A functional and well organized kitchen pantry is the first step to making meal prep and meal time a breeze.
If you think having a small kitchen pantry prevents you from keeping it organized, take a look at mine.
This is by far the smallest and kitchen pantry I’ve ever had, and it’s the only shelf food storage in my kitchen.
An organized and well tracked kitchen pantry is a huge convenience and stress preventer. It means you will never run out of anything unknowingly, and you’ll be prepared if something unexpected were to arise (read: unexpected guests decide to pop in for dinner).
Here are a few of my tips to keeping it organized, and keeping an accurate inventory.
Kitchen Pantry Inventory:
Let me start by saying – I don’t have any fancy organizers, bins, or containers. I am working towards finding some that would fit well, but in the meantime I’m working with what I’ve got.
I’ve had two of these racks for years, I think I bought them at WalMart. They work wonderfully at creating an extra shelf in my kitchen pantry.
My best tips:
1. Categorize items as best you can.
It can be tedious finding a good system to maximize the benefits of keeping your shelf food categorized. The key here is to do what makes sense for you.
For instance: I like to keep my soups lined up, then next to those I line up anything tomato related – sauce, paste, or diced.
2. Write it all down and keep it in the kitchen pantry.
I have this sheet taped to the back of my kitchen pantry door. When I organize the shelves I make sure everything is accounted for, including quantities. It’s much easier glancing over this sheet than it is to rummage through the shelves.
Each time I use an item, it’s accounted for on my Inventory Sheet.
3. Buy twice as many of what you need.
If you’re going to pick up a can of tomato paste, pick up two. The benefit to this is that you will always have what you need should run low or run out of an ingredient as you are cooking a meal. When you tap into your backup, add the item onto your grocery list or inventory stock list. (I keep mine inside of my pantry too)
4. Have a small Pantry?
Take advantage of the inconvenient areas of your pantry. I have a top shelf in mine, and it’s not easily accessible unless I have a step latter. So I store less accessed items here most of the time, and on my inventory list I note that they are on that shelf.
5. Set aside stock inventor money.
I’ve recently started to set aside money solely for the purpose of stocking my pantry. I’m a cheapo when it comes to grocery shopping, and it’s hard for me to convince myself to spend money on extra items. I tend to be more of a “if I don’t need it now, I’m not getting it” person. So creating a specific fund to ensure our kitchen pantry stays well stocked, has helped me maintain what we have without feeling like I’m spending what I don’t need to spend.
Use this Kitchen Pantry Inventory sheet to help you stay organized and keep your kitchen pantry inventory up to date!