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How to organize your kitchen pantry on a budget

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Baltimore area residents are having one of the coldest winters in years, so cabin fever may be beginning to set in for many people. However, cabin fever is much easier to deal with when there are indoor projects to keep us busy. The kitchen is a good place to work on small organizing projects at this time of the year, as we tend to spend more time cooking during the winter months.

Organizing the kitchen pantry is a great project to work on and doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Even though, keeping it neat and organized is an ongoing job, every so often it's a good idea to see if improvements can be made to make the job easier and still keep within a reasonable budget. Whether you have a traditional pantry, or store your canned and dry foods inside the kitchen cabinets, you can find kitchen organization solutions to fit your needs. Here are 5 organizing solutions that may help without having to do a complete kitchen remodel:

1. Expanding shelves: Expanding shelves, also called expandable shelves, are 3-tiered shelves used to store and organize canned goods and spices. The stepped design allows you to view the items stored in the back of the shelf.

2. Bakeware organizers: Bakeware organizers help to organize baking pans and cookie sheets. There are similar organizers for pot and plastic storage container lids too. Racks have individual "file" slots, and can be bolted to the cabinet, or sometimes the weight of the pans will keep it in place.

3. Pantry organizers: Pantry organizers can help control the clutter of small items, like seasoning packets, soup mixes or drink packets. Think of a drawer organizer with compartment dividers, except taller.

4. Can organizers. Canned food or soda organizers are another great way to store and organize canned goods. They typically have a multi-tiered design which helps to maximize the space in the kitchen cabinet or pantry shelf. They can be quite large, so be sure to measure your shelves, including depth and height, before purchasing.

5. Glide-out shelves: For homeowners with a little more room in their budget, glide-out shelves are a great solution. Shelf Genie (pictured) is glide-out shelving installed inside your cabinets and can be used to store food or non-food items. This product can be installed inside almost any cabinet in your home, not just the kitchen. Arline Williams, runs the Shelf Genie market in Maryland, and will design a custom solution for Baltimore area homeowners. To learn more, visit the Maryland Shelf Genie website

The organizers described can be found at most local Baltimore area stores, like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Target.

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