Leslie Pantry April 25th, 2018 - 12:23:34
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.
While you have all items removed from your pantry, take a second to wipe down all the shelves and sweep the floor. After your pantry is clean and all items have been categorized, consider what pantry organizers would be beneficial. If you have a lot of pots and pans with lids, a lid organizer may be a good choice. There are a variety of pantry organizers available for essentially any type of kitchen item. Taking the time to consider and investigate various pantry organizers will save you time and possibly your sanity down the road. Once you are ready to put all your items back in the pantry, start with the least used items first and put those on the top shelves and keep your frequently used items at eye level. Make sure that all items are easily visible and easily accessible to the people you use them most in your household. To maximize space, place taller items in the back and smaller items up front. Finally, after you have replaced all of your items, make sure the lighting in your pantry is adequate, which will make locating items easier in your day to day life. Small, battery operated lights can be purchased at a relatively inexpensive price at most hardware stores if your pantry has little to no lighting.
4. Your next step is organizing your shelves according to the contents that you want to keep in your "Well-Stocked Pantry." 5. I suggest getting some of Tupperwares Modular Mate containers. They are great for keeping dry goods such as flour, sugar, pasta, teabags, coffee beans, and cereal. I believe that using rectangular or square containers will take up less space and stack more neatly than round or oval shaped containers. The Pantry Re-Organizing Now that you have cleaned out your pantry, you can begin to get things organized by using the following steps: 1. Start by sorting pantry items into categories: Examples include: fruits, vegetables, soups, condiments, boxed lunches/dinners, canned meats, sauces, baking goods, and rice/pasta/dry beans. While youre doing this first round of categorizing, be sure to put the items in order by their expiration dates, by putting the soonest expiring being the last item to go back into the pantry (i.e. it will be in front, thereby reducing wastefulness).
2. Wipe out the shelves; line them with contact paper, if you like, for easy clean-up. 3. Store like items together; try not to over-stuff. 4. Store all your heavy items on the bottom shelf or floor of the pantry -- wouldnt want to ruin your nice shelves with too much weight. 5. Use air-tight storage containers liberally for pantry staples. 6. Put snacks or kid-friendly items low enough for the kids to reach them when needed, and so they can help unpack the groceries or help in the kitchen getting supplies. 7. When unloading groceries, try not to shove items in your pantry in an effort to make it fit. You will quickly have pantry de-organization! 8. Everything should have a place -- I realize sometimes thats easier said than done. You can designate an area for junk and items that just dont fit right anywhere else. I usually put a basket on the floor of my pantry to "catch" items like this -- I put a bag of onions, a sack of potatoes and rice waiting to be opened in there too. It gives grace to pantry organization.