I’ve played that game. I’ve also played the game, “I wonder how old these almonds are,,,”
I could have several paragraphs dedicated to pantry guessing games. However, I’ve finally found my groove in pantry rehabilitation. So I won’t dwell in the past of expired bags of question marks.
Organized pantries can lead to healthier choices, less waste, and obviously less time searching and swearing. Here are five easy steps to rehabilitate your pantry. Good luck.
Pantry Rehab Step 1: Give Yourself a Blank Slate
It’s time to empty EVERYTHING from your pantry. Especially when you’re finding expired goods, stale goods, moldy bread, and crumpled bags of mystery food from the bulk foods section. This is a cathartic experience. Promise. Throw away food that is growing fuzzy stuff or is beyond rehab. It’s okay, let it go.
Pantry Rehab Step 2: Prioritize
Next, determine how the space can serve you the best. Do you need to keep breakfast items on the lower levels? Do you want a space for healthy snacks within reach of your kidlets? Think through how you use the pantry and what you wish would be easier and more convenient. Make a plan.
Pantry Rehab Step 3: Contain your Excitement
Find large containers that fit into your shelves and allow you to easily access smaller items. Containers provide order to the chaos. I like to buy plastic ones that can be easily washed.
The same rule goes for bulk foods. If you can see a food – you are going to eat it. I love to use glass containers for dried fruit and other goodies from the bulk food section. I can easily see what I have and what needs restocked.
Pantry Rehab Step 4: Label, Label, Label.
Everyone benefits from labels. Especially this someone. I need labels to help prevent really nasty combinations when I’m packing lunches. We also buy a lot of ingredients from the bulk food section. Label obvious things to help you when it’s time to refill. Another bonus to labeling food – it helps your kids learn the names. I think that’s called food literacy.
Pantry Rehab Step 5: Restock with Smarts
Now it’s time to put your food back into the pantry. Congratulations – this is a big deal. But don’t get too excited. Make sure you pair things together that make sense to you and your family. I like to put my grains together, like crackers and bread. I also keep my dried fruits together. Whatever you choose, it should seem really intuitive. Maybe you like to keep everything together that you need for oatmeal. So do it. Yup. You get to create your own logical pantry.
You should feel an amazing sense of accomplishment after a successful pantry rehabilitation. I also want you to enjoy your newly found freedom – The freedom that comes from knowing exactly where your oatmeal lives.
Any other tips you want to share? I wanna hear!
This post is sponsored by 34 Degrees and is part of their mission to make January a time to reset palates and pantries for the new year. Check out their line of yummy products here. Follow them on Facebook for more delicious ideas.