Clean and Organize a Pantry
Whether it's a large cupboard, a pullout cabinet, or a dedicated pantry, cleaning and organizing this space will make storing and searching for items much easier.
An organized pantry, one where you can find everything instantly without scouring through the shelves, is something we all aspire to. The truth of the matter is that life is busy and we are usually in a rush to do this after a hard day at work, resulting in a disorganized mess where it's hard to find anything.
In this last week of lockdown, taking the time to clean and organize the pantry will make for much easier cooking and entertaining - one where everything is at your fingertips and easy to find. But where do you start when it comes to organizing a pantry?
1. Clean out the shelves
The first step to organizing any space - or room - is to empty it. Set aside enough room to take everything out of the pantry and have it all laid out.
With all the items removed, you can grab a bucket of hot, soapy water and cloths to wipe down the shelves. If there are any food stains, try and remove this with a little Handy Andy or abrasive cleaner.
Where stains simply cannot be removed, you can cover these up with shelf paper or self-adhesive Contact vinyl. Make sure to ensure everything is nice and clean.
2. Sort Through what you Have
Now that you have all the items removed from the pantry in a place where they can be sorted out, take a look at what goes back into the pantry. You are bound to find expired items; spices that are older than you are, sauces and gravies eaten by fishmoths or weevils, and perhaps bags of flour and dry goods that are no longer fresh. Goods like these can be tossed out so as not to take up valuable space needed for everything else. A motto I normally use for myself is that, if I haven't used it in the past 6 months, I probably never will.
Most spaces allocated for storage of food and similar are fairly small, so you will want to have as much space as possible to fit everything in. Be strict with yourself and throw out what's not needed.
3. Arrange by Sort
Before returning items to the pantry, group them by type. If you have baskets or containers to use to store groups of similar items, put these to good use. Alternatively, I like to collect margarine and ice-cream tubs to use these for storage in the pantry. It is far easier to sort everything out whilst it's in front of you, and then place everything neatly back into the pantry.
Keep items such as glass coffee or food jars, large coffee cans, tubs and containers that can be recycled into handy storage for a pantry.
When organizing the pantry, put items that you use on a regular basis close to the front of shelves to make for easy access.
Shop for baskets and plastic storage at stores such as Crazy Store, Westpack and wholesale plastic suppliers.