Don’t let your pantry become a hot mess, here are some tips to keep it spick and span.
Show your appliances a little extra love
A tip from grandmothers’ cupboard is to store heavy appliances, such as mixers, juicers and food processors on trays so they can easily slide from the back of a shelf to the front and then be lifted out. Keep the relevant attachments on the same tray, which solves the other problem of where to keep all those bits and pieces. Empty tissue boxes also come in handy for storing appliance attachments and can be stacked neatly on top of each other.
Glass up your dry goods
Rather than having boxes and packets flopping all over the place, decant dry goods into containers. Transparent glass or plastic ones are best as the contents are visible, making them easier to find. If space is tight, opt for square hapes over round as they sit snugly against each other and make the most of the available area. If pantry moths are an issue, make sure the containers have airtight lids as these annoying insects are ingenious when it comes to finding weak spots. There are lots of great stick-on labels on the market but a quick and inexpensive way of identifying items is to cut out the product’s label, being sure to include the use-by stamp, and slip it into the jar.
Put your food on the zone diet
Divide your pantry in zones to keep your food organized and to reduce your meal-preparation time. First, identify food and cooking categories that suit your lifestyle such as weeknight dinners, portable lunches or baking. Next, designate an area for each, with the most often-used zones in easy reach. Finally, label each zone.
Think outside the pantry
Think outside the box when it comes to having a pantry. It does not have to be a big walk in closet in a kitchen. Any place you can find to store your most used items can be classed as a pantry. Think about cabinets, dressers, a buffet unit, a shelving unit in your garage. The key point is being able to organise items and have a steady supply of goods. If you only have a few cupboards in your kitchen then reserve them for the most used items like breakfast foods and key ingredients. If you rarely bake, store those items elsewhere.
Don’t let food go to waste
Cut down on food waste by clearly marking when you purchased an item and when you opened it. Knowing these dates can help you to use food before spoilage and to be sure you only throw away food that can make you sick. Blue painter’s tape and a black pen are perfect for these tasks. You can stick a piece of blue painter’s tape to reusable containers and then write the information on the tape, or if the packaging isn’t reusable (like a can or box) simply write directly onto the top of the product. Label the dates as “Bought” and “Opened” so it’s clear what the dates indicate.