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How to Organize Your Pantry

Is your pantry out of control with cans, boxes, jars and more? Keeping it organized will save you time, money and frustration. Here's how to makeover your disorganized pantry.

Whether it's to grab a snack or prepare dinner, your pantry is probably the place your family uses every single day. Professional organizer Neitra Blair shares her tips on how to keep your pantry organized. She says it will save you time, money and a few headaches.

"An organized life is an easier life," says Neitra.

Here's how to do it, step-by-step:

1. Purge: Start by going through things, shelf by shelf, and categorizing. Throw away expired food, and get rid of things you don't use.

2. Create Piles: One for your plastic ware, pots and pans, spices and a pile for things that just need to be stored elsewhere or donated.

3. Categorize: Put all your perishable goods together: potatoes, macaroni and cheese, beans, etc. When you take your snacks out of the boxes it allows you to see how much you have left.

4. Organize: Neitra suggests repurposing items you already have to help you organize. Here are a few of her suggestions:

  • Use an empty glove box to store plastic grocery bags.
  • Reuse plastic food containers to store brown sugar, flaxseed, sugar and corn meal air tight containers.
  • Use old laundry basket to store Tupperware and over-sized pots.
  • An old dish rack is great for holding pot tops.
  • A magazine holder can be used to organize canned goods.
  • Use a shoe organizer to store plastic wrap, foil and snack bags.

4. Label: If you don't own a label maker, use painters tape. Write your categories and label each section of the pantry.

5. Maintain: Now that you have places for everything, make sure to put things where they belong.

Neitra says you should purge once a year to help maintain the pantry for the long term.

"I think having my pantry organized now, I'll be able to see what I need to buy and not overbuy," says Jane Morin, who had Neitra's help organizing her pantry.

For more from Neitra, visit organizinglifestyles.com.

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