Have you ever fought that losing battle with the pantry? I know I certainly have. No matter how hard you try, the pantry just refuses to stay clean and organized. Well, today I say: enough is enough! It’s time to take back control and create a space that brings joy, instead of causing stress. In short, it’s time to channel our inner Marie Kondo and whip the pantry back into shape once and for all.
We all know the pantry is the first place in the kitchen to get messy, here are a few helpful tips to keeping your pantry a clutter-free zone.
Apply Method To The Madness
Your first objective must be to create order amidst the chaos. Pull everything out of the cupboards (yes, I do mean everything) and lay it out in front of you. Group all items into like categories. If you aren’t sure which categories to use, just start putting the spices with the spices, cereal with the cereal and so on. When you can see all your pantry items clearly, it is much easier to find the natural groupings. The goal at this stage is to see take stock of what you have on hand.
Garbage Bags Are Essential
So, you have emptied the cupboards and grouped like pantry items together. Now is the time to start purging. Phase 1: check all expiry dates; it’s a no-brainer to part with anything out-of-date.
For the next phase of purging, it’s time to ask yourself the tough questions: do I really need this in my pantry? Will I eat this/use it to prepare a meal? Answer honestly, and finally rid yourself of the pantry on-offs you’ve been holding onto.
Pro Tip: Donate any non-perishable food items that no longer have a place in your pantry, but could be helpful to someone else.
You’ve Gotta Invest In Success
Now that we are finished purging our pantry, we can start to think about putting everything back together – after you’ve given the shelving a good clean up of course. It is time to start thinking about what your specific needs are in the pantry.
Consistency is key when you are trying to maintain a system of organization. Pick your favourite baskets or containers that work for your pantry needs with careful consideration given to sizing. Most pantries become a disaster zone because they are often small or unusual spaces. Risers are always a good option for deeper shelving because you can utilize the depth while still being able to see the product clearly. Unbox any of the larger pantry items like flour, sugar and cereal and store them in matching air-tight containers.
To label, or not to label, that is the question…
This topic is highly debated in the world of organization. I am going to make a controversial, yet brave statement and say I am not a fan of labels at home. This is 100 per cent personal preference and to this I say: do what makes your heart happy.
A Place For Everything
Now for the fun part: putting everything away! I promise you, it is much easier than the removal process and much more satisfying. Place your items back in the pantry in a way that makes sense for your cooking style and kitchen layout. Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to storage, you can always get larger baskets with lids to stack items or protect them.
Once you have completely reorganized the pantry, it will be much easier to maintain over time. You know what you have on hand, every item has a “home”, and your storage bins are consistent. Give yourself a round of applause! Your new pantry looks amazing.