Once you’ve pulled everything out of your pantry, it’s time to reorganize what’s left. Give your shelves a good wipe down and start adding things back.
1. I like to keep like items together. All of the cans of chicken stock are lined up together. All cans of black beans are together – you get the picture. Using a good pantry inventory list will help you track how many of each item you have and what you need buy or what you don’t.
2. Measure the dimensions of your cabinet or pantry shelves. You’ll want to measure the height, width and, depth of each shelf and the distance between any dividers if you have old cabinets like mine.
4. Invest in a few inexpensive pantry organizers to help keep like items together. Make sure you check the measurements so you don’t buy something that won’t fit your shelves. Simple baskets are a good way to keep items neat. Thrift stores are a great place to find cheap baskets and organizing supplies.
5. Place dry goods like cereal, rice, and flour into storage containers to keep them fresh. I’m partial to BPA free Snapware and hermetically sealed glass jars.
6. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you put things away:
- Make sure the items you use most are easily accessible. If you’re short like I am, the things you use most will be on lower shelves.
- Make sure that items that are sensitive to heat or moisture aren’t placed close to the oven or dishwasher.
- Turn labels face forward so you can see what you have.
7. There are tons of ways to organize spices and I’ll talk about few of them in a future post. I wish I had the space to have a dedicated spice cabinet but unfortunately I don’t. I’m just happy to have them all in one place and easily accessible. The simplest and most practical way I’ve found to organize spices is to place them in shallow baskets or trays. You can group them alphabetically or by type of seasoning (baking, savory, etc).
Now that you have a relatively neat pantry, what should you do? Go shopping of course. Next time I’m going to share my pantry staples checklist. This is my holy grail list of items that I think every cook should have on hand.