Pantries are tough. Big or small, there is guaranteed to have some expired, half empty items hanging out. My biggest pantry issue is mostly finished bags of tortilla chips. I save them, but end up buying a new bag anyways. Up until this last week, I had 6, mostly empty, stale, bags of chips in my pantry. Gross, right? Well I’m not alone! This is a common issue in most pantries, even if we aren’t willing to admit it. So how do we tackle the dreaded pantry and solve this problem for good?
Step 1: Empty + Clean
Take everything out and organize by items. Cans, bagged goods, boxed items, things in jars, etc. Now scrub. Get all the dust, crumbs, slime and mysterious dried liquids cleaned up. If you want to go all out, go ahead and and repaint and wallpaper the inside of your pantry. Not necessary, but it’ll make it prettier. For the average person, a magic eraser and some water should do the trick.
Step 2: Analyze
Now that your pantry is empty, appreciate it for a second! I bet you forgot how big it was. With all your items sprawled on the floor, how much of it was a surprise – the “Oh wow I forgot about this!” moment?
Think about the convenience of where everything has been located up to this point. Are there items shoved far back that you want to bring up? Once you’ve mentally organized everything, it is time to start the next step.
Step 3: Tackle problems
Problems such as items being unreachable is a super easy fix! Adding pull out drawers for shelving will make everything super easy to reach and accessible.
Pasta boxes taking over? Try switching all of your pasta, rice and quinoa into glass containers. Not only does it look cleaner and more organized, it will take away the issue of 5o different half boxes. Worried about not having the cooking instructions? Write them down on a piece of paper or sticky note and place it on the back on the container.
There are thousands of solutions to any issue your pantry may have.
Put everything back
Now that everything is organize and you have a plan, it’s time to put everything back. Take care this organization as it is key to keeping a happy pantry. Group items together so they are easy to find, keep labels face out, and stay consistent.
The best trick to keeping an organized pantry is consistency. If a container is almost empty and you bought a new one, either throw away the excess or put the excess into the new container. Check for expired items monthly, and keep it clean.