Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

7 Steps to a Picture-Perfect Pantry

Have you seen those trendy Instagram-worthy pantries that are taking the Internet by storm? Ever wondered if your pantry could look anywhere near that neat and orderly?

While it doesn’t have to be camera-ready, organizing your pantry can help you save time, reduce food waste, and make meal preparation a breeze. Here are seven steps to a tidy pantry that will bring a smile to your order-loving face:

Snowman mugs and dish set from Goodwill

#1: Empty and Clean

Start by completely emptying your pantry shelves. This gives you a fresh start and allows you to clean the shelves thoroughly. Wipe down with soapy water and assess your shelf space.

#2: Use Clear Containers

To create a pantry like the internet pros, opt to store dry goods like pasta, rice, and cereal in clear, airtight containers. Not only does this keep your pantry looking neat, but it also helps you easily identify the contents and prevents pests. Check out your nearest Goodwill thrift store for containers to fit your needs.

#3: Create “˜Zones’

Design your pantry so it best serves you and your family. Designate zones for categories of items you use most often. For instance, you could have a breakfast zone with cereals and oatmeal, a snack zone, a cooking essentials zone, and so on.

Baskets on a retail shelf

#4: Utilize Baskets and Bins

Smaller items can create clutter when placed directly on a shelf. Use labeled baskets or bins to corral those items and contain them in one area, then pull them out for easy access. Remember, you can thrift bins at Goodwill to save money and maximize sustainability!

Stack of colorful mugs from Ohio Valley Goodwill

#5: Think Vertical

Don’t forget to take advantage of the vertical space in your pantry. Consider adding additional adjustable shelves or hooks depending on your needs. Many of these organizers can be thrifted at Goodwill!

#6: Label Everything

Label your containers, bins, and shelves to quickly locate items and maintain order. Use labels that are easy to read and consistent in style. A label maker is a great investment if you’re serious about organization, but you could also get creative! For example, thrift some small trays or frames and paint with chalkboard paint to label your food zones. The possibilities are endless!

Toaster from Goodwill
Toaster from Goodwill

#7: Use the FIFO (First In, First Out) Method

One of the practical reasons to keep your pantry organized is to avoid food waste. Arrange items with expiration dates so that older items are at the front and newer items are placed behind.

Remember, the key to maintaining an organized pantry is consistency. Take a few minutes to put things back in their designated places after each use to prevent clutter from building up.

Ready to get started? Locate your nearest Ohio Valley Goodwill thrift store to find everything you need to whip your pantry into shape, for less! When you shop at Goodwill in Cincinnati, you’re supporting services that provide life-enriching employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in our community. Thank you for choosing Goodwill!