Perfect your pairings
Not all pantry items are destined to be neighbours. Keep onions and garlic well away from potatoes - and in a dark place - or you’ll risk speeding up the spoiling process. Flours can absorb strong-smelling odours like cumin and curry powder, so store them in separate spaces. The same goes for bread, which is best kept fresh by housing it in its own basket or bread box.
Enhance space with storage
With a bit of breathing room, you’ll soon have a place for everything. Baskets, drawers and tubs are ideal for items that don’t need to be sealed, and will give you some of your most dramatic makeover results. Instantly double your space by using portable tiered shelves to stack cans and jars, set up your spices on a Lazy Susan and use baskets for your assortment of baking ingredients. Limit spills by using a plastic container to store your oils and keep your pantry floor clear by allocating all your shopping bags to one large shopping bag. With a little extra effort, you can install new additions like a drawer for your spreads, a basket for your bread and built-in spice rack shelving on your pantry door.
Rotate to reduce waste
Introduce a first-in, first-out system. Label containers and baskets with their contents and expiry dates clearly, and be sure to position them facing outwards so you can easily see the label. Organise duplicate items by date, so the older items get used first. Getting into this habit helps you familiarise yourself with what you’ve got on hand and lessens the chance of overstocking. It may also eliminate decision fatigue around dinner by clearly showing you what you have to use up first.
Most importantly, make sure you take a moment to appreciate your newly organised pantry because this perfect state isn't going to last forever - life happens. That's why after all the hard work, maintenance is essential. Every six months (put it in your calendar), put aside some time to make sure the systems you've put in place are in order, bin expired items, clean up any spills and give the shelves a good wipe down.
Oh, and did we mention? Remember to take a moment, enjoy the calm and whip up a family favourite, taking comfort in that fact you'll be able to find every ingredient you need on those organised shelves of yours.