For many parts of the U.S., spring is almost officially here! The warmer weather often inspires many homeowners to do a massive indoor cleaning. Spring cleaning is all about refreshing the home, getting organized, tossing out all those unnecessary items and maybe even embracing feng shui. Don’t forget the pantry, though! That food space may be cluttered, and who knows what expired foods may lurk on the shelves!
When spring cleaning, try these easy pantry organization ideas to get that space in order!
Audit the Shelves
It’s time for a food audit! Many homeowners forget about some foods that have been pushed to the back as more groceries are stacked after shopping trips. It isn’t uncommon to realize that a box of crackers has long since expired.
However, opened and stale grains, crackers and cereals can lead to pantry pests. Clear out the pantry and check out the dates on all those boxes and cans. Toss out anything that’s gone uneaten and is past its prime. And be sure to throw away opened items that are stale.
Homeowners may find extra items that they don’t need. Maybe there are simply way too many cans of soup or multiple boxes of mac and cheese. Donate what you don’t need to a food pantry. There are many organizations that can benefit from food donation; just be sure those items aren’t expired.
When auditing the shelves, homeowners may decide to give the pantry a good wipe down, too!
Seal those Grains, Nuts and Pastas
Purchase airtight containers to store grains, pasta, and nuts. Opened boxes or bags of grains can lead to yucky bug infestations. No homeowner wants to open the pantry to find mealworms!
Containers keep items fresh while keeping pests from invading. These containers also may make it easier to measure out portions. Label containers to make it easier to identify foods.
Some pantries only have a few shelves. Add additional shelves for extra space and to help organize items. One shelf can be designed for breakfast, another for pasta and canned goods, etc.
Homeowners may even buy bins or other containers for loose items to make fruit snacks or individually wrapped items more accessible. Sometimes all those boxes can get clunky.
Better Homes & Gardens tells homeowners how to organize their pantry in zones. This is all about putting food together. Zones may be incredibly specific or fairly broad; the examples Better Homes & Gardens uses for zones include Easy Weeknight Meals, Baking Supplies, and Impromptu Entertaining. When zoning, Better Homes & Gardens recommends adding labels to each zone. That way, it’s easy to identify what goes where.
Zone the pantry in a way that makes sense to the family’s habits. Not only will zoning help homeowners find the item they need, but it also may help simplify grocery shopping. A zoned pantry can help homeowners easily see items they need, and items that are well stocked. This means that it may be less likely to end up with six boxes of mac and cheese (unless, that many boxes is a must!).
When zoning, Better Homes & Gardens recommends adding labels to each zone. That way, it’s easy to identify what goes where.
Some homeowners may decide to design an intricate pantry that is a bit like a food closet. It might include drawers for potatoes, onions and garlic. Drawers also can be used to store individual packs of snacks, like small bags of chips, snack cakes or fruit snacks.
Don’t Forget the Space Behind the Door
HGTV recommends using the space behind the door for storage; this means using hanging baskets or organizers that secure via the door. This can be a great way to make small snacks accessible to kids or to add extra shelving for cans or other items.
Organize the Floor
The floor space may be the area where homeowners store packs of soda or other beverages. Keep this space organized and clean so that dust, debris and yucky bugs don’t congregate.
Pet food also may be stored on the floor of the pantry. Make sure to keep pet food sealed or in an airtight container. Bugs (or mice) might be drawn to the food.
The door can serve to be even more useful on the outside by painting it with chalkboard paint! This tip from Good Housekeeping turns the pantry door into an easy home message area. Out of rice? Compile a grocery list on the pantry door and add rice to the list! Form and function!
Welcome spring this year by reorganizing the pantry! Audit those shelves, toss out any expired items and donate what isn’t needed. Zone the pantry, add shelves, drawers or even turn the pantry door into a chalkboard for a convenient message space. Spring Cleaning will not only leave the home more organized, it can also help homeowners take control of clutter.