Between Marie Kondo, The Home Edit, and countless organizational accounts; inspiration for your next pantry purge is aplenty. But we’re not here to tell you to organize by ROYGBIV (though it is so aesthetically pleasing), or buy every basket Home Goods makes. This post is our top tips for getting your pantry in tip-top shape before the holidays, and keeping it that way.
Step 1: Assess the “regulars” and make a list. We’re talking cereals, favorite snack foods, kids items, pastas, and baked goods. All of the things you eat on a daily basis, or even weekly basis, should be decanted and put in clear containers. You are going to be shocked how much space you save, and how easy it’s going to make your grocery list. You’ll be able to quickly peek in and see what you’re low on and restock the necessities. Plus, once you decant, you can’t go back. It’s too satisfying. Pro Tip: Do not click the buy now button on the OXO containers until you’ve checked the aforementioned list of tried & trues. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending more than you have to on sizes that aren’t right, and buy more at the store to fill what you don’t need in the first place.
Step 2: Check eat by dates and do a massive clean out. You’re either one of those people who lives and breathes by the expiration date printed on a package, or one that just goes by the smell test. I very much fall in the “must consume by date or I’ll die of food poisoning” camp. You’re probably wondering how to handle that little predicament once you’ve followed Step 1 and decanted. Easy! Buy a pack of whiteboard markers and write the date on the container. I even like to write date opened if the expiration date is really far in the future, so that I can see if it’s been a while since we ate them (for things like Pirates Booty and crackers that start to taste a little wonky). Now is a good time to wipe down all surfaces (bonus points for a fresh coat of white paint!), and donate any food items you know your family won’t actually end up eating (looking at you, canned peas).
Step 3: Organize sections by the way you eat/ cook. When I tackled our pantry, I laid out the food by like items. For example, right by the microwave, I placed our favorite organic popcorn packets, and the instant oatmeal we love from Whole Foods (the only two items in the pantry that need to be microwaved). Then, directly under the Keurig, I stacked the k-cups and Splenda packets (we drink ours black, but want guests to have easy access), and it made sense to put the tea selection below that. We coupled snacks on one shelf, cereals on another, and the items we’d need to prepare meals in a whole other section. You get the idea, but as long as you group like with like, it will be so much easier to put things back where you found them, re-stock when you’re running low, and will keep the pantry in tip-top shape long-term.
- Buy bins or baskets for your onions and potatoes. If you want to go a step further, line your basket with paper towels or a paper bag. Both onions and potatoes release a lot of moisture/ gases that together, cause them to spoil faster.
- Make it a rule that you decant as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Since you have to put things away anyway, take the extra minute to rip the bags open and top off containers. It will save you so much time having to re-do later on!
- Set a reminder on your phone to check stock before your weekly shopping trip. If you made the list in Step 1, you can save it to your notes app and refresh as needed.
What else would you add to the list? We live for an organized pantry and can’t wait to see what you do! The goal isn’t a ‘gram worthy square to add to your feed, it’s a way to make your family’s life easier! Send us your Pinterest pin or leave us a note below!