Ask the Organizer – Part 2 – “How do I organize food items and kids snacks?”

This is a GREAT question!! Kitchens come in all sizes with different storage spaces to work with. So, I will give several ideas that can be adapted to any kitchen pantry and frig.

ZONE OUT. In both the pantry and the refrigerator, store like items together and make zones for everything: snacks, baking items, spices, produce, beverages, soups, dry pasta, cereals, treats, etc. Put each category into a separate bin or on a designated shelf (use shelf dividers if necessary). There are many modular storage systems available for the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. They come in all sizes to accommodate everything from soup cans to water bottles to yogurt cups. Some even roll! Make sure you label each one. Don’t forget to designate a specific area for leftovers – which tend to get lost in the frig.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. Use an over-the-door-shoe organizer with clear plastic sleeves to store small pantry items like seasoning packets, spices, instant pudding boxes or baking items like chocolate chips and nuts. A Lazy Susan and tiered shelves are perfect for items in the back of the frig or cupboard.

SNACK ATTACK. Make a snack station in a drawer or bin in the refrigerator with individual sized snacks the kids can just grab and go. You can stock it with pre-packaged snacks like juice boxes, yogurt and cheese sticks or make your own with snack sized zip bags filled with carrot sticks and fruit. Make another snack drawer or basket in the pantry for items like raisin boxes, oatmeal packets, fruit snacks, applesauce and cereal bars. These items also fit perfectly in a clear plastic over-the-door-shoe organizer! You can also create a “Kid’s Pantry” in a lower cupboard stocked with snacks, paper plates, plastic spoons and napkins. Another option is to keep snack dispensers on the counter for cereal and snack mixes. Most are airtight, have a non-tip base and offer portion control.

BREAKFAST STATION. Keep a Breakfast Bin in the pantry, filled with cereal, bread and breakfast bars. Kids can just pull out the bin and make choose their breakfast in the morning.

CONTAIN IT – LABEL IT. If you buy in bulk, or want to repackage foods into clear plastic containers, make sure your containers fit together nicely and label each one. There are many food storage options to choose from – so look around and see what style you like best. Make sure they are airtight when closed. You can use a simple labeler or go fancy with mini chalkboard labels. You can even download free printable labels!

For pictures, tips, ideas and products to help you get the kitchen organized check out our Organizing the Kitchen board on Pinterest.

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