As designers, we commonly hear our clients refer to their kitchens as the heart of their homes. We couldn’t agree more! Like the ventricles pump blood to our hearts to keep it going, pantries supply the needs to run a functioning kitchen. It’s true! No matter how large or small your pantry is, whether it is its own space, a stairwell cubby or even just a pantry cabinet, the pantry holds items we need to work efficiently and productively in our kitchens.

Let’s take the advice of our Cardiologists and make sure our ventricles are clean and working properly. With the help of information from The Container Store and tips from our very own clients, here are a few suggestions when it comes to organizing and maintaining a properly functioning pantry.

1.       Clear containers! Available at almost any home-store retail chain, clear containers are our number one go-to for organizing. Being able to see your food not only limits the amount of duplicates in your pantry, it also limits the amount of time searching. Seeing what you are running low on will help make the dreaded grocery list easier to compose. Sugar, flour, cereal, even pasta; you name it and these containers can handle it.

2.       Label it! Craft stores have numerous supplies for creating pantry labels. Items such as chalk pens and pre-made stickers can make finding the pretzels that much easier. Even if you are using clear containers, labels can still be very helpful for all users. Have fun with it. This is an opportunity to use your creative side and add character to an otherwise mundane space if you let it.

3.       Arrange by zone. Minimizing the amount of time spent in the pantry will maximize your end product in the kitchen. Be sure to separate your baking supplies to their own area as well as your can goods and seasonal items. If you have room for your turkey platter and roasting pans you only use on the holidays, keep those items higher on your shelves. Some of our clients also separate their everyday items to their own zone for easier access. Most storage containers and like items are stackable. Be sure to maximize height and depth of your pantry, especially if it is on the smaller side.

Be sure to start with an empty pantry, weed out expired goods, unused items and “unwanted but should keep because you got it as a gift” pieces. If you start out organizing your pantry with these tips in mind you are well on your way to a very healthy heart, umm we mean pantry.