Just about every home kitchen has a pantry, whether a dedicated room, closet, cupboard or shelf. The pantry is typically used to store food and cooking supplies and sometimes even linens and dishes. We often think of the pantry as simply a place to keep certain cooking items out of view such as canned goods or boxes of pasta.
In truth, a well-organized pantry can be so much more than a dumping ground for excess grocery supplies. A clean and orderly pantry can help you:
- Easily find what you need, saving time and frustration when preparing meals at home
- Ensure items do not get lost in clutter and expire before they can be used
- Know quickly when items are running low and need to be restocked
- Maintain supplies for emergencies or impromptu meals
- Increase your overall available kitchen storage space
- Simplify grocery shopping and meal planning when you have a clear sense of what is on hand and what you are running low on
- Avoid duplicate purchases and save you money
So what is the best way to organize and maintain a purposeful pantry system?
First, start by de-cluttering. Take everything out of your pantry. Throw out anything that has expired. Anything unexpired and unopened that you no longer want, can be given away or donated to a local food bank. Next, clean up your storage area so that it is clear of crumbs and debris.
Now, group your pantry items by how they are used. For example, you could have a group for all baking related items, a separate group for all snack food items, another group for breakfast items, and so on. Items that are large, bulky or less frequently used can be placed on a low shelf. This might include bottles for oils and vinegars or heavy cans. Keep items you use often as close to eye level as possible. You may find it helpful to use containers or bins to keep similar items together, such as canned items, spices, baking items, etc. With a clear and logical system in place, you will find it easier to locate what you need quickly and everyone will understand where things belong.
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Once your pantry has been de-cluttered and organized, keep this order maintained and you will find your time in the kitchen less stressful and more productive. You might also discover more storage space than you realized, a better understanding of how you cook and eat, and experience savings of both money and time.
We’ve all seen photos of beautiful dream kitchens with gleaming new counters and top-of-the-line appliances. Something else these ideal kitchens all have in common is a sense of order and organization. With a clean and organized pantry you, too, can create the same appealing and inviting environment in your home.
So get that pantry in order today and begin enjoying the many benefits of a pantry with purpose!