The following guest post was created by Janel Hutton from Nellie Bellie.
Pantry organization can be a struggle for so many of us, regardless of if you are lucky enough to have a large walk-in pantry or if you’re looking for ways to sneak a pantry into your small kitchen. The following tips and tricks will help you get organized and, if you don’t have space for a large pantry, help you utilize the small amount of pantry space you can find. Start reading my top pantry organization hacks below:
1. Go vertical.
Especially in small kitchens, you need to utilize every inch of space available. Wall shelving along an empty wall, over a door, or an itty shelf under a cabinet are all great candidates for storage of jars, spices, and cookbooks.
Tip: The small shelf above was created from trim pieces (easily found in a home improvement store) and the perfect width for spice containers.
2. Use the back of doors and cabinets.
Hang up small bags of spices or sauce mixes on the back of your cabinet door with a simple clothespin and two-face tape. You’ll free up cabinet space as well as keeping those items easy to find.
Tip: try hanging small laundry or tote bags on the back of doors for light items like paper towels, chips, and kitchen towels.
3. Store like items together.
Utilize baskets and bins to keep sauces, soups, pasta, oils, and like items together in one place. The use of bins and baskets helps you feel organized while keeping like items together allows a quick view of what you have available.
Tip: luggage tags are a cute way to label baskets. Hang the tags from the outside of the bins or tuck them right inside to easily identify the items.
4. Keep organizing tools handy.
Keep labels, markers, clips, and all the tools you use to organize your pantry in a handy place for daily use. Keeping your pantry organized is an ongoing task, you’ll need those items often and keeping them easily available will ensure you continue to keep your pantry organized and pretty.
Tip: Having a small household command center in your kitchen that includes a magnetic board, small basket of organizational tools, menu plan, and other items your family needs to stay organized can be incredibly useful.
5. Utilize your large serving dishes.
Using your large serving and baking dishes for everyday storage purposes can be a great way to find extra storage for those larger items, be budget-friendly, and (if your serving dishes are pretty) look great! Set those beautiful bowls out and fill them with snacks, tea towels, fruit, or other items.
Tip: if you have children, keeping a bowl of snacks and fruit set out is a great way to utilize large containers as well as encourage children to grab a healthy snack.
6. Use clear glass jars for baking goods and ingredients.
Fill clear glass jars with your flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and other baking and pantry goods. You’ll be able to easily see what’s inside, how much you have, and have a beautiful display for your kitchen. Go ahead, put these jars on an open shelf for everyone to see.
Tip: order glass jars etched and then personalize the colors with everyday child’s markers. The marker will “stick” to the etching and can be easily wiped off the glass.
7. Use clothespins and clips.
Clothespins and clips are truly your pantry’s secret weapon. Add two-faced tape to the back of clothespins to create quick vertical storage or use them to keep a bin of sauces and baggies easier to look through. Close chip bags, bread bags, or even frozen veggies. Use a marker to add a date to a clothespin and clip it to leftovers headed to the freezer.
Tip: Keep labels on hand and, when freezing a meal, simply write a note with date and instructions on the label and clip the label to the freezer meal with a clothespin. Additionally, you can take cereal right out of the boxes, label a clothespin with the name of the cereal, and store multiple bags in a basket.
8. Keep produce in baskets or bins.
Keep your produce in easy to find and separated in baskets or bins. Be sure to keep your citrus away from your onions and potatoes.
Tip: Mesh laundry bags are a great option to hang produce on the back of a door if you are short of shelving space.
9. Don’t forget about the pets.
Pantries often contain household pet food and supplies. If your pantry is storage for Fido’s supper and toys, grab a pet food container and a bin for his supplies. You’ll be so glad to get those items stored away neatly.
Tip: Grab a container personalized with your pet’s cute face and then you’ll even feel good about leaving the bin out of your pantry and visible…so cute!
10. Keep a pantry list and weekly menu visible.
As you take something out of the pantry you want to be sure to write the item down on your grocery list. Keep your weekly menu and a grocery list handy. In fact, a simple magnetic board or dry erase board is all you need. Be sure to ask your family to write down any item they take.
Tip: each week when you create your shopping list, take a quick look through your pantry (remember, it’s organized by like items now) and see if you are low on any needed items. Look at those glass jars and see what ingredients are low. No more running out of needed items!
Final Thoughts on Pantry Organization Hacks
These little solutions will help you create pantry space in even the smallest of kitchens. Or, utilize these tips and tricks to keep the pantry you currently have an organized and pleasant space for your family. There isn’t any reason your pantry can’t be a beautiful and organized space that you love to show off.