Five Pantry Organization Tips

As is the case with any closet, a pantry can easily get out of control. After you buy new items each week, stuff you haven't used gets pushed to the back and often is either forgotten or left to go bad, which leaves you with one bad situation. If you aren't lucky enough to have a custom pantry with built in pantry organizers, you'll need to get creative. Aggressively organize your pantry such that you can find things easily and you'll find it easy to put groceries away each week and to find the items you need when you need them.

Try these five pantry organization tips:

Invest in a pantry door spice rack
One of the easiest ways to reduce clutter in your pantry is to invest in a pantry door spice rack. These handy racks will keep your spices in sight without any need for stacking or hiding other items. Hang the rack right on the door and keep the pantry door closed as much as possible - spices last longest if they are kept in a cool, dark place. This is also preferable over keeping your spices in a cupboard over the stove, where heat and moisture may reduce shelf life of spices.

Invest in containers to keep things fresh
Get a set of lidded plastic containers and keep them in the pantry for items that will lose freshness easily. You can extend the shelf life of things like cereal and coffee by transferring them from the box or bag to a sealed container. Keep a sheet of labels nearby to label items that may be difficult to distinguish from others or have a specific shelf life, like bread products.

Organize like the grocery stores do
Put the items you don't use often in the harder to reach places-the top and bottom shelves. Make sure you place the items you use the most on the shelves where you can reach them most easily. If you have young children, place items you want out of reach up high and items you want them to access on their own, such as fruit snacks or juice boxes,  lower.

Devote one shelf to perishables
If you've ever dug through your pantry because you smelled something horrible and found a potato rotting in the back corner, you know how important it is to keep perishables in view. Devote one shelf to perishables and invest in containers that will keep them fresh and stackable.

Once a month, take the time to resort and purge
It's easy to lose something in the pantry if you don't take time to reorganize on a regular basis.  A simple 30 minutes a month will keep your pantry in order. This will save you money, as you won't end up throwing away unused items that have gone bad, and time previously spent looking for items when you need them. Best of all, you won't feel bad opening your pantry door when a date or your mother-in-law stops by!

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