How to Keep a Pantry Organized

In my food allergy kitchen, having an organized pantry is top priority.  I live in my kitchen and make nearly every meal every day so there's no room for chaos.

While we don't have a large walk-in pantry, we have made good use of our pull-out cabinet pantry.  However, a lot of my tips can be used no matter what your set-up is.  So let's get to it, shall we?

Tips for Food Allergy Families

1.  Save original packaging somewhere easy to get to, like a recycle bin in the garage, until the food is all consumed.  Labels and ingredient lists are important when food allergies are involved.

2.  Have a separate pantry area for any foods containing unsafe allergens.  Our top cabinet of the pantry is not shown here but contains all our foods with dairy or nuts, my son's allergens. 

The rest of the pantry area pictured is all allergy-free for our son.  

Tips For Keeping a Pantry Organized

1.  Keep eye-pleasing containers toward the front.  Put other items toward the back.

2.  Try to keep containers consistent at least by shelf or side. 

3.  See-through plastic and glass storage containers are best for visibility.

4.  I prefer glass but use BPA-free plastic for things the kids handle a lot.

5.  Use vinyl chalk labels to label your foods.  They can easily be changed as needed.

6.  Put sticky and liquid items in plastic buckets so they don't ruin the cabinet if they leak.  I have oils, vinegar, honey, syrup, peanut butter, and sauce bottles in a couple plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store.  

7.  Keep foods like cereal in their original plastic liner bags and put the liner bags right into the plastic containers.  This way you don't have to clean out the plastic containers very often. 

8.  Cut out cooking directions from boxes and bags and include them in jars for rice, quinoa, lentils, etc.  Or tape them onto the inside of your cabinet for quick reference.

9.  Minimize buying food in cans.  Fruits and vegetables are better frozen.  

10.  Wipe or vacuum out messes on the shelves as needed.  E-cloths are amazing!  

11.  Put large, heavy canisters on the most sturdy shelf.  Mine are on the bottom, which doesn't pull out.

12.  Once a month, go through the pantry to straighten and fill containers and keep them toward the front. I do this after each big grocery shopping trip.

13. Purchase amounts of food based on the containers and space you have available.  This helps with overbuying and makes sure you have a place for everything...without overcrowding your pantry.

Storage Container Product Links

I know this is not exhaustive of all the tips and ideas that can be used in organizing a pantry. We would love to hear some of your ideas in the comments!  Happy organizing!

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