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How to organise your pantry

29 Aug 2013

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An organised pantry is the secret weapon to any functional kitchen. Besides streamlining the cooking process, it helps you keep track of ingredients and use-by dates. Here are some easy ways to reclaim power over your pantry.


It’s time for a spring clean

Now is as good a time as any to empty everything out, vacuum out draws and scrub down shelves. Before you restock, go through the contents and throw out anything past it’s use-by date. Make a note of any food that’s close to expiry and plan to use it in the coming days.


Remember: location, location, location

Everything has its place in the perfect pantry, so before you start squeezing items in anywhere and everywhere, consider storing foods that are used together next to each other. For example, you may wish to put baking items such as flour, sugar and cocoa on the same shelf. Store everyday items such as breakfast cereals and olive oil in easy-to-reach places.

Top tip: Don’t store potatoes and onions next to each other as they can both give off gases that cause the other to spoil faster.


Think of storage solutions

Consider repacking dry items such as rice or flour into airtight containers. There are plenty of nifty storage solutions available, such as containers that stack on top of each other. Transparent glass or plastic containers make things easier to find, while square shapes help save space.

Top tip: Not only does your dishwasher use less energy than hand washing, it’s also the most hygienic way to wash storage containers. Finish dishwasher detergent contains ingredients that ensure food soils are broken down and washed away during the washing cycle.


Learn to love labels

Be sure to label and date foods you’ve cooked yourself or transferred into storage containers so you can tell at a glance when something is past its prime. Masking tape and a permanent marker will do the trick.

Top tip: Place newly-purchased items to the back so you use older items first.


Create a kids’ corner

Chances are your kids won’t follow the rules of organisation, so keep all their regular snacks somewhere they can easily reach (without mucking up everything else!).

Are you feeling full of pantry pride yet? Take time to organise it now and you’ll thank yourself later.

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