Monday, October 13, 2014

Smart Pantry Tips

Unless you are fortunate enough to have a pantry the size of a bedroom, you are probably in search of ways to better organize food storage in your home.  I moved into a 20 year old home last year that has a small (but not tiny) kitchen with short cabinets and no defined pantry.  These 20-year-old cabinets are not the efficient space savers of today, either.  No slide out drawers, no clever pan storage, no full-extension drawers.

Because of this I need to use 7 of my 15 cabinets for food storage.  That's almost half!  We're lucky that we do not live anywhere close to a Costco, or I'd be in a real bind.

I am always on the lookout for ways to better organize the food in my cupboards.  Even if you feel you have ample cabinet space or a separate pantry, you know you can always find better ways to keep everything more organized.

Hang Your Bags

I don't know about you but bags of snacks are the bane of my existence.  They don't store well and they take up a lot of space.  But check out this clever solution.

Simply install a rod at the top of your pantry, and use clips to hang your bags from hangers.  If you have wire shelving you could opt to invest in a bunch of these:
Snack Bins

The hardest shelf to keep clean and organized is the snack shelf.  My kids get home and tear through our snack cabinet until it looks like a tornado went through it. But with a little organization and the help of these clever bins, you can help the kids keep the snack shelf more tidy and accessible.

Use The Door

Many people forget that there is some clearance between the door and where the shelves start.  This is a hidden storage gem.  Check out these ideas for better ways to use your doors.

Lazy Susan's Are Your Friend

Yes, you give up a little bit of space around the Lazy Susan, but you gain a ton of functionality.  And they are perfect for corner cabinets.

Maximize Your Space

Use hanging baskets and shelf dividers to make use of all the space between your shelves.

Baskets, Bins, Jars, and Containers

For smaller items or lots of similar items use baskets or bins to help keep them all in one place.  Store dry goods in jars and containers.  They can be super fancy or utilitarian.  If you can't see through the storage container, then be sure to place a detailed label so you know what's being stored inside.

Customize If You Can

Of course, if you have the time and the money, adding some customization to your cupboards and pantry will help you in the long run.  Here are some great custom-made ideas.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

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