How to Organize the Pantry Like the Grocery Store

How to Organize the Pantry Like the Grocery Store

Ready to organize the food pantry and go from a jumbled mess into one stocked with supplies to make delicious meals? Here are some tips to make cooking at home a pleasure.

If our home pantry were a tiny grocery store, would shoppers be able to shop for what they need and be able to find it on the shelves? If the answer is “no”, taking an hour or so on the weekend to get it organized will save tons of time by not having to search for recipe ingredients.

The key to an organized pantry is to think in terms of store aisles when grouping food items together. At the fabulous kitchen store Williams Sonoma, they have the pot section, the gadget section, an isle of baking pans and supplies, the glassware is grouped close to the plates and serving dishes, and the table linens are folded and stacked together, too. Arranging items by category is essential for an efficient and functional pantry.

Once you’ve made the decision to convert your pantry into one stocked with organic foods and environmentally friendly products, you’ll want to take an inventory of what you already have and what you’ll need to shop for. With food prices on the rise, adding a few extra items to the cart each week will save money in the long run and you’ll have a fully stocked organic pantry in no time. A good rule of thumb is to have a backup for every bag, box, can, jar, or personal product that you use on a regular basis.

A pantry is not so much a cabinet or closet to store food and supplies, but an assurance that your family will be stocked with basic items in the event of a weather emergency or when we’re unable to get to the grocery store for an extended length of time.

Think of your pantry as your own personal grocery store of consumable products. When shopping, you know where to find the things on your list because the store is organized by product type. For example, the canned vegetables are on the aisle with all the other canned vegetables, and all the green bean varieties and brands are grouped together. The pastas are all on the pasta aisle, grouped by type, shape, and brand. The spices are on the spice aisle and the condiments are on the aisle with all the other condiments and salad dressings.

Grouping similar items together on your pantry shelves makes it easy to shop from your own supplies and rotate the stock so you use the oldest products first. Make sure labels face forward so you can easily see the food items you have on hand.

Grocery List: the Basics

Pantry items are considered staples or dry goods. They tend to store well and stay fresh for a long time, eliminating extra trips to the store. Every family’s pantry is based on their own needs, wants, tastes, and lifestyle, so don’t buy anything on the list you know you’ll never eat.

  • Dried beans
  • Canned vegetables & fruits
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Cooking wine
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Dried fruits
  • Herbs & spices
  • Coffee & tea
  • Flours
  • Fresh garlic
  • Grains
  • Honey & sweeteners
  • Kid friendly foods & snacks
  • Maple syrup
  • Mustard
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts
  • Oils
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Organic broths & stocks
  • Pastas
  • Potatoes
  • Salad dressings & condiments
  • Soup
  • Vinegar
  • Yeast

Organization Tips

The grocery store has overhead signs to help you navigate and shop quickly and effortlessly. Have you considered adding labels to your own pantry shelves so everyone knows where items belong? Labels take the guesswork out of “Do we have any _______ ?” Your home is filled with your “supplies for living”. Organizing your consumable products into categories like they do at the grocery store makes it easy to set up and maintain a well-stocked organic pantry.

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