Of all the rooms in the home, the kitchen is one of the most lived-in and utilized. Some home owners spend several hours per day in the kitchen, so kitchen and pantry organization should be a high priority in most homes, and yet the kitchen tends to be one of the hardest to maintain organization in. This is probably due to the sheer volume of cooking, eating and general socializing that goes on in the kitchen. Who has time to organize when you’re so busy with actual living?
Maybe you have a kitchen and pantry organization system already. Or maybe you’re drowning in “stuff” and throwing away food regularly because you simply have too many things in your kitchen and no good way of finding them. Whether you need a little tweak to your current system or you need a complete overhaul, these simple pantry hacks may give you the inspiration you need to create a new system or upgrade your existing one so life in the kitchen is more enjoyable and less hectic.
1) Designate a pantry. Many homes already have a dedicated pantry, in the form of a large closet or small room designed specifically for storage of kitchen goods and foods. If you don’t, you can create your own dedicated pantry space without actually having to build something new into your home. Your pantry space can be as simple as an inexpensive shelving system (built-in or not) in a utilitarian part of your home, such as your laundry room or garage. You can even add shelving to your dining room for food and kitchen item storage. If you prefer to keep a tidy look then cabinet or hutch (even a cast-off wardrobe) with doors will also do. Voila! You have an instant pantry.
2) Sliding wine racks:
Bottles take up a lot of space on pantry shelves when standing up and also waste a lot of space. Sliding wine racks, like these from Tailored Living, make more efficient use of pantry space and allow you to fit two to three times as many bottles in the same space as standing them on a shelf. They’re also less likely to fall and break this way. (Hint: they’re great for other bottles too, like vinegars, oils and condiments.)
3) Integrated wine pyramids:
Another solution for storing wine and other long-necked bottles. This particular design has contemporary aesthetic appeal in addition to being practical.
4) Spice racks:
Like a wine rack, but smaller to accommodate small bottles. This particular version from Tailored Living is installed on sliders, but there are many different spice rack designs available on the market.
Rattan and metal pantry baskets are ideal for holding bulky food items of all kinds. The ones shown here are made of rattan (left) and metal/wire (right) from Tailored Living. Here they’re shown installed on sliders, but they can also be placed freestanding on shelves.
The containers and packaging that many foods come in aren’t necessarily designed with long-term storage in mind. This is especially true for bulk foods like rice, pastas, flour, etc. Storing them in container systems designed to stack like the ones pictured here makes more efficient use of pantry space and may even keep the food fresher for longer.
Sounds simplistic, but labelling containers, baskets and shelves in your pantry can actually go a long way to keeping your pantry organized. Labelling food containers (especially those that aren’t see through) lets you see at a glance what’s inside without actually having to open the container.
No matter what your budget, there are lots of things you can do to improve organization in the pantry. Whether it’s a full-scale remodel or simply purchasing some plastic storage containers, you’ll save time and money in the long run by staying organized.