5 simple steps to an organized pantry

Having an organized pantry is so important to keep up with meal planning.  With a few simple steps, you can create a pantry that is functional and that stays organized.  It doesn't matter if you're dealing with a small pantry or a large pantry if you don't have an organized system in place you can find yourself constantly with an unorganized pantry.

By following these 5 simple steps you can have an organized pantry without having to worry about your pantry getting unorganized after just one or two uses.  I've put together a free pantry organization checklist to help you keep an organized pantry.  In this checklist, I've included an additional 5 extra tips to take your pantry to the next level

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How many times have you thought about preparing a meal, gone into the kitchen and looked into the pantry with disappointment? It's a mess. How can you figure out what you'd like to fix when you don't even know what you have? How many cans of this or packages of that and how old is all this stuff? It's enough to make you give up, grab the car keys and go out to eat again.

It's not that you lack imagination; it's simply a problem of procrastination. Someday you'll tackle that pantry, get organized and be able to cook. Why not make someday today? Below are some hints about how to get started today.

How to organize a pantry?

Take note of what your family likes

Get a notebook or paper and think about the meals of which you are most fond of. What do you like to eat on a regular basis? Ask your whole family what their favorite meals are; chances are that you haven't had some of them in a while. Your disorganized pantry has been holding you back from preparing good home-cooked meals.

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Remove and purge

Take everything out of the pantry. Cull the food that you haven't used in several months or a year and give them to your friends and family. That little jar of capers or the green olives in vodka? Eat them or pass them on; there will be that much more room for the foods that you like.

Do you have strange foods that were given as a gift? Anything that you don't trust should not be eaten. Check the dates on everything. The expiration dates are the last dates that food should be eaten.

Clean the cans and the pantry

When it comes to the food that you have decided to keep, dust or wash the tops of cans and dust all other containers. This food has been sitting around in the warehouses, supermarkets, and your home for a long time and ordinary dust contains germs, including botulism spores that you will want to eliminate before putting food back. Clean the pantry shelves with a food-safe cleaner, line with shelf-liner and replace the food that you are keeping.

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Create food zones

A key element to keeping an efficient pantry is being organized. Set up different areas of your pantry to contain similar items. The organization of grocery stores can be a guide; all of the syrups, honey, molasses are kept in one section; pickles, mayonnaise and condiments in another; pasta and rice in another, and so on.

Take inventory

Now when you are checking the pantry you will be able to see exactly what you have and how much. If you are out of something it will become obvious. From now on when you get home from grocery shopping, rotate the items to place the newest food in the back and move older items forward. By doing so, it is unlikely that you will ever have outdated food again.

A clean, organized pantry is a joy to use, whether you are an experienced or novice cook. Why not take the time now to create a functional and efficient pantry that you will love to use. Once you have organized and stocked your pantry, you will find cooking meals much easier and grocery shopping much simpler. A clean, well-organized, and well-stocked pantry can easily be your new best friend.

If you're ready for the next step and want to organize your pantry with ease then download the free pantry organization checklist to help walk you through the steps we just went over plus get 5 extra tips that I haven't shared anywhere else.