You’re making dinner. You open your pantry door, and everything is neatly labeled, ready for use. Life is simple. Everything is clean and organized. Tragically, my pantry looks a bit like a goat exploded in there, and I haven’t had the courage to tackle it. There’s an excellent tutorial from HGTV that I’ve paraphrased below–take a look and see if this helps you, too.
Clean First and Organize Second
Here’s how to clear the way. Begin by throwing things out. It feels great and alleviates a big part of the task. Start by grouping items in one of two piles. The first pile? Items to throw out – including products that are past their expiration dates, stale, or have been crushed. These items are no longer safe for your family to consume. The second pile includes items you’ve not used in the last nine months. Consider donating the unused items to your local Food Bank.
#1: Make Every Inch Count
The secret to an easy-to-use pantry is visibility. You should be able to see everything you have. Remove smaller items (such as spice bottles or small cans) and place them in a basket or in a door rack. Adding a riser shelf or Lazy Susan will double your pantry space and help you find things quicker.
#2: Embrace FIFO
FIFO is the accounting term for ‘First In First Out’. When it comes to your pantry, place newer items in the back and use up older items first. You’re less inclined to let good things go bad. It’s also a good idea to keep a pad of paper and pen inside your pantry door. Simply jot down items that need replenishing. The next time you go to the store, your list will be right there.
#3: Organize For You
No two families or pantries are alike. When arranging yours, think about what will work for your group. This may be stocking items by type (e.g. bottles, cans, bags), by family members (you, your kids, pets), or by their purpose (e.g. snacks, sweets, ingredients). There is no right answer. Just find the way that works for you.
Reprinted from HGTV Homekeeping