Keeping the kitchen ordered and in-style may be viewed as a chore, but once the item placement and organized aesthetic are tailored to your preferences, it can be a joy. Preparing, cooking, and enjoying a home-cooked meal with friends and family are made all the sweeter with a clean and tidy kitchen space.
When trying out a new recipe or baking in a time crunch, it’s tedious and troublesome to search for ingredients under stacks of unused or expired goods. This frustration can be discouraging, and can lead to homeowners resigning to delivery pizza rather than spending an enjoyable evening with family assembling their own creative pizzas (and for half the price, too!).
To remedy this, and prevent future setbacks from a piled-up pantry, here are some ideas to keep your ingredients organized and ready for optimal use.
Spices are the key ingredient in any favorite dish. To use them effectively, visibility of your current supply is of high importance. Keeping spices in a uniform container type can be helpful when comparing amounts on hand. There are a variety of sizes and styles, including some that stick right to your fridge!
Inside cabinet door
To avoid cluttering the refrigerator door, add a magnetic strip the back of each container and install a magnetic board on the inside of your cabinet or pantry door. Skip the hardware installation and go with a small over-the-door hanging option for a quicker fix.
Carousel spice rack
When the creative juices begin to flow, you probably want your spices to be within reach. Keeping your spices neatly stored on the countertop can be a challenge, and may pose a spill hazard if left uncontained. A rotating spice rack provides a safe, secure way to keep small jars contained within a defined area, while allowing you to browse with a simple spin.
Tiered spice rack
For organized visibility within a kitchen cabinet, go with a stationary setup inside a cabinet. A tiered display, closely resembling a stepstool, provides space to stack your spice jars without blocking any labels. There are options for any aesthetic, from plastic to bamboo to steel.
Sort By Category
If it’s important to you that items often used together are close to each other, plan by placement and grouping. When choosing which cabinets or shelves to use, remember: Out of sight means out of mind, and buying unnecessary replacements will cost you more in dollars and in space. Capitalize on the space you have by placing frequently used items in the front and any taller and sparsely-used items farther back.
Second, group ingredients by use. Think of specific meals or general flavors combos that are popular in your house and place the necessary ingredients near each other. This lessens the chance of knocking down multiple products when reaching for the flour jar that’s inconveniently behind the spaghetti noodles, hot sauce, and a random jar of pickles.
Baskets come in a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes, making them perfect for organizing a pantry. Wicker baskets provide a natural look, while plastic bins and wire baskets give a modern edge without sacrificing visibility. To make things even easier, add labels or cards to easily identify the contents of each basket.
Tall cabinets with extra shelf height benefit from hanging racks that slide below the shelf to hold flat items, such as rice paper or dried pasta boxes. This will allow you to utilize the space without having to stack multiple canisters, and is also a solution for small, randomly shaped items.
Another pesky storage problem? Cans. The rimmed, cylindrical shape does not allow them to stack well, and laying them on their side runs the risk of rolling away. Use non-slip mats or check out a stackable can rack for an easy storage solution.
To organize more than just a few spices, utilize an adjustable tier rack that can be hung over the pantry door or mounted on the wall. These nifty racks allow you to view all pantry items in a single glance, but can easily store out of sight when entertaining company.
I absolutely love the look of uniformity in a pantry. Consolidate space by scrapping cardboard boxes and plastic bags for sealable jars. These create a sense of harmony and are aesthetically pleasing to enjoy, while conveniently saving valuable space.
Sealable, airtight jars can be a brilliant way to express your personal style. Whether that’s a vintage look or a country farmhouse vibe, there are many concepts to fit your aesthetic. For a more modern look, go with glass containers with wooden lids.
For kid’s snacks, old-school candy jars on a lower shelf is a great idea. This will lessen the risk of tiny hands accidentally spilling the flour canister or fingers dipping into the sugar jar.
Stackable and Decorative
An alternative to glass jars (especially if there are a lot of littles in the house), plastic canisters are an excellent way to keep ingredients stored in an organized fashion without sacrificing durability. Just remember the airtight component, which is important to keeping your food fresh over time. Choose styles that are stackable, dishwasher-safe, and make access a breeze.
Other options? A set of stainless steel containers is perfect for countertop storage in a kitchen that has stainless appliances or accents. For a splash of color to liven up your pantry, blue or red ceramic canisters brighten up any space.
Find Your Aesthetic
Keeping your pantry neat and organized will not only provide a lovely style sense to your kitchen, but also encourage more time spent cooking and eating at home. Utilize space-saving options such as canisters and additional storage racks so you can spend less time searching for ingredients and more time making memories!
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Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.