Cleaning the kitchen pantry is a great winter project, especially around the holidays. When you are preparing to cook big meals, a well-stocked and organized pantry can make cooking and entertaining much easier. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can create the perfect pantry that will fit your family’s needs.
There are many items available on the market that will help you make the most of every square inch of pantry space. Try installing carousels, pullout shelves, or corner hangings to maximize the space. Or take advantage of cabinetry pieces to increase storage capacity. There are also ways to incorporate pieces like roll-out drawers, lazy-susans and other built-in organizational tools (like spice racks) that can help you organize and keep cooking supplies within easy reach.
Lighting inside the pantry is hugely important. If you can’t see inside the pantry, how will you be able to find anything inside? Forms of natural light are preferable, but generally artificial light is the only option for pantry. Create a lighting design that won’t cast many shadows. LED or fluorescent lighting may be preferable because these forms won’t emit heat like incandescent lights do. You could even choose to backlight the shelving or use small touch lights inside the pantry. These targeted sources of light will result in brighter, more direct lighting than an overhead fixture alone. The extra lighting will also make it easier to read labels or locate specific items. Consider installing a motion-sensor lighting system inside the pantry to make things a bit more convenient when you are searching through the shelves.
After you’ve got the proper organization and lighting systems in place, it’s time to reorganize the items inside the pantry. The best way to organize a pantry is systematically. Throw away any expired products and donate any foods you no longer want. Next, group items together by function so you can find them with ease. Put all spices in one place; all marinades and sauces in one place; and all perishable items like potatoes or onions in one place. You get the idea. Arrange the foods with the labels facing toward the front, that way you can spot expired items and throw them away before they sit in the pantry for another month. Invest in a stepladder so you can make use of top shelf space, and place rarely used items, such as special kitchen appliances or infrequently used pots, on the top shelves.
Moving items from a pantry to a cabinet could be a great idea, and you can organize it in many different ways depending on the space you have available. You could keep all of your spices, or all of your cooking oils and baking ingredients, in a separate cabinet. My advice would be to continue organizing by function so that your grouped items don’t get split up between the closet and pantry. Thanks to a well-organized pantry, you create delicious holiday meals with a bit more ease. Spend less time rummaging through the pantry and more time with family and friends.