When we are dealing with the pantry, it is like dealing with a living organism of sorts.
It grows so big, we can not contain it where it is supposed to be. Read: got too much stuff and there is not enough room for it.
It gets sick and we have no slightest clue on how to cure it. Read: items get expired and we have no time nor energy to get through with this. The worst thing is when you store your potatoes in the pantry and leave for a couple of weeks thinking your partner would eat them and he does not. That brings up a whole new point of view at what the pantry is.
You do not have to like it, but you still use it. At some point you realize something needs to be done and be done quick. You can, of course, pick a slightly different course; it won’t leave me offended.
Still, let me share with you the 5 steps that can bring your pantry from a complete chaos to serenity in just one day. A smaller pantry might only take a couple of hours, while bigger ones can keep you at it through your weekend.
So, let’s begin:
Step 1: Assess the amount of work and get prepared.
The work you will be doing is very important and necessary, nevertheless it is tiring. If you own a bigger pantry and don’t think you are ready to spend your whole day at it: break it up shelf by shelf.
Step 2: Get it all out.
If your counters are not that large or there simply isn’t enough room, use folding tables to accommodate. Avoid using the floor as it will help you to not step on the items and it will be easier on your back. Do get it all out. As you are doing this, check for expiration dates, staleness, and items you won’t use. Discard as necessary.
Step 3: Map it out.
Use a sheet of paper and simply pencil in which items go onto which shelf. Keep in mind to use the shelves that are on your eye level for such things as canned goods: easier to find, easier to use. Plan to place heavier items, such as flour and sugar on lower shelves. If you don’t have young children, that is. Otherwise, baby proof everything and put the flour up high.
Also, consider having a specific area for all your surplus supplies. You don’t need all the 6 boxes of oatmeal close at hand, but keeping them where they are easy to be located would make it easier.
Step 4: Gear Up.
Now and only now do you get to go shopping and splurge. Things like shelf risers, shelf extensions, under shelf hanging baskets, over the door storage solutions, lazy susans and cute boxes can be lifesavers when used right. If not planned ahead, you may end up with too much extra items which would clutter up your pantry. We don’t want that, do we?
Step 5: Refill your pantry following the map you had in mind.
p.s. Would you like some help with your pantry or a different in your house? Leave a comment below and I will do all I can to help you.