Kids/Families | Kitchens

How To Get Your Family To Keep Your Pantry Organized

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Is it a constant struggle to keep your pantry organized enough to find things when you need them? Given that the whole family has their hands in there 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:


Use baskets or bins to keep individual food categories together. Using containers will go along way in keeping your 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, crackers, etc.

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.  It’s best to keep it as simple as possible. 


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.


This is where many families get snagged. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to stay on top of what you have 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.


The simpler you keep your pantry, the more control you will have over your inventory. Knowing what you have in your pantry, where it’s located and what you are out of is the key to keeping your pantry organized. Once you lose control of this, everyone, including you will stop knowing where to put or find things.  Once this happens, everyone gives up and things start getting tossed wherever.


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 and you will end up with expired food on your hands. 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 kitchen cabinet for example; all canned foods, and keep everything else in the pantry.


Once you get your pantry organized, it is important to call a quick meeting with your family to discuss the following; 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 pantry organized needs to 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.  

Organized Pantry


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, eventually, the habit will be established, and will be easy to remember to do.

A grocery list will ensure that you will stop bringing home things you don’t need, and forgetting 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 pantry organized long term.

157 Pantry Labels $14.95

Air Tight Food Storage Containers $39.99

Expandable 3 Tiered Pantry Shelf $20.99

Clear Plastic Storage Bins $39.99

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