This is not the first time I organize my kitchen pantry. Last time, I cleaned out all the expired food, separated the rest into different groups, and labeled them with my labeling machine. If I create a system, things will be organized and keep in place forever, right? Apparently, my system is not good enough. Somehow, the cabinet started to overflow, things are misplaced, and I can not find anything at all. As as result, I keep buying new things and the pantry gets more and more crowded. I decided to re-organize the pantry this past weekend and here is the result.
Not dramatic change from the pictures. Most labels I put last time still apply. At least now everything is in visible view so I know what I have and what I don't have. I did throw away several garbage bags of food that is expired, half open and stale, or just lost in the corners.
The process it self is straightforward.
1. you empty out everything.
2. clean and wipe the cabinet.
3. Separate everything into groups.
4. Set any organizer or storage as needed.
5. Find a proper place for everything so you can see and reach them easily.
6. Add label so other family member can follow your system.
Challenges and ideas
1. Special food for each family member
In the spirit of simplifying my life, I like to cut down more food in the pantry, but I do have to consider other member's in the family. Everyone has their own favorite snacks, drinks, and food preferences. Not always a healthy choice, but I stock some for special times.
2. Space limit
I guess this is the challenge for most families. We collect a lot of food, tools, utensils, and storage units that our space is always not big enough. But since my goal is to simplify life, I can not complain about no space to display everything. Just need to find ways to downsize.
3. Organizers and storage jars
It is personal preference to pick storage container and organizer. A proper fitting one will last a long time and make life easier. We really don't need a lot of fancy organizers. What I find useful are:
1. small shelves to divide the cabinet space, or extra levels for more storage.
2. slide out trays.
3. clear storage bins so you can see what's inside.
4. glass food canisters (for flour, sugar and bulk grain and so on), glass is more environmental friendly and safer for health.
5, pot and lid holders.
6. spice rack that fits your space and let you see everything easily.
Closer up look:
We have foils, wrap, and sandwich bags on the first shelf;
noodles and pasta on the second;
nuts, butter and premixed package on the third;
cans, extra oils and sauces on the fourth;
cereal and snack on the bottom.
It is still work in progress. I might move around some categories around so it makes more sense. And I am still searching for the perfect container or organizer to fit what I have. This is always an on going project. I just have to check in regularly to make sure it fits our current lifestyle, and prevent the pantry overflowing again.