How Organized is Your Pantry? Organization Tips That Save You Time
If you are frustrated with having too many duplicate ingredients and not enough staples in your pantry, set aside a day to get things in order. That day will save you time and money, make your everyday food prep routines easier and maybe even uncover some tasty goodies you forgot you had.
Start With a Clean Slate
Ready to start organizing your pantry? You’ll need to start with a clean slate, so empty your cabinets and pantry of all food items first. As you pull things out toss anything that is expired. If you find things your family does not eat but are still good, put them in a bag or box to donate to a food pantry (someone will be very grateful to have them.)
Clean Those Shelves
Before you start to put ANYTHING back you should clean all of the shelves onto which food will be placed. Rather than risk contaminating food with unwanted chemicals make use of a solution of 2 parts lukewarm water and 1 part baking soda. This is food safe, will get things clean and will even help remove any lingering odors.
Group For Convenience
Put like items (canned fruit, soups, etc.) together as you pull them out. Now take out all of the cooking utensils and miscellaneous debris. Look at each pot, pan, measuring spoon, box of plastic wrap, etc. and decide if you really use and love them. If not, toss or donate.
Typical zones include:
Baking – flour, sugars, food coloring, yeast, etc.
Dried food – pasta, rice, grits, etc.
Cereals and other prepared foods like cookies and granola bars
Canned – fruits, vegetables, soups, meals
Vegetables – onions, potatoes, apples (depending on your region), turnips, etc.
Create zones as you put your pantry back together. What your zones are will depend on your family size, your lifestyle, and your shopping patterns.
When & Where
Go meal by meal. Depending on how you shop and live, consider creating specialized containers in your pantry. If you shop weekly for specific meals, create a bin with all the ingredients for that meal and a copy of the recipe. Each week you could even have a bin for each dinner saving you time and money.
Specialize. If you entertain often, create a few specialized bins for quick appetizers. If you have young kids, put a bin low down in your pantry of snacks kids can have access to without needing your help.
Take charge of your pantry. You’ll be surprised at the savings. You will also be pleased with how easy it is to plan and make meals once everything is organized. And if you need help, the team at Just Organized are available to lend a hand!