Here’s a quick quiz for you: Have you tried to organize your pantry, only to discover that you have six containers of cinnamon but no boxes of cereal for breakfast tomorrow? You probably have. Most people have. The key to making sure that you don’t have too much of one item and not enough of another is to organize your pantry. Here are three tips to teach you how to do just that.
Label Spaces In Your Pantry
The folks at your local library could teach you a little something about shelf organization. If it has been a while since you’ve been to the library, here’s a reminder. On each of the shelves, there is usually a little sign that tells what types of books you’ll find on the shelf in question. You can organize your pantry in the same way.
Have certain shelves or areas dedicated to certain items.
By labeling your shelves, you can see in a quick second which items go where.
You’ll get even more mileage out of this system if you also organize the pantry by categories. For example, dedicate one section of your pantry to bulk dry goods, like pasta or rice, one for snacks, one for canned goods, etc. Once you have the sections established, label them.
If you have a lot of smaller items in a section – Consider using baskets in that area.
Baskets are prefect for items like snack foods or spices, or keeping a particular food category together eg all your pasta varieties.
An important tip – Remember to label your baskets .
First In, First Out
First in, first out or FIFO counts as a staple in the restaurant world. The principle speaks to how these retail outlets make sure that the first item that goes in their pantries or fridges is the first thing that goes out. This cuts down on spoilage. Restaurant workers ensure this happens by rotating stock. The new stock gets pushed to the back and the older stock gets pushed back up to the front. This principle doesn’t only work in industrial kitchens. It’ll work in yours, too. Put a system in place, like setting a rule for how little of a product should be remaining before adding it to the shopping list can be a helpful way of making sure that you never run out. That might mean you have enough of something to make one or two more meals before you add the item to your shopping list. The idea is that the better you keep tabs on your rotation, the better chance you have at eating all your food before it goes bad.
Use the Right Containers
The containers you use can make all the difference when you organize your pantry. If you can’t see what you have on the shelves, then chances are you have food waste. Instead of going with opaque containers, opt for clear plastic containers to store dry goods, like macaroni, rice, and flour. This setup allows you to see at a glance what dry goods you’re running out of. Mason jars or glass jars, make excellent transparent food containers. Buy more when the container is low enough to accommodate what’s left plus a bag or two of fresh stock.
Make sure your jars and containers are like your shelves or baskets : Clearly labelled!
Organizing your pantry
Organizing your pantry helps you to keep better track of your food. It ensures that you buy food exactly when you need it. You know your pantry-organizing efforts have been successful when you buy just enough food to keep it stocked, which cuts down on food waste considerably.
If you would like to get some more pantry organization ideas, I have written several blog posts on this topic
For a full pantry organization overhaul – Read our Pantry Organization blog post and get the free checklists and work sheets.
For a quick pantry organization makeover This Blog post has 8 quick ideas to buy on Amazon and no tools required!!