You all know I love to stock a pantry. Shopping from my own pantry makes me very happy. I feel so in control and responsible. Which is funny because I almost never feel responsible.
Lately though I have been having some issues with my food storage. Namely, I have too much stuff crammed into my pantry. Even though I have a lot of food, I struggle to find what I am looking for so I end up buying things I don’t really need.
No matter how much I try to avoid it, I have a problem with organization. I do not want to take the time to organize anything. It’s tiresome and boring. Organizing is for people who have control over their Executive Functions.
a super simple pantry inventory
I have one freestanding cabinet, and then I have a narrow, but deep cabinet next to my fridge.
Both of these pantries are cluttered and have no discernable organizational system. Spices are mixed with snacks. Cereal is mixed on a shelf with baking supplies. I want to start stockpiling some of my pantry staples, but my storage is such a mess I don’t know where to start.
In order to properly stock your pantry, it has to be organized.
This is how I finally got my pantry organized so that I can start to stockpile.
1.Empty Everything Out
This is similar to how we clean out a closet. Fashion goes out of style and so does food, so check the dates on all of your pantry items. I found Girl Scout cookies from 2014. No I didn’t throw them away, I let my family eat them.
With everything out on the table it was easy for me to fill a trash bag with outdated or stale food creating more room on my shelves.
Another benefit of piling all of the food in one place was that it enabled me to see what pantry staples I had, and what I was missing. Normally I like to have certain things on hand such as wild rice and quinoa. Turns out I had not restocked very well, so now I know what I need to add to my list.
For our purposes I am going to name six categories of pantry items. Dry goods/baking supplies, snacks, condiments, canned/ jarred goods, frozen foods and spices. Obviously, there are other ways to do this but this is what makes sense for me.
After you categorize and separate items you can decide where to put it all.
3. Put It Away Sloooowly
Take your time. Decide where it makes sense to store all of your items. For example, if you don’t bake often you can put your baking supplies on a higher shelf. Snack foods that you reach for every day should be easily accessible to you and your family.
I decided to put grains/seeds and cereal on the top shelf of my dining room pantry. Baking supplies went in the bottom, along with bulk spices and protein powders.
All canned goods easily fit on one shelf in my small pantry, with jars on the shelf above. My snack foods got their own shelf. And I actually had enough space to separate baking spices from savory spices. My larger pantry is now just for small appliances, and bulk storage.
This entire project took about two hours. Not too bad. Admittedly I wanted to quit in the middle but I had a cup of coffee and pushed through.
Now I can focus on stockpiling the items that my family eats most often. As I get better at stockpiling and organizing I will share my adventures.