Thursday, October 22, 2009

pantry organization

October is a great month to organize your pantry. This is the time to get rid of multiples of items you bought and aren't likely to use before they expire. Also toss the expired items to free up space for what you will be buying for holiday cooking.
I live in a small house and don't have a full sized pantry but I use two kitchen cupboards-one above the counter and one below the counter- for my pantry. On the counter between the pantries,I have glass canisters for open sugar, flour, and rice.
A pantry should be arranged similar to a grocery store with like items with like items. In my situation, I have all canned vegetables on the left top shelf. Snack items next to that and soups to the right. Further back on that shelf are plastic food bags. On the lower shelf I have rice, pasta, and pizza mix with my food processor (which I rarely use) in the back. Kitchen trash bags also fit here. In my top cupboard I have oils, vinegars, cereals, crackers, and baking supplies like baking soda, flour, and sugars.
When you return from grocery shopping, if you have just bought another can of green beans, place it behind the existing cans. If you jam the newest items in front, you will end up with expired cans when you sort through your pantry again next October.
Try to resist buying multiples on sale. If you don't have a definite plan for this food it very well will end up getting thrown out when you clean and purge. This purging time, I ended up throwing out a large can of tomato juice (bought last year with the idea of making chili when family was here), a can of baked beans ( bought multiples and rarely eat them) and some oyster crackers.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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