It’s funny how so many common New Year’s resolutions – like focusing on self-care, switching to a healthier lifestyle, being more organised, learning a new skill and embracing simplicity or minimalism – can all start with your pantry! Here’s how to organise your pantry for the new year and beyond.
Say “Farewell” to 2021…and old food
- Clear a large space (e.g. your kitchen bench or dining table). Remove everything from your pantry and inspect for any items that are expired as well as spices that you purchased ages ago. Throw those away and start fresh.
- Those unopened, long-life food items that have been hiding in your pantry that you simply never got around to using? Donate them!
- Same goes for kitchen gadgets. Like sorting the clothing in your wardrobe, if you haven’t used a piece of equipment once in the last year, it has to go.
- Clean your pantry shelves, walls and doors, and wipe clean every item that you’re keeping.
- Keep your shopping list handy so you can jot down any goods you’d like to replace straight away.
- Stock up on clear containers in different sizes plus open top baskets or any vessel you like for individually packed items (e.g. muesli bars or the kid’s snacks). You can figure out which storage containers you need by seeing what’s on your shopping list and what’s leftover after your clean-out and then making sure you have containers to fit the volume of those items that you usually buy plus a little extra.
- Where possible, stackable, clear containers will make cooking for the year ahead a breeze. But don’t stress if everything doesn’t match perfectly like on Pinterest. 2022 is a year for refocusing on what really matters.
- Resolve to label the purchase or expiry date on your stored goods this year. You’ll thank yourself by the time 2023, and another clear-out, comes around.
- It should be obvious but label the top or the front of the containers according to which side you’ll see first when they are placed back on the shelf.
- Pop everything the shorter members of your family needs on lower shelves.
- Weighty items like heavy-duty food processors are best on the ground or at an easy-to-pick-up level for safety reasons.
- Store items that you don’t use often, like biscuit cutters or cake stands, up top.
The 2022 pantry
Aside from the above basics: consider what you want your life – and meals times – to look like in the year ahead. Then plan your pantry accordingly.
Perhaps you want to reserve space for a case or two of bubbles or a wine holder so you can easily replenish the fridge when unexpected guests pop by to toast to the end of the festive season.
Plant-based eating is going to be even bigger next year. Wouldn’t your very own mushroom farm be right at home in that shady corner of your walk-in pantry? Want to learn to cook in gourmet style this year? Install a hook on the back of the pantry door for easy access to a couple of handy aprons. If looking after yourself is on your list of 2022 resolutions, you may like to devote more total space on the shelves to wholegrains, nourishing superfood snacks and spices rather than treats. Set yourself up to keep those promises for a very happy and organised new year ahead!