Here are a few organizational tips to keep in mind for an effective food pantry and a few essential rules to help with your pantry organization:
STORE YOUR STAPLES:
Food staples like canned vegetables, canned fruits, crushed tomatoes and dry goods like pasta, rice and beans are great to always have on hand in your pantry. Cooking supplies like oil, flour and cornmeal, plus sweeteners like sugar and honey are also prime basics to have on hand. Beyond that, round things out according to your tastes; add your taco shells, pasta sauces, cereals, popcorn, condiments, dressings, and anything else that you use regularly. And of course, you can also set aside a section of your pantry for your pet’s food as well!
ORGANIZE FOR EASY ACCESS:
When you start organizing your pantry, don’t just stick things wherever you can find a space for it. Take everything out, clean the surface so you’re starting fresh, and then put things back in a way that makes sense. For example; group similar items together (like your variety of canned veggies), so that everything is easy to find. Avoid pushing a bunch of things together to make more room, since that’ll make your items a lot harder to find when you’re looking for them later.
Place labels on your shelves once you have everything organized, so you’ll know what goes in any particular space within the pantry. This doesn’t mean you have to label each individual item, just create categories like “Baking Supplies” to simply mark the general area where those items go.
USE THE ‘FIFO’ METHOD:
Where a lot of people run into problems is remembering to rotate the existing stocked items as you add new items into the mix. Keep the FIFO method in mind as you restock your pantry: First In, First Out. New items should always go to the back, allowing the older items in the front to be used first. As you take items out of your pantry, move up the items behind them, so they’re closer to the front and you’ll have room to place things behind them later.
SHELVING & STORAGE:
If you need to add shelving or other types of storage to your pantry, try to do it in a way that makes stocking and accessing easier. Use bins to keep like items neatly stored together on their labeled shelf. Roll-out shelves that you can pull toward you make it a lot easier to place new items at the back, while rotating units make it easy to reach stored items that otherwise might be hard to get to.
You should check expiration dates a few times a year and use up the items that are about to expire.