By Clair Morton
Last updated on: September 13, 2018 at 4:46 pm
Have you ever pulled a food item from your pantry with a use-by date from the 90s? Ever bought a grocery item to come home and find you already had two of the same thing stuffed in the back of the cupboard?
A cluttered, disorganised pantry is a pretty common theme in a busy household, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Putting a bit of effort into organisation can save you money in the long run too, as it stops you buying things you already have.
Here’s how to do it:
Clear it out
The first step to making over your pantry is to pull everything out and see what you actually have to work with. As you’re removing things, it’s a good idea to group like items together – canned foods, spices and condiments, breakfast foods, staples, party supplies etc.
Tools of the trade
Baskets, air-tight containers, jars and labels – these are your front-line tools in pantry organisation. And they don’t have to be expensive, either. Look around the kitchen and rest of the house for any spare baskets, old instant coffee jars, and Tupperware containers that might help out. Clear storage containers work the best for storing foods, as you can see when it’s time to go shopping again. Chalkboard labels and washable paint pens are great for labelling pantry goods.
Front and centre
Once you’ve assembled your arsenal, it’s time to start re-stocking the pantry. Keep your foods grouped, and ensure things you use most often are in the most accessible places.
Store dry foods in clearly labelled and airtight containers to keep them from going stale, and to make sure no bugs can get in. If you’ve never had to get rid of a plague of weevil moths, trust us, you don’t want to.
You also want to make sure you can see everything in your pantry at a glance. To improve visibility, use expandable wire shelving or a box to create a second tier at the back of a shelf. If you can’t see everything in there, you might miss things and end up buying doubles, or you could just create a mess trying to find something.
Depending on the depth and shape of your pantry shelves, you might even be able to get creative and hack your pantry with an old lazy susan. All you have to do is put it in place, fill it with cans or spices and voila! Spin to reveal all your options.
Keep it clean
You know that one part of the pantry that gets sticky and gross from liquid ingredients? In a busy household it can be really difficult to stop this happening, but if you store oils, vinegars and sauces and honey on a spill-proof mat the rest of your food won’t be impacted. It’s easy to clean too.
Store non-essentials in harder-to-reach places, have an overflow basket at the bottom of the pantry for bulk items and leftovers, and keep a foldable stool in the bottom of your pantry. It’s also a good idea to stick a whiteboard to the inside of the door. That way, when something runs out it can be added straight away. #organisationgoals!