Create Zones for an Organized Pantry
If you’re like most people, your pantry could use a little more organization. An organized pantry helps create extra, usable space and allows you and your family to locate and retrieve items more easily. It will also help you keep track of the freshness of your food and manage your overall on-hand inventory.
A great first step to more organization is to create pantry “zones,” which simply means that you are grouping like items together and assigning them to a specific area within the overall pantry. It will save you time and effort and increase the joy you get from your kitchen.
Here are some suggestions for zoning success.
Zone 1: Non-essentials
Store lesser-eaten foods in remote areas like top shelves or back corners. Save the accessible areas for everything else.
Zone 2: Dry ingredients
Place dry ingredients like beans, rice, pasta, flour, and oats in clear, air-tight containers. This will keep them fresh and let you see how much you have left of an ingredient.
Zone 3: Canned goods
For safety, accessibility, and visibility, store canned goods within arm’s reach.
Zone 4: Quick meals
Place quick breakfast, lunch, and dinner items at eye level. These are “meal helpers,” and it’ll help you if they’re easy to see and easy to reach. Add an area for snacks where kids and grandkids will be able to reach.
Zone 5: Liquids
Oils, vinegars, and any non-refrigerated sauces or condiments should be placed as low as possible on a spill-proof mat.
Zone 6: Herbs and spices
As long as your pantry remains cool and dry, spices can go just about anywhere. Just be certain to place them in an area where they’re easy to reach. A spice rack placed on the back of the pantry door is a popular option.
Zone 7: Special foods
Does someone in your home have allergies? Is someone in need of gluten- and wheat-free meals? Consider designating an area in the pantry specifically for those special needs.
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