When you open your kitchen pantry, is it streamlined and tidy or more cluttered and chaotic? The state of your home impacts your state of mind, so getting better organized in the kitchen can help you feel calmer in other parts of life.
Cleaning and organizing our homes gives us something we can control when we can’t control much of the rest of the world — even with a space as small as a pantry. Stylist, interior designer and TV host Emily Henderson has a few tricks for keeping her pantry clean and user-friendly. As a mother to two small children, she knows clean cupboards are key to keeping her family life from getting too chaotic. Here are her favorite ways to refresh and rearrange pantries and cupboards, to maximize space no matter its size and give your kitchen a more beautiful look:
Buy in bulk: This saves on packaging waste and offers a better glimpse of what foods you have and how much. Plus, this helps prevent last-minute runs to the store for a missing ingredient when you’re in the middle of cooking a meal. Try keeping pantry staples like flour, sugar, pasta, coffee and cereal fresh in secure, space-saving containers such as Rubbermaid Brilliance® Pantry that fit in the pantry or cupboard. Airtight, clear and stackable containers like these keep you organized and on task.
Create a hierarchy: Organize shelves based on ease and accessibility. Keep snacks like pretzels, cookies and bars at a lower height, as they’re easier to reach. Everyday cooking items like rice, pasta and dry beans should be placed a bit higher, followed by baking ingredients — and anything else used less often — up top. Remember, every household functions a bit differently, so adopt a hierarchy system that works best for you.
Decant: Decanting means moving pantry staples from their original packaging into a different, labeled container, usually a clear one like Brilliance® Pantry. These containers feature StainShield™ plastic so containers stay looking new, 360-degree crystal clarity, a two-latch lid for a secure seal and a variety of sizes to accommodate any amount of food you need to store. Being able to see what and how much is inside a container makes cooking, packing lunches and baking more efficient — plus, it makes the pantry appear more luxurious.
Adapt to your space: If you keep a system, it doesn’t matter if you have a walk-in pantry or only a few shelves to work with. Choose containers that are modular and stackable to maximize vertical space, then designate sections for certain tasks. Baking might be in one section, breakfast items in another, snacks in a separate space, and so on.
Taking time to organize pantry and cupboard spaces now will have long-term benefits. Not only does it make the kitchen more pleasing to look at, but a pantry that’s perfect for you helps save time, reduces potential food waste and frustration — but most importantly, it inspires a more positive state of mind.