If you’ve ever found yourself rummaging through cluttered shelves in search of that elusive spice or can of beans, you know a well-organized pantry is the heart of a functional kitchen. How do you do it? Here are a few tips to keep the pantry of your new Balmoral home as tidy as the day you moved in:
Take It All Off
Whittle down your inventory to just the basics. Take everything out and give it a once over. Throw out expired items. If you have items that have never been opened, donate them to a food bank. The result will be a more streamlined, organized pantry.
Choose Your Categories
Categorize the items left on your counter. Choose categories that make sense to you such as baking supplies, canned goods, spices and condiments. Doing so will help you choose the best organizational tools for each category.
It’s Crystal Clear
Clear containers allow you to see what’s in the box. You also know if you are running low. Pastas, rice, dried beans, nuts, cereals and baking supplies are great candidates for clear bins.
Get Out the Label Maker
Some pantry items —like different types of flours, look the same. Label your containers to prevent mix-ups. Other items like nuts can go rancid, so add the date to your label.
Use a Lazy Susan to organize bottles and condiments. To find what you need, just give it a spin. For smaller items like spices or packets, use an over-the-door organizer. Adjustable shelving units or risers create additional vertical space and prevent items from getting lost in the back.
Don’t Forget the Kids
If you have young children or teens, you know they are going to rummage around. Instead of expecting them to put everything back the way they found it, create a family bin. Use one with dividers and fill it with bottled water, snacks and crackers. That way, they can rummage in the bin, not your shelves.
Regular Check and Rotation
To prevent ingredients from going stale or spoiling, perform regular pantry checks. Take inventory of what you have and rotate items to use older ones first. Make a habit of checking expiration dates and donating any unexpired items you won’t use to local food banks.
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