Use a handy checklist to help get your pantry in order and find everything you need in a moment’s notice. Well-organized and functional pantries mean always knowing what your have on hand and what needs to be re-stocked. Follow these simple steps to see if your pantry is up to speed:
1. Take Stock
Take stock of what you’ve got by going through each item. If it’s past its prime, it’s time to throw it out. If it’s never been used or you’re never going to use, better donate it to make extra space. Or if you’re adventurous, look up a new recipe online and create a new, tasty dish!
2. Establish a System
Store like items together and common food and supplies in easy to reach areas. Everyday items like flour and cooking oil should be on shelves at waist level for easy access with labels facing you. Less used items like canned goods can be placed at lower levels also with labels facing forward. Lightweight items, like cereals, pasta and rice are ideal for higher shelves so there’s no worry of getting injured in the process.
3. Select Correct Containers
Creating a fully functional pantry relies on the selection of the right containers that work efficiently for the space. Glass is most common because it can be microwaved, refrigerated and cleaned easily in the dishwasher, but it is breakable. Glass containers with rubber seals work to lock in freshness and keep food at its best for longer. If you choose plastic, opt for pieces that are free of BPA, a chemical that can transfer from containers to your food, causing harmful health issues especially in pre-menopausal women.
4. Store Glassware
Store glassware in higher, safe spaces to ensure they don’t break. Sort them by size, with smaller pieces in the front and taller ones in the back. You’ll find it easier to reach and will avoid breaking anything in the process.
5. Use Leftover Space
Maximize your storage by using any leftover space for little hard to store items like pans and appliances.
6. Save Spices
Use airtight jars or cans to save your spaces and maximize their longevity. Keep them carefully labeled as some spices tend to look alike and you can find yourself reaching for the wrong one if you’re not careful.
7. Designate Cleaning Supplies
If you store cleaning supplies in your pantry, remove them and organize them in separate bins, buckets or baskets. Invest in installing hooks inside pantry doors to hang brooms, mops and any other hanging items to use every available inch of space
8. Save a Stool Step
Step stools especially come in handy in a pantry for hard to reach items on higher shelves. Invest in a collapsible step stool you can hang when not in use to save more space.