Pantry Organization

An organized kitchen pantry makes navigating your kitchen a snap.

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By: Melissa Webster

Optimized kitchen pantry organization often means the difference between a chaotic mess and a fully functional, efficient kitchen that is a joy to experience.

When the pantry is stocked where everything has its place and purpose and is easy to locate and access, meal preparation becomes a breeze the whole family can enjoy.

There are so many things you can do to organize your pantry. Multiple shelving, shallow shelving, rollout drawers and shelves, racks, baskets, bins—they all work together to separate food items so everything is within reaching distance, easy to locate and access. Multiple shelving serves as a sort of modular shelving system layered one after the other, expanding and collapsing in on each other. For the smaller two-door pantry cabinet, these work well to utilize every inch of space. If you have a recessed or reach-in pantry or a walk-in closet, a multiple shelving system works really well to maximize space, doubling or tripling the usable space you already have.

Shallow shelves are essential to keeping every item front and center for easy location and access. If your pantry cabinet is set very deep, then you'll want to install rollout drawers and shelves so every item you store will be easy to see and access quickly. Rollout shelves and drawers prevent items from disappearing in the deep, dark recesses of the back of a deep-set cabinet, never to be seen again, and make every item pull out to you.

Racks are really great to hang over the pantry door or to build into the door for storing frequently used spices, cans, jars and bottles. Spice racks are very popular and the cool, dark pantry will keep your spices fresh and ready to use as needed. Baskets are great for produce and spices like garlic and whole ginger, and they can be set on top of shelves inside the pantry or hung from the ceiling.

I really like clear see-through bins for organizing dried legumes, pastas, grains and cereals. It gives your whole pantry a clean, streamlined look and allows you to throw away all those awkward-sized boxes taking up space. Be sure to include erasable labels as well, so you know what everything is and can rewrite as needed.

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