Let’s face it: Life revolves around food. So it’s no surprise that the kitchen is the No. 1 room the family spends most of their time. What’s for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? What can I have as a snack? It’s an important room.
But how organized is your kitchen pantry? Is it just a free-for-all when it comes to putting away groceries? Or maybe you’re like me and you just pray you won’t end up finding some science experiment buried in the back of the fridge. Either way, everyone could use a little more organization in this particular space in the house. So how do you do it?
STEP 1: PRIORITIZE
The Neat Method’s Valerie Wood tells us step one is to prioritize. “Consider what is most frequently used,” Wood says. “Make sure those items are placed on the shelves at eye level.”
STEP 2: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
Second, Wood says to remember that what’s out of sight will be out of mind. “If you don’t want your children grabbing for the chocolate after dinner, put [it] up high, and have kid-friendly snacks right where they can see them,” Wood suggests. “This also helps with those adult cravings too!”
STEP 3: REMOVE EXPIRED ITEMS
Third, check your expiration dates. This is an easy way to do a quick cleanout of your pantry. Expired? Throw it away and open up some space. Woods says to keep in mind that some items have very extended expiration dates so look out for those. “Spices have expirations dates that are five-plus years out, so when it’s expired, it has been around a while!”
STEP 4: CATEGORIZE
Fourth, bring on the categories. Woods recommends separating the pantry into simple, but descriptive, categories. “We love having fun with this by labeling popcorn, chips and crackers as ‘salty snacks’ and then cookies, candies and other specialties as ‘sweet treats.’”
And don’t feel glued to your categories. Woods says that creating new categories and changing them up with the seasons (like you do with your wardrobe) is a good move. “You might be baking more in the fall, [so] you’ll need a larger bin [then] than in the summer.”
STEP 5: IMPLEMENT STORAGE OPTIONS
Fifth and finally: Implement some creative storage options. Bring on the containers, baskets, bins, chalkboard labels—whatever your little heart desires. Want something Valerie and other Neat Method organizers use? Check out the Neat Method pantry. “It’s important to purchase items are not only visually appealing, but also functional!” Woods notes.
RELATED: Tips for Cleaning Out Your Closet
Photos courtesy of Martin Vecchio Photography