Have you ever opened up your kitchen cabinet looking for a certain spice and found a jumbled mess of dry goods thrown into a pile? Who has time to organize dry goods and spices anyway?
If you are lucky enough to have a full pantry to work with, maybe your canned and dry goods are at least organized to where you can see what you have. A lot of people only have a shelf or two in their kitchen that has to serve as a pantry. Organization in this case is even more essential. In either scenario though, the place you store your bulk or long term storage goods needs to be periodically cleaned, inspected, and organized.
Why Organize Dry Goods?
In case you need more convincing before beginning this organization task, here are a few reasons that should motivate you to organize your pantry.
- Pantry pest infestations are rather common. Little tiny bugs can get into your dry goods and take over. How gross is that? It happens more often than you may think.
- You may have more food or dry goods than you know. Identifying and inventorying can save you money at your next grocery trip. When your pantry is organized, you’ll be able to see what you already have and are less likely to buy double or triple!
- Storing your dry goods properly will allow you to prolong their shelf-life.
- If you use a maid service, they will appreciate your organized pantry. The maids will be able to clean more effectively if everything is in its place.
Tools for the Job:
- You will need a Clean Kitchen. You are going to need the counter space and sink space for this job. Clean your kitchen up first. You’ll be glad you did.
- You will need a few clean, dry dish towels for cleaning the shelves.
- Be sure you have a pen or marker on hand for labeling as you go.
How to Clean and Organize the Shelves of Your Pantry:
- First, pick a shelf to start with. The top shelf is the shelf that is the hardest to get to, so it might be a good idea to start there. Pull all of your dry goods off the shelf. Put every last item of the shelf out on the kitchen counter, floor, table, or wherever you have room.
- Inspect one item at a time. Open every jar or container and look closely at what is inside. Check expiration dates. Give it the smell test. If anything looks questionable or you cannot identify what is inside, it is time to toss it out.
- Clean the empty jars or containers as you go. You may need them to store another item you find as the shelves get emptied.
- Label jars or containers as you go. Transfer any dry goods that are in plastic bags into a hard container or jar, and label those as well.
- Carefully clean the empty shelf with a damp dish towel or sponge. Make sure you clean any spilled food so that it won’t attract bugs. Dry the shelf thoroughly.
- Put contacts back on the shelf in an organized manner.
- Repeat these steps for each shelf of your pantry. Once you have thrown away all of the old food, spend some time organizing the shelves for more efficient use.
Pantry Organizing Tips
Here are a few tips for organizing your pantry. Use some or all of these tips and you’ll have a great looking pantry that you and your maid service will appreciate. Group the items that you use the most on the shelf easiest to access and view.
Group like things together. For example, put all of your baking supplies on one shelf together. Spices can be grouped together, and things like canned goods should be put together. It will make inventorying for your next shopping trip much easier.
Spices and herbs should be close enough to your stove to be easily grabbed. Don’t store them above the stove where the heat and moisture can degrade them quickly.
These are all just suggestions. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try different ways of organizing your dry goods. Make it work best for you. If you need some ideas, ask your maid service for suggestions. They will know all the tips and tricks of organizing!