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Ten Steps to an Organized Pantry

Making it a habit to clean out your pantry every 6 months not only helps you remember what you have, but it also makes finding things easier, therefore saving you valuable time. If it’s been a while since you’ve tackled your pantry, ask yourself the following questions to help with the process:

1) What has expired?

If you find items that have passed their expiration dates it’s time to toss them. If they’re not expired, look for signs of spoilage such as bulging cans, popped lids on jars, or unusual smells.

2) Do I have duplicates?

If you have multiple packages of the same item open, consolidate them. You’ll be thankful for the additional shelf space.

3) Will I really use this?

We’ve all done it. We see something that looks delicious, or purchased something unusual for a recipe we never made, and all it is doing is taking up space. Ask yourself honestly if you’ll ever use it. If the answer is no, consider donating it to a food bank or church or community pantry.

4) Are these healthy choices?

If eating healthier is a priority, there might be some fine tuning needed in your pantry. Unhealthy snacks are far too tempting when left in your home. Identify items with high sugar and salt content and let them go. Do it for you, and your family. To promote healthy habits, store those healthier snack items at eye level so you see and reach for them first!

5) Have my spices lost their spice-appeal?

Older spices not only lose their flavor over time, they also appear faded. The best way to determine if you should keep them is to do a taste test. Rub a small amount in your hand and taste it. If the flavor is strong, keep it. If it’s bland, or flavorless, it’s time to let them go.

6) Do my storage containers need to be replaced?

If you’ve been using the same containers for a while, it’s time to inspect them. If you find damages such as a lid that doesn’t seal, or a crack in the container itself, it’s time to invest in new ones. Airtight containers preserve your food investment and keep them safe from bugs. Coordinated and labeled containers also look great, creating a beautiful appearance in your pantry.

7) Can I group my canned goods?

After you’ve discarded expired cans, or those that have bulges, it’s time to organize them. To ensure that you know what you have, consider using risers. This allows you to see your selection in the front and the back, eliminating double purchases. Grouping them by category is helpful as well. Keeps soups together, vegetables, etc.

8) How can I group other foods?

Creating a plan for storing your pantry items is key to organization. Consider creating groupings of like-items to make finding what’s needed a breeze. You could place them together directly on the shelf, or place them in a labeled bin or basket. Here are a few examples:

  • Cereal and Oatmeal
  • Pasta and Rice
  • Flour and Sugar
  • Condiments
  • Baking Necessities
  • Spices
  • Oils and Shortenings
  • Beverages
  • Snacks
  • Nuts and Seeds

9) What’s missing?

After you’ve completed your pantry, it’s time to take inventory of what might be missing, or needs replacing. Ensure the job is complete by restocking them quickly.

10) How can I keep my pantry tidy and organized?

You’ve done the work, now it’s time to commit to keeping it organized. I know. It sounds easier said than done. Because your pantry is visited by everyone in your family, begin by showing them what you’ve done and explain how they can help keep it neat and tidy. Chances are, some family members will only be needing to go to certain areas of the pantry to grab snacks or beverages. Keep them at eye level for ease. Remember, it’s not just your responsibility to keep your pantry straightened out.

Keeping a clean, organized pantry doesn’t have to be difficult. When you ask yourself the questions above you’ll be able to do a thorough clean out and maintain it from there. You’ll feel a sense of peace every time you open the pantry door.

If you’ve discovered more storage space or organization solutions are needed, call Victory Closets. We specialize in creating well-designed, functional and beautiful pantries to suit every need. Call us for a free estimate!

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