Prepping Your Pantry: 10 Simple and Effective Ideas for Organizing Your Gluten Free Pantry

If you’re anything like us, your pantry can go from no-stress to mess in fewer than 60 seconds. Messy pantries can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming to handle, making it more difficult to know exactly what you have in stock and what you need more of. Particularly, if you have family members who need to eat gluten free and some who don’t. 

Don’t let organizing your pantry be the stressful task you avoid doing. A well-organized pantry can be a game changer when meal prepping, especially if you are in transition to a gluten-free diet. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for your pantry prep.

Organization Prep

Purge: The first step to decluttering and organizing your pantry is to purge. Grab a notepad and pen and have it by your side as you take an inventory of your pantry, noting what you have and what you don’t have. Use this time to get rid of as much as you can, everything from spoiled and expired foods to unused appliances.

Clean: After everything has been removed and purged. Give your shelves and cabinets a thorough cleaning and make repairs or replace anything that needs some extra attention. 

Label everything: we recommend labeling everything as you go. Prepare for that in whatever manner works best for you. You can print labels via a label maker,  use removable stickers and label with chalk or markers, or print templates you find online. The choices and possibilities are endless, so have fun with it. 

10 Strategies for Organizing Your Pantry 

  1. Group like with like 

Putting like items together will ensure you always know where specific items are and exactly how much of it you have. This will help prevent going out and buying more of what you don’t need. Multi-use heavy duty sheet pans and container lids are a great way to keep like items with each other and also makes for an easy cleanup when spills occur. Large plastic magazine holders or even recycled soda can boxes can be used for canned food items. 

  1. Organize by zones. 

This is one of our favorite organization strategies. Divide your pantry into sections. You can create sections that suit your lifestyle and cooking habits best, such as dinners, snacktime, baking, kids lunches, canned foods, etc. Once you have created zones for your pantry, create labels for each section to help things stay organized. Put your most used zones towards the front of the pantry or somewhere that is easy to reach. 

Our pantry is organized by the following zones:

  • easy-to-grab snacks,
  • baking,
  • dinner prep,
  • lunch prep,
  • breakfast, and
  • food storage. This zone is additionally sectioned off between general food storage and emergency prep.

We also have separate shelves and spaces for gluten free items and flours.

  1. Leave space for non-food items. 

Always plan for function when organizing your pantry. Just as food items are placed together,kitchen appliances should be stored together. Leave space for all appliances and kitchen utensils that are stored in your pantry to fit and be stored properly. If storing on shelves, place your most used item at the front and less used items in the back. 

  1. Utilize your space.

Depending on the size and shape of your pantry, you can utilize the floor, walls, and even the door if there is one. Command strips and things like kitchen utensils or mops can do wonderful things together. Don’t forget about other non-food items like cleaning supplies, grocery bags, extra dishes, and linens.  

  1.   Turn shelves into drawers. 

If utilizing space is something you need to work with, turning your shelves into drawers will allow for you to stock your pantry full and make sure you have easy access to everything you need. There are a variety of different pull-out shelves available to suit the needs of any pantry organization. 

You can also use drawers to help keep gluten items separate from gluten free items and snacks. In one of our extended families homes, there is only one person who eats gluten so their pantry and kitchen is predominately gluten free with a drawer for the bread, crackers and food items full of gluten.  

  1. Make use of stackable storage containers.

We could all use a little more space and if maximizing shelf space is your goal, investing in stackable storage containers will give you the most bang for your buck. Getting rid of big and bulky boxes and transferring foods like pasta, breadcrumbs, cereal, or different snack items to stackable plastic containers can save a lot of space. Other pantry items like canned food and drinks can also be stacked to create more space while still giving easy access to what you use most. If you are looking to get a bit more out of your storage containers, there are stackable plastic containers that also slide out, a personal favorite for us!

If you purchase products or mixes in bulk like our Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix, we encourage you to cut out the directions and add it to the bigger container you use so you don’t lose the directions. You can also put the directions in your recipe book, or in a safe place so you can make the pancakes even if you don’t want to keep the bag. 

  1. Label everything. 

Label the zones you section out and all your food items as your organize, so you and visitors to your pantry will know where everything is. and label all your food items. If you prefer, there are also plenty of pre-made labels and even pre-labeled containers available for purchase that can make this step even more stress-free. We have found some fantastic pre-labeled jars and containers that have made it a little easier to organize.

  1. Invest in a spice storage system.

Most of us have more spices than we will probably use, duplicates of nearly everything and have them floating all over our pantry shelves. How you store your spices and herbs will prolong their life and also help prevent you from buying more of what you already have. 

Store spices and dried herbs in air tight containers and make sure that no moisture can get in. Also keep them away from heat sources and avoid strong and direct sunlight. 

  1. Keep track of your pantry essentials.  

Keeping track of what you use and what you run out of will help eliminate picking up multiple items and wasting food and keeps you on track to only purchase what it is that you need.

Keep track of a shopping list in whatever suits your organization and lifestyle best. There are many apps that can help you track your pantry, you can also keep track in a notebook, on your computer or your phone. We have a magnetic dry erase shopping list and meal prep schedule attached to the fridge which we update each time we take something off the shelf to use and notice that it’s low, or will be completely gone soon.

  1. Don’t stress the process.

The biggest piece of advice we want to share is not to stress the process. This is real life and things will get messy. Find a system that works best for you and use it. If you can find ways to organize simply that you can keep that way all the time with clean up and small re-organizations as needed, meal prep and planning will be so much easier. 

Contact Eating Gluten Free today if you have any questions or would like to to purchase our product today