Organize Your Pantry by Zones
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.
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.
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.
Zone 3: Easy Weeknight Meals
Put a week's worth of dinner fixings front and center in sturdy bins. Divide each bin by meal.
More Pantry Ideas
Learn how to organize your pantry using a few tools of the trade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.