help with my sorting and together we methodically place all pasta in one spot, all oils in another, baking supplies in another spot, and so on.
Once everything is sorted, I wipe my pantry shelves clean and begin to stock my shelves with our food. I don’t do anything fancy – some homeowners prefer storage containers for their food and everything ends up looking amazingly matchy-matchy. That’s just not the case in my home, though. I try to turn all of my products so I can easily read the labels. And for some foods, like dry beans, rice, or pasta, I store them in washed and dried glass jelly or pickle jars.
My pantry may not be the prettiest, but it definitely is functional. I can find everything I need, and I like having certain kinds of food on specific shelves. I try to keep the same approach when organizing my refrigerator and freezer – if I group the same kinds of groceries in the same area, I have a better idea of what food I have and what food I need.
How do you like to organize your kitchen pantry? What methods work best for you? What methods haven’t worked at all?