Well organized food areas are yet another key to ‘simplify a busy mummas life’. A well organized, clean functioning pantry (and fridge/freezer too of coarse) are a must for those that do meal planning and even for those that just wanting some sanity back after dealing with endless food caos. An unorganized pantry can cause food wastage, over spending on the grocery bill and unnecessary cleaning time that could be better spent elsewhere with family. It really is an area of the home that should be thought for function rather than just thought of as a ‘food stop’ for household members.
As the person that does the meal planning and grocery shopping I know that others in the home see this area just as a solution to a hungry belly – and I completely understand that as they do not need to do what I have to when it comes to food in the home. For me it is much more than that. It is a vital cog in the wheel that keeps the heart of the home going. So it is very important for food areas to run efficiently for me as to not waste unnecessary time and money.
To help get you started today, I’m going to share 5 simple steps to help organize your pantry. To assist you further find my printable pantry labels in the This Mum At Home shop – FREE for VIP Lounge members!
5 Simple Steps To Organizing Your Pantry
Get started on your food areas with these 5 simple steps. Maintaining is the key to keeping it all together so don't forget to maintain regularly!
* Clean Out Now & At Every Grocery Shop – If your pantry is a mess then do a major clean out today and maintain it at every grocery shopping time. Keeping on top of it regularly obviously helps
- Take everything out of your food space and place out on your kitchen bench.
- Go through everything and throw out/donate expired food and food you know you wont use.
- Wipe down and disinfect all shelving for a fresh start
- Place all your food items back into designated food areas eg main meals, breakfast, drinks, snacks etc You will know yourself which shelves work best for you. For me I know where and where not to have things when I have young kids to think about!
After your initial clean out it is a matter of maintaining it regularly at every grocery shop afterwards. As you do your weekly grocery list clean up anything that has gone into wrong spots, get rid of empty boxes and consolidate packages where you can. You will get to know everything you have in the space, so when you are meal planning you know exactly what you have. No more buying unnecessary items you already have but didn’t see. Doing this will take you less than 5 minutes and save you from doing another 1 hour clean up at another time. Being well organized and clean will also speed up your meal planning time!
* Use Food Storage & Labels – Using food storage containers not only helps retain food freshness, but also helps make for a cleaner more organized look. The beauty of containers is that you can stack them, so if you have a small food space (like I do) you can easily utilize air space. – get This Mum At Home pantry labels in the shop now VIP Lounge members can purchase for free!
* Rotate Products – Much like you would in a food business you need to ensure you are rotating your food items. This means bring old and already opened items forward and send new ones to the back. Doing this will help you avoid food expiry and $$$ wastage. You should rotate at every clean up and when unpacking new groceries. This is such a simple step many overlook.
* Do Meal Planning – This is a no brainer. The two go hand in hand with each other. If your meal planning you need your food areas to be clean and organized to meal plan efficiently. If your not already meal planning then you should START RIGHT NOW with this blog post! There are many many many benefits to meal planning, especially if you are a busy mum waisting money and too much time in the kitchen. Meal planning will force you to look at what you already have in your food areas and how they can be used in your weeks meals. You will see what items you will need to buy for the week and stop you overbuying unnecessarily.
* Think function not ‘pretty’ – As much as we all want a Pinterest worthy pantry, it is not always the most functional. Make sure when you plan out your food spaces you think about what works for your family. Think about how it can function best for you, especially with the layout you have. It can still ‘look pretty’ just make sure that your ‘pretty’ works! This includes thinking about what type of storage you can use that is realistically suitable.
I have 2 young children that love to go hunting in my pantry. Previously when I had everything out to be seen, they would just take and move around without asking. I was forever trying to clean up and find missing items, it was beyond frustrating! Now I have a space that is set with them in mind. Things are no longer as accessible for my youngest, but are now more appropriately accessible for my eldest. Everyone now knows where they should and shouldn’t be going for food. Everyone knows what they can and can not eat.
For me things are kept much cleaner, more organized and I can now easily track what has been eaten or what I need to ‘restock’. It has cut down so much time in my meal planning and writing out the grocery list. I will never go back to my before pantry!
Got any tips on how you organize your pantry and keep it clean? Leave a comment below and share with other busy mums!