Organize Your Pantry

Pantry Organization

Homeowners who have enough space for a pantry are tasked with how to organize it. Fortunately, organizing a pantry is relatively straightforward, and after everything has been put in its place the up keep is minimal. Here are some pantry storage tips:

Buy See-Through Containers
See-through containers are attractive and save the homeowner the trouble of having to open tins and boxes to see what’s in them or how much is left.

Buy Labels or a Label Maker
Nowadays, electronic label makers provide various fonts and sizes, and the labels can be stored in the machine’s memory. On the other hand, a homeowner can buy books of pretty, Victorian peel-and-stick labels and fill them in by hand. Make sure that the surface of the container is clean and perfectly dry before trying to put a label on them. Labels won’t stick otherwise.

Inventory the Pantry Every Week if Possible 🙂
Checking what’s in the pantry every week makes sure that a homeowner doesn’t buy what’s not needed. It also helps them see what items are past their sell-by date and need to be replaced. For example, baking powder is good for about a year. If the original container doesn’t have the sell-by date on it, the homeowner should create a label with the date the item was purchased.

Place Like Items With Like
Put onions and shallots together, but put potatoes on another shelf, for potatoes can cause the onions to rot. Group bags of different flours such as all-purpose, bread and cake flour together as well as containers of different types of rice such as basmati, sushi or long grain. Oils, condiments and sauces should be grouped together, as should non-comestibles like paper towels, napkins, straws and plastic spoons and forks. This cuts down on the time spent searching for a particular type of food for a particular meal.

Zoning
A variation on keeping like things together is to have zones on the shelves. One zone can store dessert items, while others can store food items for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. Some cooks buy the ingredients for a meal, place the non-perishables in wire bins and attach a label with the name of the meal and the day it’s going to be served.

Buy Accouterments
Accouterments such as stair step shelves keep items in the back from getting lost and forgotten. Placing items on long serving trays protect shelves from spills. Other things to consider are multi-level turntables, undershelf baskets and hooks mounted on the inside of the door to cooking utensils. If the pantry’s deep enough, baskets can also be hung on the insides of pantry doors.

Keep It Clean
Tidy the shelves of the pantry every day. Wipe down shelves, add new labels to containers whose labels are peeling, and check for vermin. Vermin such as flour beetles are another reason to keep comestibles in air tight containers and not in the bags they came in. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes can be chewed through.

When done well, pantry organization makes fixing meals fun and almost effortless.

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