We moved recently from an apartment with deep pantry shelves to a home with about half the pantry space. My old pantry was fairly organized, with labeled bins and a place for everything. The new one, however, became jumbled after just tossing things on the shelf anywhere they fit. With half the space as before, organization became even more important.
When the pantry is a mess:
- You can’t see what you have on hand to use for meals, so you end up buying it over again (cough…found 4 boxes of breakfast toaster pastries…cough…)
- You can’t see what’s going to expire so that you can use it up
- The idea of cooking something seems daunting, and the alternative of take-out/eating out is so tempting
With that in mind, here are the steps that were helpful to me in reorganizing our pantry:
- Wipe off your kitchen counters and place all of your pantry items on it
- Wipe off pantry shelves/racks
- Discard items that are stale, expired, etc.
- Of what’s left, group like items together before finding a place for them (all the cans together, all the pasta together, etc.)
- Put small loose items (granola bars, etc.) in bins or plastic containers
- Gather all of your spices/condiments and put in a bin or spice rack
- If you have way too much of something, make a mental note to use that item in meals this week, or if it’s not expired or open, donate it to a food bank
- Put everything that’s open/not able to be resealed (chip bags, baking mixes, etc.) in a gallon-sized plastic zip bag or a plastic container with a lid
- If you happen to get ants in your pantry, you won’t have to throw open items away (I’ve learned this the hard way!)
What helps you keep your kitchen organized? Comment below!
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