Tips for Keeping Your Pantry Tidy
More often than not, the pantry is the epicenter of any kitchen. This is where dinners, snacks, and other food items are kept and where we find ourselves going time and again throughout the day. But, when a pantry is unorganized, it can be dreadful to try and find the items you are looking for. Having an organized pantry simply makes life easier, but getting it straightened out may seem overwhelming. Luckily there are some simple things you can do \ to help get and keep your pantry tidy and organized.
The first step in getting your pantry organized is taking inventory of exactly what you have in the space. Go through the pantry piece by piece and write down every item, including how many of each you have on hand. Once you have a complete list of items, break them out into different, larger categories – these categories can include groups like rice and pasta, canned goods, jarred goods, snacks, candy, and paper products. These categories will then be the basis on which you organize the pantry. Consider putting less used items on higher shelves and more popular grabs lower where they are easier to access.
Sort, Dump or Donate
While you are taking inventory of the items in the pantry, look at the expiration dates and sell-by dates of the items to determine if they are worth keeping. This is a great time to get rid of all of those foods that are dusty and forgotten about on the back of the pantry shelves. When things are jammed into a space and not visible, it is easy to forget they are even there, so do not be surprised if you throw away quite a few items. Also, if there are items you have purchased that the family does not like or does not use, consider donating them to your local food bank, as long as they have not already expired.
Use Labels and Containers to Organize
Once you have a list of what it is your pantry and have decided the major categories you would like to organize them in, it is time to put everything in its proper place. Using containers for items like cereal and pasta can help cut down on the amount of opened or damaged cardboard boxes that can quickly clutter a pantry. Also, consider using labels for certain items, especially those that children reach for often. Labeling different spaces will help to show family members where the items go back to when they are finished and will help to keep your pantry organized long term. Although this process may take some time, it will be worth it when you reach for an item and know exactly where to find it.
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