Like every task, you must begin by purging.
-Get rid of old cookbooks and food magazines that you don’t use. If each one holds 2-3 recipes you love, cut them out and consolidate them in a recipe binder.
-Get rid of boxes and bulky packaging. In the future, as you put away groceries from the store, remove everything from the boxes and packaging it comes in. Discard boxes in favor of baskets and bins with similar items. We will break this out into easy categories a little later.
-Assess kitchen appliances. Give away the ones you use 1-2 times a year if the same end result can be achieved without it. If you need it for a specific task, consider searching for storage elsewhere. For example, our handy dandy juicer does a wonderful job...once a year. We store it in the laundry room cabinet and take advantage of the free space for our waffle maker, a breakfast staple!
Invest in some bins.
-They don’t have to be fancy or pricey! The container store is dreamy, but we have found that simple Walmart bins can also achieve the same end result.
-Take advantage of small bins for an assortment of items like batteries, cookie cutters, pictures, sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, and special sticks and rocks (If you know, you know. Who hasn’t been handed a special piece of gravel before?)
-Two less common organizational bins that we have found where worth it are these hanging under shelf bins
(they hang from the top shelf and help you gain more space) and this water bottle organizer.
USE 5 MEDIUM TO LARGE BINS TO MAKE IT EASY TO PUT AWAY GROCERIES +
EASY FOR EVERYONE TO GRAB WHAT THEY NEED. HERE ARE THE CATEGORIES WE USE!
1.) Snacks - goldfish, individual packages, lunch box options, grab and go etc.
2.) Chips - keep chip clips clipped to the top of the bin so it is convenient to put opened bags away.
3.) Bagged dry goods - croutons, nuts, seeds, granolas etc.
4.) Cooking items - rice, beans, pastas, bagged or boxed items used for cooking and meal prep.
5.) Sweets - Oreos, cookies, fruit roll ups, gummies, you know the drill!
***Bonus bin: Keep a sixth bin for nonfood to help reduce clutter and provide a place for homeless items.Though we all know we should be putting everything where it goes, that’s just not practical some of the time. You can help reduce your stress by giving yourself an easy out! Just plan to clean it out every month or two. Some items that may find their way into the bin include kid’s wallets, toys that need fixing, candles, tape dispensers, and all those things that sit on the corner of the counter for weeks!
Use binders to loosely organize those papers that clutter your countertops and drawers.
Some category examples include tax paperwork, recipes, household paperwork, kid’s art, manuals and warranties or receipts. You can also keep one for paperwork that needs immediate attention like project guidelines, forms, or important mail. Don’t forget you can use your hanging shelf baskets linked earlier for this type of paperwork.
Whether you have a small or large pantry, chances are, it often takes the brunt of your busy life. Apply some of these tips and enjoy the surprising relief you will find in your daily life!