Q: My kitchen pantry is a mess. I can never find anything in it, and I seem to run out of space every time I go to the grocery store. Do you have any advice about how to make it work for me?
A: A lot of kitchen pantries are hard to organize because they were not designed with efficiency in mind. They end up serving as dumping grounds for items you just want out of the way.
Maybe yours has deep shelves that make it difficult to reach items in the back — ever wonder where those canned peaches that expired two years ago went? Or maybe it lacks handy storage for rarely used kitchen gadgets, resulting in their being shoved wherever there’s room to spare.
Changing your pantry setup, and putting a little more thought into what goes where, can help you reclaim the space and prevent it from backsliding. The best part: like all effective home improvements, it can improve your overall wellness by saving time, reducing stress and making everyday life a bit easier.
Whether you’re considering a full remodel or just looking for some DIY options for small-but-impactful improvements, here are a few tips that can make a big difference.
First, find out what’s in your pantry and what you actually want to keep. Even if you’re not organizing, it’s a good idea to conduct occasional food inventories so you can use food before it expires. If you are organizing, inventory is your first step. Identify what food you’re already storing, determine whether or not it should even be there and remove anything that doesn’t belong.
Food is not the only thing you store in a pantry, and you may want to inventory small appliances too. Even if you only use these tools occasionally, you’ll