It’s Day 22 of The 30 Day Home Refresh – another organization day today and we’re back in the kitchen, this time organizing your pantry.
Image from Mrs. Meyers
Empty and Purge
Take everything out of your pantry and check the expiration date on every item, toss everything that has expired. Donate non-perishable foods that you and your family won't realistically eat – for example, if the whole family has been gluten-free for the last year, you probably aren’t going to use the whole wheat pasta. While everything is out of the cabinet, take the opportunity to wipe down and sanitize all of the surfaces inside the cabinet.
Like with Like
Group similar items together, cooking oils together, nut butters next to one another, spices in the same spot, pastas in one place, etc. This makes it easy to see what you have on hand before your next trip to the grocery store and it makes it easy to find items when you're cooking.
Frequency and Routine
Also, consider frequency of use and your daily routines when deciding how to put things back into the pantry. For example, place the spices you use most often in the easiest to access spot. Depending upon your family's routine, a coffee station, breakfast foods shelf, a school-lunch section, or kids snack bin might also be helpful.
First In, First Out
When I was in high school, I worked in a grocery store and often times I would stock shelves. The rule of the thumb was to pull the oldest items to the front of the shelves and put the newest items in the back. Do the same with your pantry. If you have multiple boxes of cereal, pasta, or broth, arrange them so that the oldest one is the easiest to grab.
Decant and Label
Pantries lined with matching glass storage jars look pretty but putting things like flour and sugar in glass jars also helps preserve the freshness, rather than keeping them in open bags and boxes. When selecting your jars, think about how you intend to dispense what’s inside. Do you want to pour it? Look for a jar with an easy pour lid. Do you want to measure it? Look for a wide mouth jar to make it easy to get a large spoon or measuring cup inside the container. Stacking canisters are a great way to utilize all of the space between shelves. The little chalkboard labels also look nice on the glass jars, but you don't need a label to tell you which container has pasta and which has rice. More importantly, you want to put the expiration date on the jars.
Our Favorite Pantry Storage Items
Here are a few of our favorite pantry storage items.
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