The kitchen is the heart of the home, so when things get cluttered it impacts menu planning, meal preparation and storage space. Duplicate purchases can also result causing further expense, food wastage and frustration. If this sounds familiar it’s time to banish the clutter and whip your pantry into a pristine place. Here are five steps to get you on your way…
1. The big clear out
Empty the entire pantry, checking expiry dates as you go. Dispose of damaged or expired goods. Clean shelving thoroughly and wipe down sticky bottles and jars. Diluted essential oils such as peppermint or tea-tree sprayed on shelves are great for deterring critters such as pantry moths.
2. Group items
Just like the supermarket, group contents by category. The most used items should be at eye level and other items below or above. Allocate an area for specific dietary ingredients too. If children are in the home, consider their eye-level and access. I recommend using plastic containers for safety.
3. Store items
Decant packets to clear, labeled airtight containers that maximise shelf height. Stock levels are easier to see, stay fresher and have less chance of infestation. Cereal pourers are suitable for grains, flours and sugars while Lazy Susans offer easy access to spice bottles and breakfast spreads. If you have a deep pantry, shelf ‘steps’ are great for raising items up and large tubs that slide out on lower shelves will also make contents easier to view.
4. First in first out
Position replacement items behind current stock. This will help to ensure you use all items before expiry.
5. Refrain from bulk buying
Avoid purchasing items in bulk that you don’t use frequently. Wholesalers open to the public offer tempting prices, however if you are not able to store/use all the ingredients, you end up spending more, battling clutter and wasting food.
Other helpful pantry tips…
- Store torn out recipes in display folders or digitally via recipe apps
- Create a digital shopping list instead of rewriting your list of ingredients weekly
- Write out and date a list of frozen meals to have as a working inventory
- Cook in bulk and swap recipes with friends to get some fresh meal ideas
For more expert advice from Shana Danon, visit Organised Clutter.
For more decluttering tips and advice, try:
>> the ultimate guide to decluttering