Knowing how to organize a pantry is professional neat-person Sara Pederson‘s job. The professional organizer is here to teach us how to say “so long!” to digging for ingredients on overflowing shelves! Below, she shares her easy, affordable strategies guaranteed to transform a packed pantry into a streamlined space— in no time!
1. Shop your house.
No need to spend money on fancy storage containers! “Repurposing around-the-house items as storage vessels will save cash and make your pantry look organized,” assures Pederson. Wicker baskets are great for stowing cans and bottles, and lazy Susans can hold essentials like olive oil and honey. “And storing dried foods like cereal or beans in glass jars allows you to take inventory before you hit the supermarket so you’ll never overbuy.
2. Try tiered storage.
“Spices are one of the trickiest things to organize — there are always so many,” says Pederson. To store more and avoid pileups, enlist the help of a tiered riser. “Risers not only save shelf space, they keep spices in view. No more digging!”
3. Label everything.
In addition to placing your most-used items at eye level so they’re easy to spot, Pederson suggests labeling as another simple way to stay organized: “Labeling jars and shelves or adding name tags to baskets gives each pantry item a ‘home.’ Putting groceries away or prepping for a meal will suddenly be quick and easy!”
4. Use empty space.
“An adjustable organizer makes smart use of all that overlooked behind-the-door space,” says Pederson. “I like to corral specific categories of foods here, like baking essentials, creating a handy and convenient supply station that makes prep easy.”
5. Store things under the shelves.
It’s easy to show tiny tidbits with an under-shelf jar rack. Suspended recycled glass jars with metal lids keep daily must-haves within reach. To make, super-glue magnets to the underside of a shelf. Fill each jar with ingredients, screw on lid and add a label. Press metal lids to magnets.
6. Conceal kitchen chaos with baskets.
Pretty, woven baskets act as catchalls for miscellaneous kitchen items or odd-shaped extras that won’t fit into drawers! To get this look, simply place items in dollar-store baskets, then create a paper label for each. Thread each label onto a ribbon and tie the ribbon around the basket. Stack baskets on a shelf or nearby surface.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.