Pantry Organization

Have you ever opened the door to your pantry and wondered just WHO put all that crap in there?  A bag of rice cereal with barely a quarter cup in it, a smidgeon of panko bread crumbs sandwiched between an almost empty box of noodles and the olive oil…. and just why did I buy a brand new box of mashed potato flakes back in 1998? I have no clue why it’s there…..this is called general mayhem in the pantry.

Here is what to do (put the beer down, that is not that answer)…..

Step 1:  Head to your nearest Dollar Store and grab some different sized glass jars.  Yes, glass, forget the plastic ones, they are too cheap and will not last.  Plus, plastic containers have a nasty habit of emitting an unknown (and possibly lethal – ok, maybe not, but I am not going to chance it) odour if left closed for too long….thus making the dry goods contained within smell and taste like…well…weird, rotting plastic.  Glass jars come in a wide variety of sizes, from spice jar size on up to 2L containers (for those not using the metric system, 1 Liter = 1.0567 Quarts) and some of these jars are downright purdy!

Now if you are like me and save every store bought jam and spaghetti sauce jar – they also make fabulous containers, just slap a label on them and you are good to go.  Why send them to the recycle facility when you can re-use them?

Step 2:  Pull out everything in your pantry and scrutinze…..if it is has a best before date of when OJ was doing his famous highway/bronco run – toss it.  If it has so little left in its container that you could not possibly use it in anything – toss it.  If you don’t recognise what it is due to some morphing of physiology – toss it.


Step 3:  Wash and dry all your new glass jars, then wash out the inside of your pantry, no sense putting clean stuff back in a honey encrusted pantry!

Step 4:  Fill all of your new jars with your assorted open bags of stuff that is still edible.


Step 5:  Organize your pantry shelves so that the least used items are at the back and the most used towards the front.  Don’t forget to label what is in each one.  If it is somewhat perishable, throw the best before date on there to toss the contents if not used up by then.


Step 6:  Voila! You are done…..Now go have that well deserved beer.

3 thoughts on “Pantry Organization

  1. Glass jars are a great idea, Deb. I’ve been using them forever but have only spent a fraction of what even the dollar store jars cost. Visit some older relatives or close friends, especially ones that used to preserve fruit and veggies, and ask if they still need all those jars, gathering dust in the basement. You might go home with enough jars to fill all your cupboards. Or, if you have no one to ask, scour yard sales or flea markets for boxes of preserving jars. Up here in the north, almost every yard sale has some and they usually go for a dollar a box.

    New lids can be bought at any Wal-Mart or Canadian tire store or some places sell nice white plastic screw on lids that make the whole thing look very neat. Saving jars from your own food is also a good idea and to get rid of odors after a good washing, dry well and stuff crumpled up newspaper inside, then put on the lid and store. The odors will be gone after a week or two, depending on how strong they were, like dill pickles.

    Our recycling bins no longer take glass so that’s a good way to save on landfill space. (There was too much breakage around the bins by people that weren’t careful how they disposed of their items.)

  2. What a great idea using glass storage containers instead of the plastic. I’ve been cleaning out my pantry and some of the Tupperware; yes the TUPPERWARE has gone all sticky on me. No sure why. It’s just ooey and sticky. I’m switching over to glass. Thanks Deb for a wonderful idea. AND, oh BTW, here in the PNW, we are recycle fanatics. I just love the using something over again. Very helpful Blog!

    • Thank you Candice! – I have had Tupperware do that too, the only think I can think of is that is sits for too long not being used or sealed up – it is totally gross. The money they charge for Tupperware too is crazy, and then it goes like that?! Glad to hear you are a recycle fanatic in the PNW, we are big time here in Ontario. I am lucky to have a full kitchen catcher a week to go out, most often it is only half full, everything else goes in the blue boxes, green bin and my composter 🙂

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