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Pantry organization has been on my list of things to do for a while now. Whether you have a dedicated pantry or a set of cupboards and drawers in your kitchen, it’s all too easy for things to get cluttered and forgotten.
We don’t really have a pantry which makes organizing foodstuff difficult. So, we consider our pantry area to be the cupboards that we use to hold food. And, we don’t include things like mixing bowls and small appliances. I would love to have a pantry someday but there really isn’t room in our 1865 farmhouse.
With the new year, I tend to take a look at things we have on hand that have expired or I know we won’t eat. Every now and then, I buy something that I’m sure I will like. But, when we try it, we decide we definitely won’t be eating it again.
How do I declutter my pantry?
The first thing you need to do is to eliminate everything that is expired. There is no sense in organizing things that you should not be eating. Most foods have a best buy or use by date printed on them somewhere. I found a bottle of oil that was best used by 2016. I have no idea how I missed that. Throw them away and be sure to recycle the containers when possible.
The next step is to get rid of things that you won’t eat. If you’ve tried it and everyone in the house hates it, why keep it in the pantry forever? Pantry organization doesn’t make sense if you’re organizing things you’ll never use. Give them to a friend if you know someone will like it. Or, toss it if you don’t. Food that is still good and has not been opened can be donated to your local food shelf.
How can I keep my pantry organized?
Once you have only the food that is good that you’ll eat left, you need to organize it by type. So, keep all of your pasta in one area and all of your canned vegetables in another. Storing like with like will help you realize when you have excess. So, if you see that you have five cans of green beans, you might want to use a few of those up for dinner soon instead of buying carrots.
If you have food that comes in bags like flour, sugar, egg noodles or rice, I find it’s easiest to store them in the stackable plastic containers. These containers nest together so that there is no wasted space. The smaller ones can be stacked on top of each other. And, you can see through each one so you know exactly what’s inside each one.
If you don’t want the expense of buying all new stackable plastic containers, I often use Mason jars. I have so many of these in storage that I never have to buy them. While they won’t save as much space as a nested set of containers, they do work to store food that comes in a bag.
Pantry organization for teabags
We always have too many teabags. I end up having five or six different boxes open at once. One of the easiest ways to store these in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. If you have tea bags that are individually wrapped, you can simply store them all in one jar. The teabag holder will tell you exactly what type of tea you have.
Keeping up with pantry organization is simply a matter of putting new groceries in the spot you have designated for them.
How do you organize snacks in the pantry?
Snacks are my biggest downfall when it comes to pantry organization. My husband loves to snack. And, I work outside the home so I take snacks with me every day for lunch. That means that we tend to have a variety of different types of snacks on hand.
One of the difficulties with snacks is that they can come in single-serving sized containers. While it’s fairly simple to stack a box of crackers on a shelf, it’s much harder to pile eight individual cracker sandwiches on top of each other. We tend to toss the individual-sized serving packages of snacks into a wicker basket. You can keep it out on the counter so the kids can get their own snacks. Or, keep it in the pantry on a higher shelf. We use the same method for our fresh fruit.
What are the best pantry storage containers?
I really like the Rubbermaid Stackables. They come in a variety of different sizes so you can store everything from rice to pasta to flour to chia seeds. They even have a variety that are BPA free. The only thing I don’t like is that they don’t have somewhere to write on them what they are and when the contents expire.
My absolute favorite is these containers because they are airtight, BPA free and they come with chalkboard labels and a marker. There are twenty containers with lids. And, they come in lots of different sizes.
Pantry organization DIY’s
If you’re the crafty type, here are a few you might want to try.
- This hanging snack station keeps snacks easily accessible for the kids.
- Here are some tips for emergency preparedness food storage.
- This DIY spice rack is a very convenient way to store your spices.
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.