On the "Zone" Setup for Your Kitchen Pantry

The pantry is one of your key organizational centerpoints within any kitchen, and there are a few different methods you may consider for keeping it organized. One that's very popular among many homeowners, and is useful especially in homes where several people will be accessing the pantry regularly, is the use of "zones" for organization.

At Precision Closets & Garage, we're happy to assist with a wide variety of kitchen pantry design and organization needs, ensuring your kitchen space is completely organized and decluttered. What is the zone format for organizing a pantry, why is it so common and popular, and what are some of the key zones to think about preparing in your pantry if you're using this method? Here's a full rundown.

Kitchen Pantry Zone Storage Basics and Benefits

For those unfamiliar with the concept of kitchen pantry zone storage, it refers to setting up your pantry in different "zones" based on how you use those items. So for example, if you store most of your baking supplies, grains and cereals, and other food items together in one area, then that area would become known as the baking/cereal zone.

The benefit of this approach is that it makes your pantry far more intuitive to navigate, especially if you have a lot of items in there...and chances are, if you're reading about kitchen organization tips, the odds are pretty high that's the case for you! This setup makes it very simple to find what you need when you need it, and helps declutter your pantry space so that the items you use most often are closest at hand.

Let's go over some of the key zones that many people set up in their kitchen pantry if they're using this method.

Baking or Cooking Supplies

As we alluded to above, this is often a popular area for many people to centralize in their pantry, as these items are essential for most meals. These supplies include things like flour, sugar, pots and pans, baking dishes and utensils, herbs and spices, and any other specific ingredients or tools you use in cooking on a regular basis.

In conjunction with this, it may also make sense to create a small refrigerator space to store any foods that need to be kept cold and/or frozen. This might include things like hot dog buns, lunchmeats or cheeses, pre-made salads or vegetables, ice cream or other frozen treats you consume frequently.

If you live in a climate where you frequently use your oven (or other appliance like a slow cooker or rice maker), then it could be helpful to designate an area for those as well, since this will help you more readily determine whether you have everything on hand before starting cooking.

Canned and Packaged Foods

While canned foods are typically placed on a pantry shelf, the packaging for these will vary greatly in size. This can make it challenging at times to stack them efficiently without taking up too much space, so many people find it helpful to set up an area specifically designated for canned and packaged foods.

In here, you might sort items by type or brand name (especially if there are multiple sizes of a similar product available; for example, different size cans of tomato paste), as well as store other items related to this type of food. For example, if you have a lot of pasta in your pantry and want to keep it organized and easily accessible, you might include some cooking utensils (like measuring cups or spoons) as well.

Cereal or Breakfast Foods

Some people also find it helpful to set up a zone dedicated to breakfast and cereal foods. This might include things like boxes of Cheerios, Greek yogurt, granola bars or other snack items you typically consume for breakfast. Including some additional storage bins (possibly with lids) here could help keep these items separate from the rest of your pantry supplies, and make it easier to grab what you need in the morning.

Entertainment Items

The pantry doesn't just have to be for food items! Some homeowners also find it helpful to include a small entertainment zone here, where they store items that are more for fun or relaxation.

This might include books (especially cookbooks if you like to experiment with new recipes), magazines, board games, movies or other media on DVD or Blu-Ray, and perhaps even a television set if there's space. This will help declutter your living space, while still allowing you access to items that you might want to enjoy from time to time when not out and about or at work.

Tools or Appliances

Especially if you have a large pantry space, you may want to include some additional storage areas for items that don't fit in the other zones, like grilling equipment or lawn care supplies (if your home is on a larger lot), or various types of kitchen tools.

Keep in mind that it's also beneficial to make sure everything is labeled! This can be helpful if you have similar items (such as varying sizes of cans or packages), to ensure that you're getting the right one out when needed.

While it may take some time to set this up initially, having designated zones in your pantry can help streamline your food storage process and make it much easier for everyone in your home to access what they need.

For more on this, or to get help with any of your pantry or other home storage and closet system needs, speak to our team at Precision Closets & Garage today.