Leslie Pantry April 05th, 2018 - 19:37:37
Pantries are enjoying an upsurge in popularity, and for good reason. They are a great place to store both bulk foods bought at the store (saving time and money for todays busy families) and home-grown or home-preserved foods produced in our once-again-popular home gardens. Three Pantry Designs There are three main types of pantry designs: walk-in pantries, pull-out cabinet pantries and butlers pantries. A walk-in pantry is like a small room lined with shelves, drawers, and perhaps a countertop. Because the interior doesnt have to look as pretty as the main kitchen, you can use cheaper open shelving to create a great deal of storage space for less cost then by using regular cabinetry. Some people do choose to finish the pantry to the same standard as the main kitchen though. A walk-in pantry is great if your household buys certain foods in large quantities and needs to store big bags, boxes or other containers, or large quantities of smaller containers. Its also good for storing some non-food items like paper goods, which come in large packages.
The easiest meal for me is spaghetti and my family loves it, so you will always find spaghetti fixings in my pantry -- either the ingredients to make sauce or pre-made sauce, noodles and parmesan cheese (fridge storage). As well, I keep some ground chicken or sausage in my freezer to add to the sauce or serve on the side to accommodate the meat haters in my family. I actually like to keep pantry staples for several possible meals at the ready "just in case." I always have a jar of pesto, mushrooms, pasta, macaroni and cheese, refried beans, canned chicken, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, cans of fruit, kidney and/or pinto beans for chili, and usually a smattering of "cream ofs" are in there too. Thats how you want to think when stocking your pantry. Think about the foods your family likes to eat and meals made in a hurry -- stock those items as you can afford them. Your pantry staples may differ, but should meet your familys unique tastes.
2. The heaviest of items should go on the lower shelves. Especially if you have a lazy Susan installed. For example, you have a large can of Tomato Sauce, put it on the lowest shelf with the canisters for your baking goods. In the meantime, leave the upper shelves open for those items that you use frequently, and lighter weight items like beans, pasta and/or rice. 3. By using canisters you can keep dry goods and baking items such as: flour and sugar, fresh and bug free. You can keep smaller items, such as tea and coffee, dried fruits and bouillon in small baskets and/or plastic bins, which also helps keep them fresh. 4. Group items that are alike together: breakfast items, snack items, baking goods, cleaning supplies, dish linens, etc. It is important that if you take a bit of time to consider how things are arranged in the grocery store where you typically shop, you can group your pantry items similarly. Using subgroups will help to keep things more neatly stored and easily accessible. For example, all canned goods go on one shelf, organized into subgroups such as: fruits, vegetables, soups, crackers and cookies, etc.
I have found that it is best to try to reorganize your pantry when you are alone, or have a block of time available for you to concentrate and complete the project quickly! Remember to store cleaning products and chemicals away from your food items! Keep items that you use the most often in front and readily visible! Stack cans, jars and other items so that the labels can be easily read. Always be on the lookout for new organization aids such as: baskets, wire baskets, adjustable racks, stacking containers, and more that will improve your pantry organization. Make a "guest" or "refreshment" shelf to keep crackers, dips, chips, drink mixes and other items handy so you are ready to have an impromptu party or your childrens friends. Keep paper/pencil and/or a small whiteboard in your pantry. You could also paint a chalkboard on the back of your pantry door. You will be surprised how this will encourage family members to add what they would like to the inventory or what they have noticed is out-of-stock.