Your pantry is the stockroom for any food items that you do not put into your refrigerator. Some kitchens have a pantry with just a few shelves while others have a walk-in pantry where you could store more supplies that can last for several weeks. But regardless of the size of your pantry, you need to organize it. You don’t like to look for a certain item in vain when you actually don’t have it in your pantry. And that frequently happens when you have a disorganized pantry.
Here are eight tips on how you can organize your pantry in no time and to keep it that way:
1. De-clutter. If you often have problems looking for an item in your pantry, that should give you a hint to start organizing it. Remove all items in your pantry and put them all aside. Throw items that are already past their expiration dates.
2. Arrange by groups. Assign a section of your pantry for each group of items. One of the best ways to organize your pantry is to arrange each item by groups. Common groupings include baking products, canned goods, beverages, snack and dessert foods, pasta and grains, and condiments and spices. Create dividers to separate each area. This will make it easier for you to keep track of the items in your pantry. Also, for heavy items, the rule of thumb is to place them at the bottom of the pantry.
3. Order by frequency. When assigning areas for each group of item in your pantry, the rule of thumb is to arrange the items you frequently need closer to you. This will make it easier for you to reach and return them after use. It would also help if you put labels on the shelves and drawers on what goes there.
4. Order by priority. When arranging items, put recently purchased items of the same kind at the back of the shelf so you would consume first the first ones you bought. This system is called first-in, first-out. This will ensure that consumables are used before their expiration.
5. Don’t overstock. It is best to shop small so your stocks are always fresh. Many families commit the mistake of buying foods in bulk to save on discounts but in reality, they don’t really save because the items they buy in bulk just sit in their pantry until they are past their expiration date.
6. Unwrap. Before you arrange the items in your pantry, unwrap excess packaging so they will not take much space in your pantry. Doing so will also let you clearly see the products in your pantry.
7. Relocate. For some items, you may need to remove them from their original packaging. A good example of this is your flour and pasta. It would be good to remove them from their original packaging and transfer them to containers that are properly sealed. Make sure that the containers are labeled.
8. Keep cool. Most importantly, your pantry should not be directly exposed to sunlight or sources of heat such as the stove as this can badly affect many types of consumables.
These simple tips should then help you have a clutter-free and more organized pantry.