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How to organise your pantry in 15 minutes

by Penina

If you’d like to organise your pantry, check out my system for clearing the clutter. Don’t let the pantry become a place of sloth and sinful benches of Weetbix crumbs and half eaten rice cakes. Since the pantry is used regularly it is a good idea to put systems in place to not only keep the pantry ship-shape, but also keep it logical and functional to use. I have devised a system that is working beautifully in my home and in my small pantry.
Whether you want make your pantry sparkle like a diamond or just give it a once over with a lick of love, these kitchen organisational tips you assist you to enjoy cooking with a fat sense of pleasure and feeding your family at super human speed.

To organise your pantry you will need

  • Cloth and cleaner
  • Rubbish bin
  • White labels
  • Large scissors
  • To clear a large space on the bench

Step 1: Discard rubbish and pull items out

Stand in front of the pantry with the rubbish bin and do this:

  1. Start by pulling items out and place them on the bench
  2. As you pull them out try to group them into the categories listed in step 2
  3. Discard anything past its use-by-date
  4. Put to one-side items you won’t use but you can give away. Use these items in gift hampers to others
  5. Cut the tops off old cereal boxes to use as storage boxes for the pantry

Step 2: Pull everything out and wipe down surfaces

1. Wipe down each shelf

Step 3: Set up categories for your shelves

As you move through your day it makes sense to also move through your pantry the same way. For example, when eyeing up what is for breakfast it makes sense to have a shelf dedicated to breakfast. I have organised my pantry into the following categories.
Shelf 1 (Top)

  1. Breakfast
  2. Snacks

Shelf 2 (Middle)

  1. Lunch
  2. Dinner

Shelf 3 (Bottom)

  • Sweets
  • Baking Goods
  • Drinks

Shelf 4 (Botton)

  • Potatoes
  • Onions & Garlic
  • Extra Bulk Buy Goods

Extra Notes

  • If you like you can put the breakfast shelf in reach for the kids.
  • Place dividers on shelves to separate each category.
  • Label each shelf according to the category if desired. This helps others in the house learn your new system and also helps others to return items to the right spot.

Step 4: Group like items together within the categories

  • Use the bottoms of large cereal boxes to group items together. For example, use box dividers for small packets of sauces and soups.
  • Use open plastic containers to stack unopened packets
  • Use closed plastic containers to store opened packets. E.g Icing Sugar
  • Stack similar cans together. E.g Small cans of tuna
  • Stack round items with round items.
  • Stack square items with square items.

Why group food in your pantry like this?

If you have a copy of my Freezer Meals cookbook you will know the value of using up every leftover in the house before shopping again.

Grouping items in these categories will organise your pantry:

  1. Make it very easy for you to plan a shopping list
  2. You can immediately see what you need for breakfast
  3. You can immediately create meals for dinner using what is left on your dinner shelf.

Use these systems in combination with resources like my Grocery Goodies Printables Pack and you will have an excellent system for saving time and money on groceries and cooking.

You don’t have to spend too much money

Don’t go out and buy expensive Tupperware when you can cut the top off a milk bottle or cereal box. There is no need to spend big money on organising a pantry. The more containers you have, the more youwill buy to try to fill them. This just creates a surplus of food in your pantry.

Remember these tips to organise your pantry

The idea is to use up what is in your pantry before shopping again to:

  1. Avoid food waste
  2. To reduce your shopping bill
  3. To give you some clarity in the kitchen
  4. To make you more creative in the kitchen
  5. To be grateful for the food on your table

Got great ways to organise your pantry? Share them in comments below.

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