One of the busiest closets in a home is the kitchen pantry, which makes this treasure trove of food one of the hardest storage areas to keep organized! There are simple things you can do to simplify those shelves, according to Liz Vaccariello, and she is sharing her best tips here.
Organize your pantry to resemble grocery store shelves. "You want to put items that you don't use often up top, or things you want to keep away from the children like alcohol up [at the] top, and then on the bottom you want to have things like your fruit juices and your kids' snacks." And, store lightweight products at the top so if they fall no one gets hurt.
Create a "use it up" zone for perishables. This makes it easier to track expiration dates and will encourage you to use older items first. Liz suggests eyeballing the dates of new groceries, too. "Put the oldest items first, so as you're unpacking your groceries put that new can of beans behind the old can of beans."
Use a small bin to assemble a family dinner kit. You can save time when preparing meals if you group non-perishable groceries for a single meal, such as tacos, or lasagna, in a single bin. When it's time to cook, just pull the bin out and put it on the counter. "When you're done, you put it back in the pantry and you replace it with other items, and if you're out of something you know to add it immediately to your [shopping] list."
Use air-tight containers for flour and grains. "Make sure you rip off the cooking instructions from the original box and stick it in the container."
Maximize space between shelves with undershelf bins. Fill them with small towels or loose items, like granola bars.
Store honey, syrup and anything that will drip on a lazy Susan. "The mess is contained," Liz says. "You just take out the lazy Susan and wash that."
Put a chalkboard decal on the pantry door for grocery lists. "You can rip it off and take it to the grocery store!"
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