Family Organizing | Kids/Families | Kitchens & Pantries
Best Organizing Tips for The Family Pantry
Is it a constant struggle to keep your pantry organized enough to find things when you need them? Given that everyone has their hands in the family panty grabbing things on a regular basis, it might feel like a never-ending battle. But here are a few tricks that will make a big difference in getting every family member to participate in keeping the pantry organized:
1. SEPARATE AND CONTAINERIZE
Use baskets or bins to keep individual food categories together. Using containers will go along way in keeping your family pantry organized. Label the bins so that family members are discouraged from tossing things in the wrong bins. Some examples of sorted food categories are Energy bars, pasta, snacks, side dishes, and crackers.
You can also group two related types of food in one bin if you don’t have enough of one to fill a bin. Examples are rice and beans or dried fruit and nuts. Don’t get too complicated with this, otherwise, others may get confused, and put things in the wrong baskets.
2. MAKE EVERYTHING SUPER ACCESSIBLE
Take things out of their outer packages. Especially individual snack bags and granola and energy bars and any items bought in bulk packages. This way little hands can get to them quickly with minimal disheveling. Products take up less room when their outer packages are removed. See if you can stand some items up in their bins. Vertical items are always easier to see and access and tend to require less space. Leave tops off of bins and baskets so that everything is easy to see and access.
3. AVOID STOCKPILING TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY’S PANTRY ORGANIZED
This is where many families get snagged. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to stay on top of knowing what you have in there and where things are. It is tempting to stock up because the tendency is to assume that the more you buy, the greater the likelihood that you will always have on hand what you need when you need it. But believe it or not, the opposite is actually true.
4. A SIMPLE FAMILY PANTRY IS AN ORGANIZED PANTRY
The simpler you keep your pantry, the more control you will have over your inventory. Knowing what you have in your family’s pantry, where it’s located is key. Keep like items together so that you know exactly how much of everything you have. Also, don’t buy more than what you have space for. Once you lose control of these two things, everyone, including you will stop knowing where to find or store things. At this point, everyone gives up and food starts getting tossed randomly, wherever space can be found. This is where the chaos begins.
5. DON’T STORE FOOD IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
Avoid having so much food surplus that you have to store it in more than one place like a storage room or basement. Before you know it, you will forget what you have…you might think you won’t but trust me, you will forget. Once this happens, you will end up with expired food on your hands. Not only is this a waste of your time and money, but it is a waste of material goods. This is not ideal if we want to be mindful consumers.
It is best to keep all of your food in one location in your kitchen. If this is impossible because your pantry is too small, store a specific food category in a nearby kitchen cabinet, for example, all canned foods go in the cabinet and everything else goes in the pantry.
6. GET EVERYONE ON BOARD WITH KEEPING THE FAMILY PANTRY ORGANZED
Once you get your family pantry organized, it is important to call a quick meeting with your whole family to set some family pantry rules. Establish the rule that everything now has a permanent home, and it is everyone’s responsibility to keep it that way. Explain that keeping the family pantry organized needs to be accomplished through team effort not just the person who organized the pantry. Show family members where everything goes because this may not be obvious to everyone. Finally, remind everyone not to open more than one container at a time.
7. NEVER SHOP WITHOUT A GROCERY LIST
A grocery list is another essential tool for helping you stay on top of your pantry inventory. Ever play the guessing game at the store and purchase something you think you need just to discover that you already had more than enough at home? Avoid this by sticking to a list. Get yourself in the habit of adding items to your grocery list immediately after you realize you need something. If this is challenging at first, stick with it, until you have established a habit. Once you are in the habit, you will easily remember to add items to the list as you need them.
A grocery list will ensure that you will stop bringing home things you don’t need and remember to buy the things you do. I have created a handy printable Pantry Inventory Checklist, for you to access below. Take this list with you to ensure that nothing is forgotten on your next trip to the store. Using a grocery list when you shop is essential for keeping your family pantry organized long term.
If you would like support with your decluttering journey, learn more about how to get help from me by visiting my Virtual Organizing page.
TEN ROUTINES THAT
HOW TO ORGANIZE
KID’S SCHOOL KEEPSAKES
TEN TIPS FOR
CLEANING & ORGANIZING
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