The pantry is an easy place to pile things in to. And pile things on top of each other. Think about it. Most items in your pantry have an individual cost of under ten dollars each. They are items you’ve purchased with the rationalization that they are in the “food and nutrition” budget. Individually, they don’t cost a lot of money.

There’s also the element that you purchased them with the intention of either:

  • using the item to create a meal
  • have someone in your family enjoy it as a snack
  • include it as party of the food festiveness of one of your social gatherings
  • save you in a pinch when you have to serve something quickly and don’t know what to make

So how do you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s in your pantry and keep everything fresh and easy to access?

Here are some suggestions that will make it easier:

Expiration Dates – if the date has passed – out it goes. It’s a great, non-subjective filing system.

Gourmet Glut – you know you’ve done it. Purchased something that sounded great while you were shopping on an empty stomach, grabbed something off the shelf that looked tantalizing but the instructions seem overwhelming and too time consuming for you to ever actually make. Out it goes.

Now group like minded things together. Canned vegetables in one area, boxed side dishes in another. Snacks in a basket or container of some kind. Not only does this help you organize and get rid of things, it helps you save time on future shopping trips because you can easily see whether or not you have cream of mushroom soup for the casserole you’re making for dinner.

Donate – It’s a storage designers favorite word. If it’s the gourmet goodies you’re letting go of, put them in a box and drop them off at a food bank or food pantry so someone can benefit. If it is items past their expiration date, take them immediately to the trash, never to be seen again!