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Does your pantry make your life easy?

A lot of pantries are overflowing. There are bags of pasta falling over; 8 types of specialty flour – each partially used; a bag or two of dried fruit of mysterious origin; unlabeled bags of spices; left over Halloween candy; and who knows what else. While we are privileged to have this overflow, there are things we can do to tame the mess. Here are my favorites:


Put rarely used items on the top or bottom shelf.

This might not be food at all, but instead the ice cream maker, punch bowl, large serving platters, etc. I keep my cookie cutters, baking cups, and cake decorating supplies in a bin at the very top of my pantry. This keeps everything clean and dust free. The spaces that are easiest to access should be reserved for things you grab all the time.


Use clear bins to keep like things together. 

I like this for a few reasons. First, it is a great way to corral loose items like bagged pasta which can’t stand up on its own. Labeling these bins enables everyone to know where things go and eliminates the need to think when putting things away. I also use clear bins for snack items. I like to take granola bars, fruit snacks, and other small, packaged items out of their box and put them in a container. This keeps me from having 6 open boxes of snacks with only one piece left each. Instead, I immediately know what we have and can just grab whatever I want and go.


Consider how the organization of your pantry impacts your eating habits. 

I have a weakness for cookies. If an open Chips Ahoy bag is the first thing I see when I open the pantry – I will eat them every time I open the door. If instead I see Kale chips, I can redirect my snacking habits (maybe not Kale chips…but something healthier than cookies!) Think about what others in your household see first and how organizing might impact their eating. You might be able to change the whole household diet without saying a thing!


Use shelf risers in tall spaces.

If your shelves are not adjustable and your shelves are more than 12” apart, you might find yourself only using the bottom half of a space. Shelf risers are inexpensive and add a lot of space by stacking items. I like to put less used items below the riser where it might be slightly more difficult to access.



Kitchen pantries are spaces that we continually access, at all times of the day – 7 days a week! Keeping it organized will maintain a functioning kitchen where everyone can find what they need when they want it, you won’t run out of things, and won’t overbuy. And it can maybe even encourage your family to eat Kale chips!


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