Kitchen Decorating: How to Organize Your Pantry

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Kitchen Decorating: How to Organize Your Pantry

Staff Writer · Mar 2, 2010

Learning how to organize a pantry can save you time and money in the kitchen. How many times have you bought duplicate supplies because you couldn’t find something, or thought you ran out of a supply that was tucked away in the wrong spot? You can put a stop to bad habits by organizing your pantry in such a way that it’s easy to find what you need, when you need it.

Separate Long Term and Short Term Food Items

There are two types of foods that you store in your pantry: short term and long term food storage. You won’t need to use your long term food storage, unless there’s an emergency or you plan to eat from it and rotate it. In that case, those items can be stored off to the side in food grade five gallon buckets, or if they’re stored in number 10 cans, stack those up on the floor against the wall. The water that you’re storing may not fit well in your pantry, and may need to go under the kitchen sink or somewhere else.

Group Similar Foods Together

Some pantries are so organized that they group everything in alphabetical order. For the rest of us, the easiest way to set up and maintain a system, is to group similar items together. For example, put all of your canned vegetables together, and shelve them separate from your broths and seasonings.

Arrange According to Expiration Date

One of the consequences that you’ll suffer if you don’t organize the pantry is wasting foods when they expire. To avoid expired foods, arrange all foods that you group together according to the expiration date. Start with the date furthest away from the expiration date and stack those first. Then, arrange the foods in order so the ones closest to the expiration date are in the front. That way, when you go to use an item, you’ll be using one that will expire sooner than the same items that will expire later. When you replace an item, follow this process so that you don’t make the mistake of having foods expire unexpectedly. This is a big deal if you’re pinching pennies and looking for ways to reduce your grocery bill. Don’t take this for granted.

Use a Stool

If you have a walk-in pantry with high shelves, you must use a stool. There will come a time when you’re in a rush and won’t want to bother with the inconvenience of dragging over a kitchen chair to put something back on a top shelf. After a while, many things will be out of place, and your pantry will end up being disorganized all over again. You won’t have to think about it if a stool is in there already. It’s also better than jumping up and throwing items on the shelf, which is not safe.

Use this information to organize even the smallest sized pantry and you’ll see improvements to the way you spend money on food. You’ll also have the space you need to meet your short term and long term food storage needs.

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