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How to organize a pantry: Tips & Tricks

Organizing your pantry before you move can help you save money and food.

The kitchen is arguably one of the most important and used rooms of any home. People may not spend entire days there, but they do usually have to visit it multiple times. When you're planning to move, take advantage of this moment to perform a complete overhaul of your pantry and ensure you don't have to work up any more of an appetite to reach the food in your new house than you have to.

Saying goodbye to the old pantry

Before moving, odds are you're going to have to clean out your old pantry first unless you plan on bringing all the food you've acquired and forgotten about throughout the years with you. This entails throwing away all the expired food no one can eat. If you feel bad about wasting it, you can bring some stale bread or other grains to the local park and feed the pigeons, but sometimes it's best just to toss it. Certain edible items, such as non-perishables, you just don't think you'll ever get around to cooking can be donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter.

Organization

Before you start lining the shelves of your new pantry, make sure they're clean first. If you have a large family, there's going to be a lot of traffic going in and out of there. Take this chance to wipe everything down and maybe even give it a new coat of paint too. Visibility is one of the most important aspects you want to incorporate in your pantry. If you think a bright coat of paint will help make everything stand out inside it, then go for it.

Smaller items can be placed in racks, on door shelves or on rotating trays like Lazy Susans in order to fully maximize your space and make access to them more convenient.

HGTV stresses that the accounting method, "first in, first out," should be implemented in every pantry. Whenever you buy new groceries, place newer items in the back and older ones in the front of your shelves so food is less likely to go bad. The increased exposure will act as a reminder to you before expiration and may help prevent you from overbuying.

Split up your pantry into sections that fit your lifestyle and family. Keep the highly sought after items in plain sight and allocate anything that doesn't fit to a storage space that is still near, but better represents the daily demand. It doesn't matter if it's cabinets, a shelf, or a closet in another room. If there are any children, keep in mind their height and the lengths they'll have to reach.

If you're the kind of person that dreads scrounging up a list every week of what you need to get at the supermarket, having a small notepad and pen in your pantry may help you. All you have to do is write something down the minute you're out of specific items and collect the entire list before grocery shopping.

Making sure your pantry is clean and organized, in the end, will save you money and waste less food. No one will have to dig through your shelves to find anything if it's all logically placed and labeled, but more importantly, no hungry person will have to wait any longer than they need to to find the food they're looking for.

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