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The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers invites you to explore this blog so you can be informed of the latest news, events and trends in the organizing industry.

February 1, 2013

Problem Organizing Your Pantry?

We are constantly in our kitchen pantries and often are overwhelmed by being unable to find a specific item.  Many of us struggle with this daily.

 This is what we’ve learned in our Chapter:

  • Too many items on one shelf. 
  • Not enough room to store everything. 
  • Outdated items are stuck in here too.
How can I get this together?

 We recommend that you start organizing your pantry; by removing every single item.  Check the expiration date on each item.  If the date is older than 6 months, toss it.  Example: if the date is June 2012 – it’s good; December 2011 – it needs to go.  You can check expiration dates for food @ 

Use your table or counter top, even the floor, if necessary to sort the items, into categories or ‘zones’. 


  • Baking Items
  • Beverages
  • Cereal
  • Fruit
  • Jell-o /Puddings
  • Paper Products
  • Pasta
  • Sauces
  • Seasoning Packets
  • Soups.
Once you have set up your ‘zones’ on your working surface; now look at the configuration of your pantry.  Do you have lots of room on your shelves?   Or is your pantry a small space?  There are many useful space expansion shelves and baskets available on the market.

We recommend lighter weight items to be placed on the top shelves: example, paper products and cereal. Moving down the pantry shelves, place the items you use most frequently; arranged by zone.  Also, there are many neat little baskets on the market to corral those pesky slippery packages and small boxes.  Even a small cardboard box can be used as a ‘file’ for seasoning packets.

Professional Organizer Cindy Greenleaf of New Leaf Organizing, LLC @ suggests you; “think about what you need to get from your pantry to complete a specific food preparation.  Example: baking.  It is really helpful to have all the ingredients in one container on a pantry shelf.  A small container, basket or even a plastic dishpan can hold flour, sugars, spices, chocolate chips, nuts and decorating items: so when you are ready to bake, you only need to reach for that specific container from your pantry to get you started.”

Once you’ve organized your pantry, it will be easier for you and your family members to access it on a daily basis. 

There is peace in the pantry.  Enjoy!!

For more organizing tips, please visit

Article submitted by Chapter member, Kathy Tucker, Director of Membership; owner and partner of Finally Organized, LLC.  You can visit Kathy’s website @ and learn more about Kathy @