Recently I was talking about how much I hate cooking in a messy kitchen. It is why I try to make sure everything in the kitchen is organized. Keeping the spices organized helps takes the stress out of cooking. Keeping the pantry organized is another way to take stress out of cooking. It is just easier to cook when you can find everything easier.
Have a set place in the pantry for each type of food, like breakfast foods, pasta, canned vegetables and fruits, etc. Have the shelves labeled. It makes it easier to make sure the foods are in the same place each time so that you always know where to look. Storing things together that are often cooked together makes it easier to gather things to make a meal. For example, ethnic foods, pasta and sauce, ingredients for sauces, etc.
It doesn’t matter if you are storing the items in an actual pantry or in a cabinet, a clean and organized cabinet makes it easier to find the items you need. Using clear bins or shallow baskets are a great way to store items that do not stack well.
Items like garlic, onions, potatoes and avocados, take them from the plastic bags. Store them in baskets to keep them contained. Be sure to check them often to make sure they have not gone bad.
Thinking of things going bad, be sure to always watch the expiration dates. As you are putting groceries away, be sure that new items go behind the old items. This makes sure that the groceries are rotated and that the food doesn’t expire before it gets used.
Storing quick meal items, like mac and cheese, canned meals or boxed meals, together makes it easy to grab food in a hurry.
Store non-food items, like plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or plastic bags, in under-the-shelf baskets to hold them out of the place.