Step 1: Empty out and clean
You need a blank canvas to work from, so it's time to empty out that cupboard and give it a good clean! Removing everything will also give you a chance to look through your store cupboard and begin to access what you really need.
Place all the items onto a countertop and give the inside of your pantry a good wipe down. You could even try getting the nozzle of your hover into those tights corners!
Step 2: The clear-out; be brutal!
Categorise your items into three piles; things you use regularly, things you use occasionally and the stuff you don't use at all. Move all the items that you need to one side to be collated.
Throw away everything that has expired and move anything that is about to go out of date into a separate pile. Store these together and make a mental note to include these products in your meal plans over the coming weeks, so as to use them up before they expire! Once your pantry is properly organised you will avoid wasting food and money by letting item perish before they've been used.
Anything you decide you don't need, give it away to a friend, or donate it to charity.
Step 3: Categorise your items
Gather similar products up and store them together using boxes, baskets or dividers. Arrange items into groups, such as; baking ingredients, spices, tins, soups, pastas and cereals. Having all relevant products together will save time when cooking and also make it easier to notice when something is running low, or it needs replacing. Planning meals and grocery shopping will instantly become quicker as you can easily see what you already have in stock.
Step 4: Label and replace
Dispensing pasta and cereals into Tupperware will make it easier to store them away neatly, as the boxes can be stacked together. Make sure all containers are clearly labelled and all stickers are easily visible when opening the pantry door; you don't want to be riffling through every container when all you need is a dash of sugar!
When refilling your pantry, be sure to stock items of regular use on easily accessible shelves, this will save time and energy when cooking and rarely used products can be housed towards the back.
Consider alternative storage solutions, could you fix a rack onto your pantry door? This could be really handy for keeping spices and cooking oils.
Finally: maintain it!
Knowing where your go-to items are and having a system in place ready for re-stocking the pantry can be a real godsend during a busy week.
When every pot, pan and utensil has its own designated space, cooking in the kitchen becomes quicker and simpler.
If you've taken your time to organise the pantry then it's important to make sure the rest of the family (you know who I'm taking about!) keep things in order. There's nothing worse than letting your hard work go to waste!