What is a pantry zone exactly? Well, in the world of pantry organization, zones just might be your new BFF. First, let’s talk about what why zones are important and, more specifically, why you should create them in your kitchen.
Creating pantry zones means you’re simply grouping like items together and assigning them to a specific area within the overall space. In other words, it’s a simple way to make your life simpler. It’s also an excellent way to organize and maintain a clean functional pantry.
Paying close attention to how you zone your pantry will ensure that you have quick access to the items you reach for the most. In other words, you should never have to move a 5-lb. bag of rice out of the way every time you want a bowl of cereal.
Implementing a zoning system in your pantry will also help you keep track of the freshness of your food and keep closer tabs on your overall inventory.
Here are some suggestions for zoning success.
Zone 1: Non-essentials
Store lesser-eaten foods in remote areas like top shelves or back corners. Save the accessible areas for everything else.
Zone 2: Dry Ingredients
Place dry ingredients like beans, rice, pasta, flour and oats in clear air-tight containers. This will keep them fresh and also let you see how much you have left of an ingredient.
Zone 3: Canned Goods
For safety and accessibility, store canned goods within arm’s reach or even lower. Use a space organizer or install a wire shelf to maximize space.
Zone 4: Quick Meals
Place easy breakfast, lunch and dinner meals at eye level. These are “meal helpers” and it’ll help you if they’re easy to see and easy to reach.
Zone 5: Liquids
Oils, vinegars, and any non-refrigerated sauces or condiments should be placed as low as possible on a spill-proof mat.
Zone 6: Herbs and Spices
As long as your pantry remains cool and dry, spices can go just about anywhere. Just be certain to place them in an area where they’re easy to reach. A spice rack placed on the back of the pantry door is a popular option.
Zone 7: Special Foods
Does someone in your home have allergies? Is someone in need of gluten- and wheat-free meals? Consider designating an area in the pantry specifically for those special needs.