Configure Your Pantry in 6 Easy Steps

When your pantry is clean, every task will be a complete to grab a bag of chips or stash off Saturday’s works.

Food pantries can take any shape. These versatile storage areas for canned goods, paper products and less used small appliances can be placed in a walk-in room, simple drawers, wall cabinets or closets. Hutches, arm-rooms and even open shelving work well.

Regardless of setup, the key to a successful pantry keeps it organized. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started:

  • Clean it

Like a refrigerator, the first step in seeing what you have to do is empty it and clean it well. Start with the roof – find spider webs! – And work your way down to the destination.

After that, grab any dust and boils and thoroughly clean the shelves with soap and water. If you feel ambitious, repaint your shelves or pantry wallpaper. If not, just line the shelves with contact paper and line the floors.

  • Take inventory

Even though there are boxes and food items in your kitchen, grab a donation box and think about what you really need and how to use it.

Are some things out of reach that would be a better place to stay near a stove like herbs and olive oil? Keep things that make sense, and make a list of the things you need from the store to get rid of clutter. Throw away expired products, and set aside items you never thought you would use – for a special recipe like sea beans that you never made.

  • Solve problems

If the cleanup process shows hard-to-reach items in the back of your pantry, move them again. Keep things you rarely need – such as extra mixing bowls and rarely used utensils – in the back, and label the front of the shelf to remind you of your new location. If your pantry is deep enough, choose to install a roll-out shelf or wire bin of hard-to-reach accessories.

  • Get a better view

If you have open shelving or glass front cabinets, handling a mix of boxes, bags and random containers can be a challenge. Invest in a large set of clear glass or plastic containers for storage. Their attractive uniformity will reduce vision chaos, and they are perfect for storing baking supplies such as flour and sugar.

  • Decide on a storage solution

Take care of what you need most in the box first, then collect the items you want to keep in your pantry. Your list may include spice jars, mason jars, contact paper, aluminum foil and plastic wrap racks, and baskets for small items.

  • Leave it all at once

You take everything out and clean up what’s not necessary. Now it’s time to reload the pantry with everything you plan to store. Group items – coffee and creamer together. Flour and sugar with baking soda. Pasta and cereals with oats. Soup and olives with other canned items. Play with your arrangements until it looks so organized that you take pride in showcasing it.

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