Perfect Pantry Organization

 

Whether you have a large walk-in pantry or shelves in the garage, the key to reducing food waste and saving money is Perfect Pantry Organization.  Today we are peeking inside another well loved food blogger’s kitchen to see how she organizes the shelves she uses for a pantry.  

 TidyMom Guest post

Brandy with Nutmeg Nanny

Brandy is a small town girl and voice behind Nutmeg Nanny.  She is  a 30-something freelance food writer, recipe developer who who left the cornfields of Ohio for the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley region of New York where she shares her home with her husband and two cats.  Brandy’s recipes are influenced by her small town roots as well as her many travels around the world.  Today she is going to share how she has perfected the perfect pantry organization, that helps her save time and money.   Take is away Brandy………. 

Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to dream pantries. I know that seems like a really weird thing to devout a board too but I just love the idea of having a massive walk in pantry and never running out of space. Sadly, my real life pantry is not much a dream. It’s just a small metal shelf unit I managed to snag on clearance. It’s not the best, but it works.  The one downside to having a shelving unit as your pantry is that it’s deep. That means stuff can get shoved to the back and never see the light of day again. Well, until I get the energy to clean it out. But, all of that is going to change! I have set myself on an organization schedule and I’m going to stick to it. {My theory is that if I keep saying that it will happen}

Now, back to this pantry. It sits on the top landing to our basement/garage and is just a step away from the kitchen. It’s conveniently located but since it’s out of site it can get unorganized quickly. I have a bad habit of just shoving stuff on the shelves instead of putting them where they belong. As you can see in the above picture it was a bit out of control. 

Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

 When you’re finally ready to buckle down and clean out that pantry you have to start by taking everything out. I know it seems like you will be making things an even bigger mess but it helps to have a clean slate. 

 Second, go through all your food and check expiration dates. Any food that is expired just toss it away. I know it seems wasteful to throw away food but it’s not fun eating it expired either. One thing most people forget about it checking the dates on their spices. Look at this poor bottle of tarragon. It expired back in 2009…whoops! 

Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

 After your have checked the date on your products it’s time to move on to the next step. Once a month {or when I remember} I go through my pantry to look and see if there is anything that could be donated. Since I’m a food blogger I get a lot of free food and can’t always finish it all. So I try to pack up one bag a month for my local food pantry. Anything unopened and non-perishable is always in need. 

Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

Something I wanted to do this time around is start storing some of my products in airtight containers. So the awesome folks over at OXO sent me some products to play around with.  I have heard of bugs {gross I know!} and mice {even grosser!} getting into pantries so I have been nervous about that happening. Knock on wood it has never happened but still something to keep in mind. So this meant that I didn’t want half opened bags of rice, pasta or grains hanging out in my pantry any longer. 

Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

As you can see I consolidated a lot and now have all my food together and grouped. That means I can easily find what I need when I’m scrambling around trying to cook dinner and all my food looks stylish in its fancy new bins. Also, when you add your products back into the pantry try grouping products so they are all together. All my tomato products are in one row, followed by baking products, canned beans, vegetables, etc. Since my pantry is small and deep it’s important to keep your products stacked so you can see what’s in your pantry.  

Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

Since I was able to make more room in my pantry I was able to move some of my large spice bottles out of my cabinets and into the pantry. The large bottles were blocking my plates and in general a giant annoyance. Now I can grab for my plates without having to move around 6 different spices bottles. Not only am I happy but my husband is happy too. I buy these big bottles of spices to refill smaller bottles that I keep near the stove. Normally I would find this a waste of space but my local grocery store has such wonderful prices on spices I can’t pass it up! Those huge bottles only cost $3.99. That’s less than half the price of smaller bottles in the supermarket. I always make the room for a deal. 

Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

Lastly I took a couple seconds to hang up my measuring spoons. They were a big jumbled mess in my silverware drawer but now they are perfectly organized and easy to grab while I’m baking. 

One more thing, if you have the time try to take an inventory of your pantry. No one wants to be rooting around for an item before they hit up the store. With a running list of what’s in your pantry you will always know what you have in house.  I’m planning on painting a chalkboard square near my pantry so I can keep a running inventory and shopping list. It might be a little over the top but I love knowing that my pantry will no longer be overflowing and unorganized. 

Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

 

I know this was a long post so I’m going to give a quick rundown

How to Organize the Perfect Pantry: 

  •  Take everything out of the pantry 
  • Check the dates! Throw out any expired food and spices.  
  • Try to fill a bag full of non-perishable food to bring to a local food pantry once a month. This will help keep your pantry clean and not cluttered. 
  • Try to group together all items that belong together. 
  • Stack cans so you can see what in your pantry. 
  • Take inventory of your pantry so you know what you have on hand so you don’t double buy. 
  • Always put items back where they belong and clean out once a month to keep organized. 

 Organize the Perfect Pantry to help you save time and money at TidyMom.net

Brandy with Nutmeg NannyBrandy is the cook, author and head dishwasher of the blog Nutmeg Nanny. Brandy is a small town girl who left the cornfields of Ohio for the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley region of New York when she was just 19 years old. Her food is influenced by her small town roots as well as her many travels around the world. She loves her food savory or sweet and never forgets to throw in a cocktail…or two. 

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