It’s easy to overlook the pantry and to keep it organized is not a priority for many people. Part of the reason is that it is in an accessible but out of the way part of the kitchen. The bigger reason is the mess. Often it is loaded with cans, baskets, jars, and bottles--many of them taking up permanent residence in the dark quarters, and many of them leaking, spilling, or half-opened. Even the thought of cleaning out the pantry might be daunting. But however messy or muck-ridden your food storage area might be, there’s a way to out of the clutter.
Clear Containers, Labels, and Light
Say goodbye to the days of having four partially open bags of quinoa, some lentils and a few pounds of oat bran spilling onto the shelves. Rice, grains, and nuts require a unique storage solution. You don’t want them to go rancid, so clear airtight containers are good for bulk bin items. Then, neatly label those clear containers. Also, change the light bulb. You’d be amazed how many people keep their supplies in the dark. In fact, once the light is on, check your cans for expiration dates. Group the ones that are close their end-of-shelf-life near the front shelves—and preserve your own life!
Expand Pantry Space
You probably already have crates, space-saving racks, pencil holders and magazine racks that are not in use. Put these household items to work in a smart and inexpensive strategy to add even more storage to your pantry. For example, baking sheets let you group ingredients in the pantry. Not only does it make keeping like ingredients together easy, but it will also help to contain any inadvertent spills or leaks. All of the baking ingredients go in one basket. The soup beans, grains, and spices go in another. You get the picture.