Kitchen organization doesn’t have to be a chore. It can take a year to decide to do it and a month to start. Kitchen organization, especially kitchen pantry organization, is neither an art nor a science. Knowing where everything is so there are no duplicates, and no trips to the ER, can give you a happy and healthy life. Here are some tips for a nearly perfect pantry:
Purge and separate. Divide into two piles: Expired and give away. Dispose of all expired cans and boxes in file 13, aka your trash can, and donate the pile of goodies to a local food pantry. Be sure not to accidentally put expired food in the gift pile, as food pantries cannot and will not accept expired food. The elimination of excesses is fundamental for a correct organization of the kitchen.
Once the excess product is removed, you will need an organization system. Find one that works and stick with it. Having a system is the first sign of organization in the kitchen. It can be as simple as organizing cans by their expiration date, similar to what grocery stores do in sores, so that the oldest items are up front and taken first, putting them in alphabetical order, sorting them by type of food. There may be some tweaking along the way, but once the system is in place, stick with that system.
Now the fun begins: shopping. Make a list of the foods that are needed. What foods run out the fastest? A designated area for your shopping list will allow you to jot down items as soon as you realize you’ll need them. This eliminates the need to create a list every time you go to the store because you will already have your list ready. You may want to keep a running list of essential items to reuse each month. That list can be used as a guide to modify before going to the store. Cookies can be made a lot during the holiday season, but not cold drinks. coupons and rebates can be saved to your message center so they’re accessible when needed. Inside the kitchen pantry door is a great location for a message center for easy access and quick review of items.
Don’t overdo it by buying too many containers. Use pull-out shelves and shelving to place canned goods. Go with feels comfortable and in a good price range. Most shelves have kitchen accessories to store sauce packets or to designate a basket for the sole purpose of storing snacks for the kids. No one knows the type of storage you need better than you. Get creative and find your storage challenges and then find a solution. Tall utensil dividers work well for organizing a large number of small items on a pull-out tray. Cans on a pantry pull-out shelf can be placed in a spice rack that is made for drawer storage. Once you get organized, it’s easy to keep it that way.
When it is finished, it is an achievement and a reward for a job well done. It feels good to know where all the cereal is or if it’s time to buy juice boxes. Kitchen organization, especially pantry organization, is neither an art nor a science. It is just that, organization and the end of chaos.