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How to Organize the Pantry for Families

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Two kids playing with pasta and pasta sauce in a kitchen cupboard

Two kids playing with pasta and pasta sauce in a kitchen cupboard

The pantry is many things to many people. To some, it is a tasty room of opportunity and snacks. As a parent, it could be your secret space to get away for a moment’s peace and quiet. On the other hand, maybe it’s a place that gives you stress with a free headache on the side.

The pantry can quickly become a hurricane of disorder that makes cooking, caring for kids, and simply running a home difficult. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to make this family space one that helps your house run smoothly and deliciously – with minimal effort on your end.

Check out these 3 suggestions from Closet & Storage Concepts Colorado for organizing your pantry food with a family in mind.

1. Snack strategy

When revamping your pantry, consider what snack storage strategy will work best for your kids. Will putting your kids’ favorite snacks at eye level for them make life easier so the little ones can easily grab something without the help of a grown-up?

Or maybe the “hidden and high up” strategy is a better fit if you have children who may not be able to restrain themselves from one more candy bar just before dinner.

Whichever you prefer, Closet & Storage Concepts can build the system for you! Pull-out drawers closer to the floor can help you designate a space specifically for pre-approved snacks while top-shelf baskets make it easy to bring down snacks when necessary. 

A pantry with a white finish storing lots of organized food2. Take a cue from grocery stores

Grocery stores tend to organize their food with “FIFO” strategy – first in, first out. Older food sits at the front of the shelves and the newer items are in the back.

You can do the same! Keep your food items that need to be eaten first at the front and stock backwards so you don’t end up with food that has been around for so long it might’ve seen Eisenhower sworn into office. Not only will this keep your pantry organized, but you’ll end up with less food waste, fewer grocery trips, and more money saved!

3. Set up an ingredients menu

If your family operates best with a little meal planning in advance, you can use your pantry’s organization to take it to the next level.

Hand reaching into kitchen pantry with Italian food products.At the start of the week, put together an “ingredients menu” by collecting all the different foods in your pantry that you will be needing for your planned recipes, and group them by meal. When it’s time to prepare that meal, all the pantry items will be ready to roll.

And if you realize you are missing something important when you’re pulling ingredients, you will have advance notice to go to the store. No more desperate dashes through the canned goods aisle to buy the beans you forgot for chili night!

Setting up a strategy to organize food enables your family to take full advantage of your pantry. The best place to start is with the foundation itself. A custom pantry layout will transform the way you use your space and streamline food prep and storage.

Custom shelving, pull-out drawers, built-in racks, and more will allow you to maximize space in your pantry, regardless of how limiting any of your home’s corners or awkward spaces may feel. Set up a free in-home consultation with Closet and Storage Concepts Colorado to see what custom design would elevate your family’s pantry organization!


Photo credits: © Nick Olson, © bit245