How to Finally Organize Your Pantry Once and for All
I'm a pretty organized person-except when it comes to my pantry. I can never remember what I have and what I've run out of, and finding things in there is a lost cause. I finally decided to finally get it under control hoping I wouldn't find an embarrassing number of the same item* stuffed in the shelves. Spoiler: I did.
Set Yourself Up
First things first, get the supplies you need to organize your pantry properly: a trashcan, stool or chair (to sit on, and to reach everything if you're short like me), and containers. I used two types of containers, airtight ones to hold dry goods and plastic boxes with lids to gather like items together. I'm not that fancy, so I just used painter's tape and a sharpie to label the containers, but if making things look pretty brings you joy, you can go for nicer labels. Throw on The Great British Baking Show (my guilty pleasure) or a favorite playlist to make it more fun.
Be prepared to throw some
Figure Out How to Sort Things
Taking a step back and thinking about the best spots to put everything actually made organizing my pantry easier, so don't rush ahead and just start throwing things on shelves. We've already established that I'm short, so I put that things I eat the most, like tea, baking supplies, cereal, and pasta (mmm, carbs) on the middle shelves. I stashed heavier items, like canned goods and glass jars of dried beans, on the lowest shelves-they fall, they don't have a long way to go. The snacks my boyfriend and I eat most, those crunchy curls from Trader Joe's are addictive, went in a plastic box at the front of a lower shelf (sorry dried fruit, no one likes you) for easy snacking access.
I also put together (by which I mean I cut up a cardboard box), DIY shelf dividers to separate all the sauces and oils. I sorted these by flavor, because that's what I care about. Oils, including toasted sesame and walnut, on the right, savory (soy sauce, ponzu, and peanut butter) and acidic (apple cider, red wine, and balsamic vinegar) in the middle, and sweet and spicy on the left. Sauces are important to making things taste divine, so being able to quickly grab the one I want will be amazing!
Now, it's just down to putting things in their place. I made an overflow spot on the floor of my pantry (which I think is actually supposed to be a linen closet...) for anything that took up too much room, like jars of pasta, beans, and rice. The last thing you should do is walk anyone else in the house through your new pantry set-up so they put things in the right place, too.
*And in case you're still wondering, here are the duplicate items I found: four jars of furikake , two bags of kombu , two half-full bags of rice, two jars of garlic chili oil, two bags of sundried tomatoes, and two packages of black garlic. Yeah...way too many duplicate items.