Published July 20, 2012
Let’s face it, having a central place to store our ingredients for cooking just makes things so much easier.
Pantries do not have to be large, separate rooms. They can simply be as large as a room or as small as a cupboard. It’s the organization of the pantry that counts.
A well-organized space is the key to a successful pantry.
So, what’s the best way to start?
Experts agree that the following points should be kept in mind when deciding to set up your pantry.
First, when choosing your space for your pantry is sure the area is clean, has low light, good circulation and most importantly be well ventilated. These things will enable your food products to last longer over time.
Second, plan out your pantry into prime and non-prime storage. The prime items would consist of ingredients that you will use every day and therefore should be placed at eye level. The non-prime items should be stored in the higher shelves and lower spaces that are more out of the way. The shelves should be wide but not too deep. The shallow shelves will allow you to better see your ingredients and will enable you to pick them off easier.
It’s also a good idea to further categorize your items by groups. Baking items should be together, canned products grouped all on one shelf and pasta and rice should be kept separately. Never put potatoes beside onions, as they will affect each other over time. Baskets are one way to organize food into groups and provide an attractive display as well.
Be sure to store products in airtight containers and baskets. This will prevent any pests from invading your ingredients. This is especially important for oils, baking products and dried herbs.
Paper towels, light bulbs, and other non-food items such as serving trays and vases may be stored on higher shelves and in their own separate baskets.
Labeling your baskets and shelves is also a great idea. This way you can more easily locate what you are looking for in a hurry.
Lastly, if you have any extra wall space in your pantry you may want to consider hanging hooks for your brooms and mops and perhaps a bulletin board for “out-of-stock” pantry items.
Be sure to take inventory of your pantry items regularly and throw away any old food and items that have not been used for a while.
*Did you know?
Unopened, low-acid canned goods such as soups, fish and meat will last for 2-5 years in your pantry?