What does a Mom really want for Mother’s Day? (It’s not chocolate.) How about something that will last: an organized pantry!
If the pantry has gone all winter and spring without a tidy, it definitely needs one now. So, for all you mothers out there, print this article and give it to your kids. This will the Best Mother’s Day present ever! Inspiring pantry organization, yes?
Mothers, be sure to let your kids know you don’t expect the pantry to look exactly like this; the only thing that matters is how easy-to-use and effective it is. You want to be able to find the food or ingredient you are looking for without searching for hours. You could even do this project with your kids Mother’s Day weekend, and teach them a useful life skill!
Pantry Organizing steps for Mother’s Day:
- Make a plan. Have a picture to guide you, and use this handy organization tool on my Pinterest board for ideas on where to put foodstuffs.
- Gather your supplies: A radio, a footstool, a metal bowl with dish soap and warm water, a cotton cloth, white vinegar, an absorbent towel, Post-it notes, a Sharpie, painter’s tape, and a labeler. You’ll need a box for food donations and trash can for expired food.
- Make it fun! Rock out to your favorite music. You can even work with a teammate: many hands make for light work.
- Clean it. Take everything off one shelf, look for expired items or foods you don’t like. Put them in the ‘circular file’ or food pantry box. Then wipe off the shelf with soapy water containing one tablespoon of vinegar.
- Organize food by zone: snacks, lunch supplies, powdered drinks, cereals, pasta, soups, etc. Now, take some painter’s tape and make temporary labels for the zones you’ve planned to make on the shelves.
- Sort it: Place items that fit your zone back on the shelf, but the others will stay on the counter for now. Use a Post-it (or scrap paper and tape) to label your “zones” while they are still on the counter. Gathering similar items together on the counter makes it easy to see how much space you’ll need in your pantry shelves.
- Put stuff away: Work your way down, emptying each shelf and cleaning it, then replacing the food in its “home” or zone, according to your plan.
- Time to Label! This is the fun part, for kids love labeling. Here’s an idea to save labeler tape: type all of your label names (pasta, nuts, etc.) all in a long label before pressing print. This way, you won’t have lots of wasted white space on your tape.
Ideas for Pantry Problems:
- Try creative solutions for the deep corners in your pantry. I measured them, then ordered a few Lazy Susans to fit. Now they hold cans and jars. Just need to spin it to see what you have!
- What to do with the chips? Well, my Pinterest board has lots of ideas for this pantry dilemma. The easiest idea so far: use self-sticking plastic hooks (like 3M) directly attached to wall space, in a neat vertical line. Chip clips have a little hole in them, so they will easily attach.
- Maximize can storage: Most pantry shelves have 10-12 inches of headroom. To maximize storage, I bought a wire shelf so I can double stack cans of soup and vegetables.
- Give your cleaning tools a home: If your broom and dustpan are hanging out on the floor, take fifteen minutes and install a tool organizer on the wall. I actually hang my duster and steam mop from it as well!
Safety Tip: Install a fire extinguisher to the pantry wall. Kitchen fires are a hazard, and it pays to be prepared! Teach your whole family how to use it so you’re ready for an emergency.
Click to see more ideas on my Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/jennyrossomorin/organized-kitchen/