Ashe Organizing Solutions

Whether you have a walk-in pantry (ok, I’m envious) or a couple of deep shelves in the kitchen, your game plan in two words is this: zone defense. Here’s how it’s played:

1. Completely empty out the entire space.

2. Sort items, grouping like with like.

3. Discard all expired foods.

4. Consider donating large volumes of excess food to a local food pantry.

5. Set-up zones in the available space, giving a name and purpose to each zone:

  • a. All pasta making supplies in one area
  • b. All breakfast supplies in one area
  • c. All snack supplies in one area


6. Take stock of your zones, with an eye on the sheer volume. Admit it, you cannot store 10 lbs. of sugar in a 5 lb. bag, so don’t fool yourself if the volume is more than the available space.

7. Take a second pass now that you can see the volume clearly.

8. Less is more. Exactly how many cans of tomato sauce/paste, etc. do you need? If you want a stockpile of anything, consider storing it in a separate place if you’re short on space.

9. Select containers to hold like items—and have fun with it! I use a pretty basket to hold our favorite protein bars—no mismatched boxes here. I remove all the various bars from their boxes and put them on display, easy to grab and go!

10. Place loose items, or small items that tend to get lost, in containers as well. I like clear containers with bold labels, which helps to see what we have. I use a clear container to hold my smaller baking supplies, like food coloring, icing tubes, cupcake papers, and birthday candles. You get the idea!

11. Less is more with kitchen gadgets and heavy machines. Ditch (or donate) the bread machines, yogurt makers, George Foreman grills and Panini presses that hog up precious shelf space but are rarely, if ever used. Consider storing infrequently used gadgets elsewhere—or at least not on the most accessible shelves.

12. Have fun! You’d be surprised at how a zoned pantry can rein in your food storage challenges.

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