Organize Your Pantry in 5 Steps

Eat better, waste less food and save money with an organized pantry.

| September/October 2011

  • California Closets adjustable shelving is produced domestically, made of recycled materials and certified for low emissions.
    Photo Courtesy California Closets

Half-empty bags of flour. An assortment of seldom-used cooking oils collecting dust. A jar of pickled peppers older than your car. A disorganized pantry is an eyesore and can make meal planning a challenge. If you can’t see what you have, how can you use it? Whether you have a walk-in pantry or a humble cupboard, our smart storage solutions will help you get your goods in order.

1. Start from Scratch 

The first step to restoring order is the hardest, but it’s worth it. Remove everything—including food lurking in the back you forgot about long ago—and spread it out on the kitchen table or countertops. Examine each item. Is it expired? If so, can it be composted? Be honest. Will you really eat it? If not, donate unopened items to a local food bank.

2. Streamline Your Storage 

Sort what’s left into groups of like items. For example, place pasta, rice and other grains in one group. Place canned goods in another. Marry condiments, oils and flours. Whenever possible, transfer goods into clear glass jars so you can easily see what you have on hand. Do not use plastic containers; they absorb odors and oils and may contain bisphenol-A (BPA), a potentially toxic chemical that can leach into foods.

3. Take a Fresh Approach 

Darlene Taylor
2/6/2014 2:39:10 PM

Looks like a plan!

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