During week one of the 4-Week Kitchen Organizing Challenge we tackled the fridge and eliminated the smell of death. Week two we took on your glassware cabinet and got it under controle. Week three we’re diving back into food and paring down your pantry.
With food prices on the rise the last thing you need is to waste money replacing expired food or re-buying food you already own but forgot about. Be smart with your grocery budget by cleaning out and organizing your pantry for the new year. Whether your pantry is large enough to walk into, just a few shelves on the wall or somewhere in between, your first step is to empty the space and toss out expired items as you do.
Just like you did in the fridge, group pantry items into categories that make sense to you. Some common categories are grains/pasta, canned produce, canned meat/fish, baking items, herbs/spices, sauces/sauce mixes and beverages. These are just suggestions so by all means, use your own creativity to come up with groups that fit your lifestyle. If you prefer to sort by dinner stuff, breakfast stuff, coffee stuff, I say have at it. It’s all about what works for YOU.
Group food families together into containers, baskets and bins and maximize fixed shelf capacity by adding stacking shelves and can risers for added visibility. For extra organizing oomph, add labels to the shelves or the baskets themselves.
Week Three Maintenance Success Tip: Avoid the temptation to overbuy with coupons. Keeping a few extra staple items on hand of things you use frequently makes perfect sense, but stocking your pantry with twelve jars of mayonnaise or a year’s worth of barbecue sauce equals both wasted food and space. Bonus tip: You can’t expect others – especially kids – to magically know the new pantry organizing system so teach them how it works. Involve them in the process of cooking, grocery shopping and putting food away to solidify their knowledge and ability to use the system well.
Stay tuned for next week when we'll clean out a different cabinet. I know you just can't wait! :o)