Welcome to Pantry Organization 101
A messy pantry often seems inevitable: a gargantuan collection of food that once seemed to be a good purchase. The boxes piled along the shelves, hiding items you had forgotten were in there, make any meal time a detective situation. Luckily, the pantry mess can be conquered easily with just a few tips and tricks:
#1: Purge. The mess you are confronted with when you open the pantry door is the first thing that needs to be addressed. Pull everything out of the pantry and take a look at what you have; you'd be shocked at what has been lurking in the back.
Throw out any expired or visibly unsafe items and identify food items that are still in good condition, but that you no longer want; donate these items or offer them to a friend. Now that you can navigate through the shelves, a new organization structure can make the space much more user-friendly.
#2: Organize. Repurposing items around your home to the pantry can save you money and hassle. Try using magazine holders to store cookbooks, boxes of pasta or aluminum foil. Use the mason jars that you have been planning on filling with jams and fill them with muffin liners, unused pasta, baking supplies and so on.
As an added bonus: you can see exactly what is in them, and the jars add a rustic feel to the storage space. Have a large amount of oddly shaped packages, like taco seasoning or squeezable applesauce pouches, and don't know how to store them? Try a clear shoe organizer on the back of the door. The pouches can handle any size or shape and you can quickly locate what you need.
#3: Carve Out New Space. Not every kitchen is so lucky to have a large, walk-in pantry, but you can work with other forgotten areas of your kitchen. Hang measuring cups and spoons on the back of a cabinet door, with labels identifying which is which. Use dividers in drawers to better utilize the space and store double or triple the amount.
With some ingenuity and power tools, transform the unopenable drawer underneath the sink to a small, hinged and hidden storage area.
#4: Sensible Storage. Searching for Tupperware, with the matching lid, can quickly turn any morning sour. Defeat the clutter and quickly access your food storage by streamlining. Commit to one style of Tupperware (or similar brand), with interchangeable lids and only a few sizes, to make sure you can always find a lid. Once you have a dedicated set, which may take some time to accrue, chuck the rest of the containers.
By implementing some of the options listed above, you can take charge of the organization of your food storage in order to streamline and simplify.