I don't keep a large stockpile, because of my lack of storage space. We don't have a pantry closet, so I use several cupboards in my kitchen for food storage and some shelves in my garage for any overflow. Because of my lack of space, I am more of a ‘shop as I need’ kind of person and I use the sales flyers to plan a week’s menu.
When my cupboards are in disarray, I wind up with duplicates, out of date food, and wasted time. No matter how big or small your pantry is, these steps will help you organize it to be more functional and less frustrating.
7 Simple Steps to an Organized Pantry
1. Remove everything from the cupboards and clean the shelves with a damp cloth and dry.
2. Sort food items by category, such as baking items, breakfast, canned goods, coffee/tea, condiments, pasta/rice, snacks, etc.
3. Place your foods near the spot where they are used. Where do you use each category? All of my spices and herbs are in a cupboard next to my stove. All of the cooking oils and vinegars are above my stove. My coffee is stored right by the machine and all of my baking supplies are stored right above the counter where I use my mixer.
4. Face the food labels forward for easy viewing.
5. Alphabetize your herbs and spices.
6. Donate any food that you probably won’t eat and is not outdated to a food bank.
7. Discard any outdated food. I found this bottle of Ground Cayenne Pepper with a August 2000 date on it. That was 2 months before I got married and I was not much of a cook back then, so I'm not quite sure what I was doing with a bottle of Cayenne. I guess it has been some time since I weeded out my spices. I ended up throwing 7 bottles of out-dated spices away...OUCH!
A clean and organized pantry will make menu planning easier for me.
I think it is safe to say that I don't need to replace the cayenne.
What does your kitchen pantry or food storage area look like? Does it need a little attention? Let us know in the comments.
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