There’s a classic blues song that croons, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy …” (Summertime by George Gershwin). As lovely and soothing as that sounds, in a busy household with jobs, kids, dogs, friends, music lessons, and swim meets, summer can get a little uneasy. Toss in fueling everyone’s days and activities with food, and summertime can become somewhat of a challenge.
One way to keep on top of the summertime feeding frenzy is with an organized pantry that helps with maintaining what you need to feed your family the way they like to eat. You’ll be able to create stress-free meals, have favorite snacks readily available, and stock up on all the drinks that will keep everyone cooled off all summer long. If your current pantry doesn’t provide this kind of support, some serious reorganization may be in order, and Tailored Living® is ready to help!
Do a pantry purge to eliminate excess
A pantry is no different from other storage areas in that they tend to end up stuffed with things that don’t belong or are no longer useful. In fact, most pantries have an alarming number of forgotten, outdated, and unnecessary items:
- Foods no one will ever eat. (Why do we keep these?)
- Expired food at the back of the shelves.
- Stale, half-eaten bags of chips, cereals, cookies, and pretzels.
- An assortment of mismatched paper plates and cups and random water bottles.
- Holiday-themed kitchen towels, potholders, and chipped serving dishes you won’t use again.
- Good-intentioned but never-used appliances like a FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer or a panini sandwich press.
The first step to getting your pantry organized is to get down to only what you really need. Do a full assessment of your pantry by completely emptying and placing its contents on the countertops or kitchen table. Then, item by item, determine if you need it and, if it’s food, check expiration dates. (Especially if children help themselves to foods and snacks, you want to be sure your pantry only contains “time safe” food.) Your goal is to determine whether to keep, donate, throw away, or relocate non-pantry items to wherever else they belong in the house or garage, such as the wrench you used to open a stubborn jar of olives.
- Keep only those items you actually use as well as food and drinks your family likes.
- Donate anything in a good, usable condition that you no longer want, like appliances, serving dishes, and even viable food, to your favorite charity or local food bank.
- Throw away stale and expired food or spices, broken appliances that never got fixed, food the dog won’t eat, and worn out kitchen towels or table linens.
- As you go, make a shopping list of replacement items for expired foods and any essentials you need to stock up on.
Organize your pantry in sections or zones
Creating sections in the pantry for canned goods, snack foods, baking items, etc., makes it easier to keep track of what you have. It’s also quicker to find that protein bar or baking powder when you know where to look instead of searching through cluttered shelves. Designated sections also streamline making out a grocery list, you can tell at a glance how many cans of soup you have, if the dog food supply is running low, and when to replenish the juice boxes. Additionally, you can maximize shelf storage space with storage pieces like see-through canisters, stackable racks, and turntables.
- Keep baking products together in airtight, stackable containers to preserve freshness.
- Group breakfast items on lower shelves so the kids can serve themselves.
- Easily manage canned goods with a rotator rack or double-tiered shelf organizer.
- Corners become more accessible with turntables or Lazy Susans for smaller items.
- Store heavy items like drinks and big bags of pet food on the bottom shelves.
- Place seldom-used appliances and serving dishes on upper shelves, keeping lower shelves for everyday use.
- Label shelf zones to keep order and individual containers to identify the contents.
A custom pantry for the way you live
Not every home has an “official” pantry. Oftentimes closets, kitchen cabinets, armoires, or bookshelves serve as pantry space. If your existing pantry space is inefficient or you need help carving out a pantry, a Tailored Living designer can work with you to create a custom pantry, designed to your specific needs. A combination of shelves, cabinets, drawers, pullout bins, and specialty racks will ensure everything in your pantry has an appointed place to keep things organized.
- Expand storage space with floor-to-ceiling adjustable pantry shelves and cabinets.
- Heavy-duty pullout drawers and shelves make deep shelves more accessible.
- Drawers, baskets, and bins make organizing easy and control the clutter lots of small or loose items can create.
- Incorporate a working countertop and enclosed cabinets to enhance your pantry.
- Specialty storage racks preserve your favorite wines and spices.
Get your pantry organized now to make summertime eating, snacking, cooking, and shopping easier for everyone:
- Family members can serve themselves without assistance to find favorite snacks and breakfast cereals.
- Meal preparation will go quicker with all necessary ingredients close at hand.
- No running out of family favorites with everything in full view to keep track of quantities.
Call 866-712-3404 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find the designer near you. Your local Tailored Living designer can evaluate your needs with you and design the perfect custom pantry for your space, or help you find new pantry space you hadn’t even thought of. If other areas of your home are feeling the summer heat, our whole home organization specialists can declutter and organize any area of your home with custom closet organizers, home office design, laundry room organization, garage cabinets, custom garage flooring, and more, for stress-free living.