After doing the spring cleaning, I wanted to share some basics of cooking with you.
I am convinced that every home needs a well-organized pantry. If you don’t have the luxury of a walk in the pantry, don’t despair! You should be able to designate and organize an area in your home that serves as a pantry. Even if you put shelves in the basement.
The advantages of keeping a well-stocked and well-organized pantry are numerous. One advantage is that you won’t have to make many trips to the store. If you follow these simple steps that I outlined in this article for you – starting with the inventory of the items and making a complete list of what you need to buy – it will not only save you a lot of hassle, but will allow you to use the coupons you have cut out and buy items on sale and even in bulk, saving: gas, time and money! Just like your sanity!
Function: first in the pantry
It doesn’t matter how big or small your pantry is, but FUNCTION must be your first consideration. Here are some functional tips for organizing the pantry:
* Just like organizing any room in your home, a pantry should be planned to save time, energy, efficiency; and therefore, money!
* Your pantry should be well lit so you can see all the areas.
* Make your pantry efficient for you. It should be centrally located in your home. Or in the kitchen or in a closet that is relatively close to your workspace. If necessary, it is perfectly useful to create multiple pantry areas. If you do, remember to organize each space so that the necessary objects in the kitchen are in the kitchen, the cleaning products separated from the food and the sheets and towels are close to the bedrooms and bathrooms of your home, and so on.
* Consider the humidity and temperature of the pantry; you do not want to store dry food in a humid place and the ideal is a pantry that has a relatively cold and constant temperature.
* If space is limited, purchase plastic containers that you can stack in a closet, above the closet shelves and / or even under the bed. In these containers, I would keep the items you access less often in these storage areas. If you buy in bulk to save money and keep excess inventory in these areas with less easy access, you can always replenish a smaller supply in the storage area of the most convenient pantry.
* Keeping a “good inventory” of the items you use regularly will allow you to avoid attractive sales prices on items you don’t use and / or don’t need.
Getting Started – Clean the pantry
Now that you’ve planned your pantry to run, it’s time to start reorganizing!
Once you’ve established your pantry area, you’ll want to start by removing everything – I know, I know – don’t worry – by removing everything that will be able to help you get started and in order.
1. Completely empty your pantry – by moving everything into boxes, tables and / or shelves. Discarding or recycling everything you find is ruined, expired, stale or otherwise unusable.
2. Before you put things in order – you’ll have fun taking apart any food cabinet you currently use. Look at everything as you extract it and consider the following: how long have you not used that object? For example, herbs – lose a lot of flavor after 6 months even in a dark and cool space. While you’re at it, check the expiration date and throw it accordingly. Remember the rule: if in doubt, throw it out!
3. Remove dust or dirt from each element as you proceed.
4. If something has lost its label, but you know for sure what it is, create a handmade (or digitally created) label for easy recognition and mount it on your container.
5. The best part of this process – even if it takes time, is that it only needs to be done twice a year. Plan to do it in spring and autumn.
6. Thoroughly clean the shelves and walls with a solution of warm water and neutral soap, drying them with a towel and letting the surfaces of the shelf dry completely.
Preparation – Pantry Space
After removing everything, cleaning and preparing your pantry space, you are ready to start the reorganization. This is the fun part!
Here are my recommended steps to prepare the pantry for greater efficiency, order and money savings!
1. When you start organizing your “well-stocked pantry” … look for the available space that you can use to store objects; the back of a pantry door can be used to store spices and other small items if you hang a rack above the door. You can buy these racks on: Bath Bed and Beyond, Home Depot, Lowes, Target and any other similar retail store.
2. If necessary, now is the time to repaint the pantry walls and shelves. I think white or off-white is generally the best color for a pantry. Show cleaning!
3. At this point, you can spread some easily removable surface paper on the shelves. This will protect the surfaces of the shelf from stains.
4. Your next step is to organize your shelves according to the content you want to keep in your “well-stocked pantry”.
5. I suggest buying some of Tupperware’s Modular Mate containers. They are excellent for storing dry products such as flour, sugar, pasta, tea bags, coffee beans and cereals. I believe that the use of rectangular or square containers takes up less space and stacks more neatly than round or oval containers.
The pantry that rearranges
Now that you’ve cleared the pantry, you can start organizing things by following these steps:
1. Start by sorting pantries into categories: examples include: fruit, vegetables, soups, condiments, canned lunches / dinners, canned meats, sauces, baked goods, and rice / pasta / dry beans. While you are doing this first round of categorization, be sure to put the items in order according to their expiration dates, putting as soon as possible to expire to be the last item to return to the pantry (i.e. it will be in front, thus reducing waste).
2. Heavier items should go to the lower shelves. Especially if you’ve installed a lazy Susan. For example, you have a large can of tomato sauce, put it on the lower shelf with containers for your baked goods. In the meantime, leave the top shelves open for items you use frequently and lighter items such as beans, pasta and / or rice.
3. Using the containers it is possible to keep dry products and baked goods such as: flour and sugar, fresh and free from insects. You can keep smaller items, such as tea and coffee, dried fruit and broth in small plastic baskets and / or containers, which also help keep them fresh.
4. Group similar items: breakfast items, snacks, baked goods, cleaning products, dish linens, etc. It is important that if you take some time to consider how things are arranged in the grocery store where you usually shop, you can group your pantry items in a similar way. Using subgroups will help keep things tidier and more easily accessible. For example, all canned products go on a shelf, organized in subgroups such as: fruit, vegetables, soups, crackers and biscuits, etc.
5. Labeling shelves will help you keep your groups in order.
List of inventory and restocking of the pantry
Now that you have cleaned up our “well-stocked pantry”, you have discarded obsolete objects, added shelves (if necessary), you will want to take inventory. Doing so will help you determine what’s missing and what needs regular replenishment.
For your convenience, I’ve created a starter list of common items that you may want to keep in your pantry and add to your pantry inventory list:
* Canned items – soups, broths, vegetables, fruit, beans, tomatoes, etc.; * Jar Foods – tomato paste and sauce, olives, pickles, peanut butter, jams and jellies * baked goods – baking powder, baking soda, flour, sugar, extracts and more! * Spices: salt, pepper, basil, Italian season, tarragon, paprika, chopped red pepper and more! * Starches – Pasta, potatoes, rice * Condiments – Soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise * Sweeteners – syrup, honey, artificial sweetener * Dried products – cereals, oatmeal, pancakes, raisins and dried fruit, nuts and seeds * Oils – Olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, etc.
Keep the pantry well organized
Now that you have your pantry clean and organized, you will want to follow these few simple tips to keep it this way:
1. Don’t buy things that won’t be used; this will save money! 2. Buy only according to your tastes, budgets and needs. 3. Look for coupons and discounted items to keep in your pantry 4. Use your pantry regularly, checking your inventory to make sure you’re not too full. 5. If possible, items such as paper napkins, paper plates, napkins, etc. That do not expire or become stale, buy them in larger quantities.
If possible, try buying stock quantities of the basic items you use the most. This will avoid “out of stock” items. Having an extra can of mayonnaise or some spare cans of chicken and / or tuna salad can come in handy with a surprise visit from a friend. Make sure to add these items to your shopping list when you break your reserves. With the kids at home, you might want to consider creating a special area and / or basket to keep snacks and treats handy. This will help keep children out of the pantry! The homemade trail mix is a great snack and easy to store!
I discovered that it is better to try to rearrange your pantry when you are alone, or to have a block of time available to concentrate and complete the project quickly!
Remember to keep cleaning products and chemicals away from your food!
Keep the objects you use most often in front of you and easily visible!
Stack cans, jars and other items so that labels can be easily read.
Always looking for new organizational aids such as: baskets, wire baskets, adjustable grids, stackable containers and more that will improve the organization of the pantry.
Create a “guest” or “refreshment” shelf to keep crackers, sauces, chips, drink mixes and other items handy so you can be ready for an impromptu party or your kids’ friends.
Keep paper / pencil and / or a small blackboard in your pantry. You could also paint a blackboard on the back of the pantry door. You will be surprised at how this will encourage family members to add what they would like to the inventory or have noticed out of stock.
If you can’t put everything in the pantry neatly, you may want to store nonessential items in a more “remote” storage location such as the garage or basement.
Base points of the pantry:
Baking soda Baking powder Corn starch Flour Sugar (powder, granulated and brown) Stock Yeast (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable) Maple syrup Cooking Wine Milk Butter Eggs Mustard Lemons (or Lemon juice) Mayonnaise Garlic Spicy sauce Onions Parmigiano
Other items Handy Pantry:
Dried Beans Pasta Sauce Spaghetti Canned Soup (Chicken Cream Or Mushrooms) Various Cheeses Sour Cream Cream Cheese Frozen Vegetables (Usually Frozen Better Flavor) Potatoes Celery Carrots