The weather is cooling off and football tailgates and planning holiday parties are in full swing. While summer has us portioning salads and blending smoothies, fall ushers in a season of warm soups, hearty pastas and fresh baked goodness. As a result, you may find yourself spending more and more time in your pantry. Now is the perfect opportunity to get that often overlooked space into order so that you can enjoy cooking and entertaining in the months ahead.
A few tips to get you started:
Take It All Out
First thing, clear out every single item in your pantry. Yes, this is overwhelming but its necessary. You will find out exactly what you have going on in there and it will give you an opportunity to purge anything that is expired or will never be used.
Put it Back– But Better
Measure your space and head out to find some containers that will help sort your space. It is a good idea to get a mix of clear containers and baskets or bins that will hide certain items. Clear containers help small kids find what they need (thing fruit snacks, crackers, fruit pouches) and will also be a good place to store things like oats, flour, and sugar so that you can toss clumsy or messy packaging. Baskets are great for things like bread but also hide things you have multiples of (i.e. that Annieâ€™s mac and cheese that saves your weeknights!).
Make the Most of Your Space
Get creative–hooks for hanging aprons or brooms inside the door, sink caddies mounted on the walls can hold seasoning packets or drink mixes, a lazy susan can bring increased visibility. And donâ€™t forget the floor! Rolling crates can hold bulkier items without using precious shelf space.
Keep it Together
Store items youâ€™re likely to use all at once in the same container. A basket with chocolate chips, nuts, baking powder, etc. will come in handy when youâ€™re ready to bake. All of your cake decorating items in a bin will insure a tube of icing doesnâ€™t go rogue.
Make it Pretty!
An aesthetically pleasing pantry is more fun to use. Try adding contact paper to your shelves, self-adhesive wallpaper to the walls or hang a piece of fun art if you have the space! It will make your pantry feel more like a â€œroomâ€ and hopefully act as an incentive to maintain your hard work!