How to declutter your pantry

Is your pantry organised, neat, tidy and clean? Can you always find what you are looking for without any thought? If like most of us, this is a problem area for you in your home – here are some helpful hints to get you on the path to the end goal.

Before you start, take some time to think through and decide on which of the following techniques will work for you:

  • Find attractive containers in which to store bulk items such as flour, sugar, pasta and so on. Glass or see-through containers work well to enable you to see at a glance what items need to be restocked, and will also help to protect the contents from unwanted pests such as weevils.
  • Label your containers – this will help you or others using your pantry to easily identify the contents. There a reloads of creative approaches to this – from chalkboard labels which you can buy, to labels that you can design and print out on your computer, to hand drawn and decorated labels - have fun!
  • Pretty baskets or containers for loose goods – wire, plastic or wicker options will help organise food and spice items, or even fruit and vegetables. If you like to bake for example, you may find that all these items take up a lot of space in your pantry and can look messy. An easy way to keep them organised while maximising space in your pantry is to place them into a basket and remind yourself what’s in there using a swing tag.
  • Use a Lazy Susan in that hard to reach corner – very convenient for small items.
  • Find a suitably sized wall organiser – the pantry is often a difficult space in which to work as floor space can be limited. One option to increase the space is to hang a wall organiser on an available wall or inside of the pantry door, and use it to store things like plastic bags, cutlery – anything that will work for you.

Having decided on which organising techniques will work for you, and prepared your containers and other things that you will use, the next step is to start the real work.

Unload your pantry contents, discarding any expired or spoiled items immediately. As you unpack, place the items in categories on the available work surfaces – this will make the decision process on repacking much easier.

Clean your pantry and then on to deciding what must go back in to your pantry – discard any additional unwanted items now.

Fill your containers will selected raw materials and label. Restock shelves placing everyday foods where you can access them easily and items you need less regularly up high or down low.

Great – you are done, and now the only challenge left is to keep it this way!

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