My main focus after a move is unpacking the kitchen and bedrooms, purely because I want to eat a decent meal and sleep in a bed with clean sheets, quite simple. As an avid organiser, unpacking the pantry gives me great pleasure, however I know this task for some may just be a case of getting all items on the shelves quickly and close the door. The pantry gets accessed by all members of the family multiple times a day so having coherent and well thought out shelving is actually quite beneficial.
I think it is fairly safe to say that no two pantries are alike, therefore organising and unpacking a pantry may vary from home to home. First things first, assess the pantry. Take note of how many shelves you are working with? Are the shelves deep, narrow, wide or shallow? Do you have a walk in pantry? Do you have glass doors, single or double doored pantry? All of these things are important when unpacking your goods to know the best layout for you and your needs.
One thing that will save you the headache down the track is sorting all your pantry items like with like. Keeping all your canned goods, herbs and spices, bulk foods like rice & pasta, breakfast cereals and baking goods all together. Once you’ve sorted items together you can then decide the best method of placement.
Evaluate the use by dates on all products before putting them back into the pantry (if you were an organised packer and did this step prior to moving, skip ahead). There is nothing worse than reaching for an item in the pantry and seeing its past its use by date. Make sure that everything making its way into your pantry is in date and in edible condition.
Decanting items into glass jars or reusable plastic containers is a great way to stack, sort and create a visually appealing pantry. Not only is this a great method for storing and keeping your food items fresher for longer, and keeping nasties out of your flour, you can do your bit for the environment by visiting a bulk food store and filling the container up from the shop thus minimising your plastics consumption. Adding labels to the containers is the cherry on top.
Plastic tubs or boxes are another great consideration to any pantry. Boxes are useful for storing items like kids school snacks, cans, jars or bottles in an awkward pantry. It is a great way to keep your pantry looking neat and tidy, maximising space and all your items are easily accessible. Another useful tip I have found that works in my pantry is the use of a lazy Susan (two in fact) these are great for storing sauces and condiments that I regularly use.
A final few words on unpacking your pantry to provide the most organised and efficient space. Depending on the size of the kitchen you’re working with another consideration is using the top or bottom shelves to store seasonal appliances such as a slow cooker, air fryer or blender. Be sure to store items based on useability, the most regularly used items should always be stored at eye height and less used items higher up or lower down (best to keep the heavier items lower). It might even take you a few goes to get the layout right, something that will suit not only yourself but the whole family. Happy unpacking!
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