It’s one of those spaces in everyone’s home that can get out of hand really quickly.
One minute you have all your spices organised, your tins all nicely alphabetised and the next minute there’s a bunch of bananas shoved on top of the oil bottles, every single packet of cereal and crackers is gaping open getting stale in what seems like seconds (which everyone will turn their noses up at), and a packet of those teeny orange lentils has exploded and gone EVERYWHERE.
Every home is different, so please only use these steps as a guide, if it works for you great, if it doesn’t, cool.
Here are 7 simple steps to help avoid Pantry Chaos:
Step 1. If it’s not food find a new home for it.
Exceptions – Big things on the bottom shelf that won’t fit anywhere else in your kitchen. Tools that you use with certain foods to make everyone’s life easier, like keeping the blender near the smoothie mixes and the bananas. Also, any other exception you like!
This may require moving things in other cupboards and drawers to make space for them. Move them as close to the place where you use them, or the other things you use with them, as poss.
Step 2. Purge the expired, weird and sticky.
Everyone has them. The special ingredient that you used once and has mouldered in the back of the pantry since 2012. It’s a sign. A sign that you’re not probably that keen on becoming a master chef after all.
If you’re going to put it in your mouth and it’s expired or you just know it’s been there for years, toss it. It’ll taste yuk, or have have something growing in it (even if you can’t see it) or be spoilt and bad for you – like old oils.
Step 3. Group similar stuff together.
This might mean the same form, like tins, or the same purpose, like baking ingredients. It makes it easier to see what you have, and easier for everyone to put things back in the right place. So you don’t end up with 5 open jars of peanut butter shoved will-nilly throughout the shelves which only find after you’ve bought a new one. Grrr.
Step 4. Be smart with your shelves.
Put the things you use least on the high shelves and lowest shelves. Put the stuff you use the most on the shelves between your waist and your eyes. Adapt for height of user – little people’s healthy snacks need to be at their height.
Use long containers to use up all the space in deep shelves. That way you just slide the container forwards to see what’s in the back of it.
Step 5. Make a separate zone for snacks.
This is handy for Dad Snacks – which can be in a high cupboard. It’s handy for keeping teenagers out of the pantry, or less frequently. It can be a cupboard, drawer or zone on a shelf.
You can choose to keep all the spreads and breads in the cupboard near the toaster, if that’s going to help keep the pantry tidy. Or cereal packets in the cupboard near the fridge with the bowls.
There are SO many more refinements you can make to a pantry to make it really work for you and your family, but these 5 steps should help you make a start.
I bet you’ll be tickled pink with the results!
PS: I’ve completely given up on trying to keep these Thursday posts short. If they’re short, they’re short. If not, they’re long! Ok bye, I’m going to get some orange flavoured chocolate. What’s your fav chocolate?
PPS: I’ve started doing dorky short daily videos on my Facebook page, if you’d like a laugh.
If you’re self isolating and you’d like some decluttering advice or coaching contact me to schedule a FREE half hour phone or video chat. It’s the least I can do to support you.