Organize Your Pantry by Zones

Zoning your pantry helps you see what food you have, what you need to restock, and where the groceries belong.


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Get in the Zone

    Divide your pantry in zones to keep your food organized and to reduce your meal-preparation time. First, identify food and cooking categories that suit your lifestyle (weeknight dinners, portable lunches, baking, etc.) Next, designate an area for each, with the most often-used zones in easy reach. Finally, label each zone.

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Zone 1: Impromptu Entertaining

    Stock a selection of fast-fix appetizers, napkins, toothpicks, and trays in baskets. When company arrives pull one down, and you're ready to get the party started.

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Zone 2: Baking Supplies

    Keep dry ingredients in clear, airtight containers that stack neatly and show you when your stock is low. Place mixes, frostings, and other ingredients on a nearby shelf.

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Zone 3: Easy Weeknight Meals

    Put a week's worth of dinner fixings front and center in sturdy bins. Divide each bin by meal.

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Mealtime Magic

    Plan and shop for several meals at once, then sort the non-perishable ingredients for each, including side dishes, into bins or baskets. Attach a label and the recipe. Now that meal preparation time is cut in half, you'll have more time to relax after work.

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Zone 4: General Food Storage

    Group food by type (veggies, fruits, soups, etc.) and arrange in rows on the shelf. Stair-step shelves put the back row of cans in view.

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Zone 5: Lunch on the Run

    Store lunch items, utensils, napkins, and bags together to make packing easier. This arrangement also makes preparing weekend lunches a snap.

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Zone 6: Quick Breakfasts

    Keep morning meals in an easy-access spot. Breads fit in an undershelf basket, and a double-decker turntable makes the most of a corner.

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Zone 7: Tools and Appliances

    Hang bulky or seldom-used utensils from hooks mounted on the wall or back of the door. If space allows, store specialty appliances in the pantry, too.

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More Food Storage Ideas

    Continue for more great ideas on how to store food around the kitchen.

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