An organised pantry not only saves you time, it can save you money by ensuring you don’t buy multiple packets of the same thing when you can’t find what you’re looking for, or by helping you keep an eye on ‘best before’ dates.
Over the last couple of months I have been working on reorganising my pantry, little by little, one day at a time and I thought I would share the results so far.
My pantry wasn’t too bad. Most of what I have lives in a labelled jar or container. It has just gotten disorganised and hard to find things when I need them. This week, I focused on the main, eye-level shelf where all our tinned foods, herbs and spices and sauces live. Here are the results:
Most of my spices have been stored in old coffee jars for some time now. I saved these from my coffee drinking days and purloined a few extra from coffee drinking friends. The problem was that even with the labels on the jars, I still had trouble finding what I was looking for.
So I added labels to the lids. Problem solved.
The quick way to do this is to buy one of those circle paper punches and a sheet of sticky label. But that would have cost money. Instead, I did this the old fashioned way by tracing the circles on paper, cutting them out with scissors, and sticking them down with a glue stick.
Complete spice organisation without spending any money at all.
Two organisational items I did invest in was a tiered shelf for the tinned goods ($10) and a turntable for the back corner of the pantry ($12) (which is always hard to reach). It is so much easier now to grab what we need.
So far, the bottom four shelves of our pantry are now ‘functional’. Just the top two to go, and I have no idea how I’m going to tackle them…yet.
Top tips for pantry organisation:
- Take your time organising your pantry. Do a little each week. This gives you time to think about how you’re going to tackle the job, how you use your pantry, and what you can do to make it work more efficiently.
- Arrange and rearrange things until your pantry is working for you.
- Save money by using recycled jars, boxes and containers to store food in. My favourite container is an empty 1 kilo honey jar. The large jar we keep our rolled oats in is a recycled catering-sized coffee jar. The spice packets that have yet to find homes in jars are kept in a Ferrero Rocher plastic gift box (the perfect size).
- Label, label, label. And label lids if this makes viewing your pantry contents easier.
- Put small containers at the front and larger containers at the back.
- Put the items you use most frequently on the easiest shelf to see and reach.
- Group like items together (all baking items together, for instance).
- Put the things you use least frequently at the back or on higher shelves.
- Line your shelves with paper to make drips and spills easy to clean. I use old newspaper or junk mail.
What are your tips for organising the pantry?