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Tidy Up Your Kitchen Pantry

Family & Caregiving

Is your kitchen pantry in need of some TLC?

Here are a few tips to help you freshen up your stock and find what you need in a pinch:

Remove items from shelves, cabinets and drawers. Start by removing items section by section onto a cleared counter or kitchen table. Make sure you thoroughly wipe down and dry surfaces.

Check expiration dates. Go through items and check expiration dates. If items are past their prime, discard. The same applies for items that are opened but haven't been used in many months. If you have food that is still perfectly good (that is, within the expiration date) but you no longer want or need it, pack it up and bring to a food pantry for donation.

Group like items with like. Quickly group like items with like so you can see what you have in stock. Make a note of any products that are low in quantity or need to be purchased the next time you are at the grocery store.

Dry foods
Baking supplies
Meal helpers

Find homes for foodstuffs. Designate an area in each part of your pantry for various foods. You could organize foods by various cuisines or region (American, Mexican, Chinese, Indian); recipe/meal preparation (beans and rice; noodles and sauce); food type (tomato paste with crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce) or usage (baking ingredients, sushi making ingredients). If it helps you, mark out designated storage areas with labels so you won't forget what goes where.

Other quick tips:

Frequently used items should be easy to access. You don't want to have to climb over things or dig things out to get something you use frequently. Keep regularly used items in an easy to reach place.

Save space with smart storage. Save space by transferring dry goods to labeled and uniformly shaped storage units. Use airtight glass, plastic or tins.

Rotate stock. Rotate food items each time you shop to prevent food spoilage.

Rashelle Isip is an organizing, time management and productivity consultant and blogger. She is founder of The Order Expert, a site featuring practical and creative organizing, time management, productivity tips, inspiration and much more. For more information on Rashelle, visit:

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