An Organized Pantry
February 12th, 2013 posted by Monica Resinger
One of my chores this past week was organizing the pantry. It was a horrible mess! I had put off cleaning it, and the resulting disorganization was overwhelming. Nothing was in its place. Items were thrown wherever there was room, thus creating pantry chaos! Had the pantry been organized, it would have saved time, money and a needless trip for my husband. An example; One evening I was making burritos, went to get some refried beans and couldn’t find any. I thought we were out and sent my husband to the neighborhood grocery store where items like refried beans are not cheap. Searching through a disorganized pantry can be mind boggling when all you’re looking for is one item! An organized pantry can also save on waste. I have found spilled flour, noodles, Jell-O and cornmeal packages. And, an organized pantry can prevent injury, such as cans flying out at you when you open the door. I am not kidding! I admit it — my pantry was that bad. So, knowing that my past organization wasn’t working and in an effort to improve my pantry and myself, I thought over how to have a better system of storage. This is what I came up with:
Assign a home for each different type of item. Have one shelf for cereals, one for canned foods, one for spices and another for prepared boxed meals such as macaroni and cheese. If you need to, you can split a shelf between for different foods. Be sure to keep the multiples of each food together so you can see at a glance how much of something you have. Store taller items on the back of the shelves. This makes them easier to see, thus easier to find.
Reduce Dead Space
Be sure these shelves don’t have too much “dead space”. Dead space is unused space. This space can be found even above what you are storing. For example, while putting away canned food on its designated shelf I couldn’t stack two regular sized cans one on top of the other, but, there was a lot of empty space above the cans. Dead space. I adjusted the shelf up a few inches and now I have the room to stack the cans. This made a tremendous difference – I could now get all canned foods on this one shelf rather than scattered throughout the pantry.
Useful and Attractive Canisters
Find canisters or other holders for noodles, flour, sugar, rice, popcorn, or other foods that come in flimsy plastic or paper bags. I used to store the bag of rice right in the open bag, which always lead to spills, not to mention the possibility of insect infestation! Now I use canisters, empty coffee cans, glass jars and other containers to hold these items. If you use pretty glass jars, which you can find at thrift stores, you use them to store noodles, rice, split peas and other attractive foods, then display them on your kitchen counters. This also saves pantry space. The effort you put into organizing your pantry will reward you with saved time, money and frustration. It is so nice to be able to open the door, see everything organized and in its place. It is also nice to open the door without a can falling onto my feet.