Declutter your pantry for spring with tips from a local organizer

We have a holiday weekend coming up; it’s somehow almost April; and the ramping up of vaccines means the country is edging its way back to normalcy.

Before you find your schedule completely full again, consider taking some time during this week’s rainy weather to get your kitchen organized for the busy season ahead. Professional organizer Sara West of South Coast Organizers helps clients straighten out their spaces. We chatted with her during the stay-at-home order last year for some fun, helpful kitchen organization tips to try at home. Now, we’re bringing back her tips, which remain just as useful a year later.

  1. Color code your cookbooks: This simple but effective strategy elevates your cluttered cookbook stacks to aesthetically pleasing kitchen decor.
  2. Clean out your spices: Pull all the spices out of the cabinet and throw out any that are a year or older past the expiration date. Once you’re done, you can make a list of spices that need to be replenished.
  3. Organize your pantry: Create zones in your pantry by placing similar items together. Label each section with a labeler or masking tape so each person in the home knows where things go.
  4. Create snack baskets: West recommends creating baskets for each person in the house. Each day, you’ll begin with a set amount of snacks. Once they’re gone, you have to wait until the next day to get your snack on. For extra help, put the baskets out of sight, so you’re not encouraged to eat all day while working from home.
  5. Organize Tupperware: Stack similar containers and lids together. You can keep the lids on the containers, or store the containers and lids separately.
  6. Style your mug collection: Color code or organize your mugs by size and shape.
  7. Meal prep: Go through your kitchen and make a grocery list for specific meals.
  8. Organize pots and pans: Stack like pots and pans with each other. Throw away or donate any damaged or overly scratched pots, and replace them with new ones.
  9. Clean refrigerator surface: There is still a lot of germs going around. Clean your refrigerator handle and outer surface before redecorating the fridge with friendly cards and wedding invites.
  10. Full kitchen cleanse: Go through your entire kitchen and throw out or donate items you no longer use.

This story originally appeared in an April 2020 edition of 225 Dine.