Although organizing your food pantry may not seem important, it can really help when you are in the process of making a meal and need to find ingredients fast. Most fully stocked food pantries contain canned foods, boxed foods, and other types of packaging. Organizing by these categories can really help to keep your food pantry easily accessible.
Begin by separating all of your food pantry items by category. Can goods go together, boxed foods next, packaged foods, etc. When categorizing your foods, look at the expiration date and throw away any foods that are expired. You'd be surprised at some older food items you may find the back of your pantry. You may also want to organize the foods by what they are. For example, all of the cereal boxes go together as well as the soup cans together.
Mark the Boxes
If you shop at stores, such as Aldi's, you are able to bring home the boxes that cans are stacked in. Use these boxes to your advantage and place your food categories in each box. If you shop someone else where these are not available, use the top of a foldable cardboard box. These will help to separate your food categories by each having their own box. Using a black, bold permanent marker, mark each box with what it contains. For example, one box can be marked "Soup". It will make it much easier to put away your food when you come home from the grocery store.
Seal your Foods
Foods that are not eaten often and can go stale quickly such as chips, crackers, and some cereals, should be sealed. If a box of cereal has already been opened, I recommend keeping it in a tight fitting container. This will help to keep bugs and other critters out of your food and will keep it fresh.
Many people purchase or are given foods that they will probably not eat. Instead of letting it expire in your food pantry, donate it to a food drive. This will give you more room for foods that you will actually eat and allows you to give back to your community. If you have young children, you are bound to hear about a food drive at their school that you can donate to.
Organizing your food pantry can allow you to easily access your food while cooking or putting away groceries. It can make things a whole lot easier on you and cut down your precious time that you could be using for other things.