A perfectly packed pantry can serve as an inspiration for delicious homemade meals, as well as reduce the amount of food waste and unnecessary purchases. But sometimes our pantries get so out of control we think there’s no help. Let’s stop avoiding it! By tackling your problem pantry head-on, you may discover that an organized pantry is a source of great pleasure. (You may also discover some expired food…)
-Be merciless. If you bought that quinoa in 2010, it’s expired. Throw it out. What about the four jars of nutmeg? You only need one. Toss the other three out. That dented can of tomato soup no one will eat because everyone in your house hates tomato soup? Chuck it.
-Don’t keep anything you’re not going to eat, anything that’s expired or anything you don’t recognize. Take a look at the types of things your family doesn’t use, and then don’t buy them again. A proper purge can help you shape your future buying habits so that you don’t waste your money on items that won’t get used.
-Line up all of your remaining items on a counter or table. Divide them into categories like canned goods, pasta, dry goods, cereals, etc. and keep like with like.
-Combine things that can be combined. Say you want to keep your four bottles of nutmeg. Combine all four into one container and throw the rest out.
-Use colorful storage containers that are BPA-free to keep your bulk items fresh and ready to use.
-Then, wash and sanitize all of your pantry shelves with a mixture of hot water and a drop of all-natural dish soap. Be sure to get up all the sticky spills, and vacuum up any stray solids.
-Wipe down any sticky jars before you put them back on the shelves.
-Place your items back onto the shelves, keeping like items with like items, and facing the labels out for easy recognition.
-Put heavy items on the bottom shelves; everyday items should be placed at eye level. Small, rarely used items can be place up high. Purchase a step stool if you don’t have one to reach things more safely. Use clever storage items to sort things like napkins, cleaning supplies or other accessories you keep in your pantry.
Doesn’t your clean pantry give you a whole new sense of calm? Did you find anything you’d forgotten about or anything you’d love to make tonight? Are you ready to tackle your junk drawer? Just kidding. Enjoy your perfect pantry!