How about the 25 cans of cream of mushroom soup that you kept buying because you couldn’t remember if you had any, and boxes of dry goods that could stock a salvation army food kitchen. Sound familiar?
If you are like me sometimes meals are planed last minute (OK, I may be organized, but this does happen more than I’d like to admit) and its hard to plan when you don’t know what your looking at and can’t put your thoughts in order. Pantry organization is key for many different reasons.
- Plan instant meals
- Save time and money
- Dish out a prompt to dinner party
- Delegate meal duties to family members or a babysitter
- Provide a designated “snack” spot for your kids
- Other family members can help put away groceries in the right places, because it’s plain and insight.
Getting a hold of your food stock takes some thought. One of the biggest challenges is the odd shape and sizes of food packaging. This is a challenge whether you have wire or solid pantry shelves, a sizable space or not much at all.
Grab a cup of tea and crank up some Kelly Clarkson and lets get going! To begin your counters and kitchen table should be free of clutter. You will need this space. Have a box or bag set aside to place donation items and an extra trash bag.
|Pantry is clean, organized|
- Pull everything out of your pantry (yes, all of it)
- Group all the items on your counters and table according to "like items", for example all canned goods in one area and by type.
- Read the expiration dates, if it’s older than the hills, toss, if you have to many of one type, donate.
- Assess what you have and think of containers that would help contain. For example, Snacks that are individually wrapped can be taken out of their boxes and kept in an open bin. Shelf dividers give you extra space for canned goods to store below and above. Baking ingredients such as chocolate chips and nuts can be stored together in a basket. Transfer cereal, oatmeal, flour etc. into clear containers, this saves space and seals out air and icky bugs.
- Make a list of products needed and take a trip to your local Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond or go on line and check out Rubbermaid products
- Clean all the shelves and floor in the pantry. See if you need to repaint the walls to freshen it up. (Think about painting it a fun inspiring color) If you have wire shelving, line them with plastic shelf liner. It will prevent cans from going cock-eyed and boxes falling over.
- Begin placing items back in, using these ideas; snacks and cereal or anything that is used every day place front and center, so they are easy to see grab and place back. Items that you don’t use very often or buy extra backups keep on the top or lower shelf. These items could be extra paper towels, water bottles, and large kitchen items such as a crock-pot, large mixing or serving bowls. The lower shelves use for heaver items and food like potatoes and onions. Store these in open bins to allow air circulation and easy access.
- Don’t forget about using the door for odd shaped items or hooks to hang brooms and dust pans.There are literally hundreds of bins and organizing tools you can use to create a pantry that works just for you. Some of my favorite places to find products are Bed Bath and Beyond, Container Store, and Target. If you are looking for some fun and unusual containers look at stores like Home Goods and TJ Maxx. This is a great project that will give you such a huge sense of accomplishment when you are done.
|Wrap rack - organize your kitchen|
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