We’ve all opened our cupboards looking for something to make for dinner and ended up turning around to pick up the take out menus, because the pantry was so cluttered and disorganized we couldn’t figure out what to make. This is especially frustrating if you have been working hard couponing to build up a stockpile of staple items that would keep you from spending extra on take out.
Here are 6 Steps To An Organized Pantry that will help you prevent this problem and keep track of what you have on hand. Not only will it keep your cupboards clean and orderly, but it will help you to rotate your stock frequently so food doesn’t go to waste because it ends up out of date.
6 STEPS TO AN ORGANIZED PANTRY
INVEST IN PROPER SHELVING & STORAGE: One of the most important parts of getting organized is to have the proper tools to make it possible. Space and money are often limited, so it’s often a matter of adapting what you do have on hand to make the most of it. Picking up some canned good storage systems will help keep those orderly and in proper date rotation. A few large storage containers can keep pastas, flours and other items air tight and free of bugs all while making them easier to store and stack. Labeling your canisters can keep things easy to find.
PUT MOST USED ITEMS AT EYE LEVEL: Do you eat cereal every day or make oatmeal each morning? Make sure those items are at eye level and easy to reach. Items you will use daily or weekly don’t need to be stored on the top shelf causing you to use a ladder to retrieve them. Extra time spent will discourage you from using products.
STORE MEAL INGREDIENTS TOGETHER: Do you have a hard time coming up with new ideas for meals? Store items together that will go well in dishes. Corn next to black beans. Pasta sauce with pastas. Beans with chili or taco seasonings. This can often help you know what “meals” you have on hand and what other ingredients need to be purchased to complete them.
STORE ITEMS USED INFREQUENTLY ON TOP SHELVES: Do you have a ton of cookie cutters for seasonal treats or perhaps specialty seasonings that are only used on a rare occasion? Store those items that are used infrequently on your top shelves.
LABEL EVERYTHING: If you have it in a storage container it should be labeled. Nothing is more frustrating than having 7 containers that look identical but no clue what is in each of them. These common and handy chalkboard labels are a perfect solution. You can easily erase and change the name of product on the front as what you store changes.
SHOP YOUR PANTRY ONCE A MONTH: At least one time a month head to your pantry and go “shopping” for items that you’ve had on hand for awhile. Make sure to include those in your upcoming weeks menu plan. This helps weed out odds and ends that aren’t used often or that you’ve forgotten about picking up. It also cleans out space for items your family will use more often when you find it on sale.
While these 6 steps to an organized pantry are simple and likely things you already knew, it often helps to be reminded of the basics. Keeping track of what you use more frequently can help you know what to stock up on more often, and also eliminate extra monies spent on items you find sitting for months on end in your pantry.