The dreaded kitchen pantry; it seems to be a black hole for some, constantly swallowing up food that won’t resurface again for months. Everyone has struggled with deciding and finding something healthy to cook for dinner after a long day at work. Instead of ordering take out next time, why not spend a little time organizing your pantry so it works to your advantage? Our NYC Professional Organizer has a few home organizing tips to take the guesswork out of meal planning, making this daily task less stressful and the meals healthier.
First, empty out your pantry. No matter what area you’re applying our home organizing tips to, starting with a clean slate helps you really access the contents and the space. You’ll discover all of the buried items you’ve long forgotten about. Throw away anything with past expiration dates, donate unopened items that you don’t use, dispose of those really unhealthy items. Begin grouping similar items together, paying attention to your eating habits. The lesser-used items can be put on higher shelves, while the most used should be easy to see and grab. Our NYC Professional Organizer also recommends storing certain dry ingredients (such as cereal, granola, and baking ingredients) in stackable, air tight, clear containers which show when supplies are low.
Next, divide your pantry into zones to reduce decision time and meal preparation time. Organize by food and cooking categories that suit you: dinner, baking, condiments, whatever works best for you. Designate areas for each, keeping the most frequently used items easiest to reach so even your youngest child can help themselves to their favorite breakfast cereal. If there are specific dishes that are prepared regularly, group together all the non-perishable ingredients plus the recipes in one area. This zone of easy on-the-go meals will be a frequent go-to spot on those nights when time is of the essence. Baskets or small containers could be the perfect storage containers for these ingredients. Labeling each zone will make it easier for everyone in your household to quickly locate items. It will also keep the pantry organized, especially when re-stocking the shelves after grocery shopping.
The less time spent in the pantry trying to decide what to cook, the more time you can spend relaxing (where you really want to be). If you find yourself still struggling with home organizing, and productivity, our NYC Professional Organizer can help. She can provide customized solutions catering to your specific lifestyle.