People rarely discuss their pantries, and we get it! It’s a place where things just seem to linger. A package of crackers from 2004, stuffed in the back? Crystal Light in a flavor so old it has been discontinued? Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Yet, a healthy pantry is essential to a healthy life. Eating the right (i.e. non-processed) foods has been proven to effectively combat a host of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few.
So, to help out, we’ve come up with an easy three-step solution to get your pantry in tip-top shape.
Toss the junk
This is the part we all dread - the actual step-by-step elimination of unnecessary junk. Start by making three piles: first, items that are both healthy and not expired; second, items not explicitly healthy and not expired (think alfredo sauce or baking chocolate); and third, a trash can for all the expired goods and unhealthy, processed junk foods. Throw away the third pile. Place the other two somewhere outside the pantry, and move on to the next step.
Redecorate and reorganize
Here’s your ultimate goal - to never again look in your fully stocked pantry and think, “There’s nothing to eat in here.” How to achieve it? With the golden rule of good pantry organization - visibility.
The most successful pantry typically features a mix of open-plan shelving and uncovered pull-out drawers. That way, everything is on display at first glance, even when the drawers are closed.
Don’t have an open-plan pantry yet? At Strickland’s Closets & Home Organization, you’ll find experts who can build a custom pantry to fit your space and needs to a tee.
Instead of keeping healthy snacks like nuts, seeds or pretzels in the bags you buy them in, invest in clear glass mason jars in a variety of sizes. You’ll always know what you have and how much you have left, and your snacks will stay fresh far longer.
To keep your fruits or root vegetables within reach, it’s smart to put them in sliding wire baskets. They can be tucked away for space, but their contents are always visible. Pro Tip: Put a plastic liner at the bottom of the basket for easy cleanup.
In sight, in mind
Now, go back to your two piles. Take the slightly-less-healthy products and place them on the shelves that are harder to reach. Next, take your pile of healthy items and place them on easy-access shelves like our kid-friendly, hip-level pull-out wire baskets.
When you go to the store to stock up, be sure to buy fresh, whole foods. We like to follow this rule: If it’s packaged, read the ingredients. If there are several ingredients you can’t pronounce, avoid it.
Voila! Follow these steps, and you’ll have the kind of pantry you’ll actually want to brag about.
Need inspiration or help? Stop by Strickland’s Wilmington showroom to take a look at our full-scale, working pantry displays and accessories.
With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Fred Kumpel is the owner of Strickland’s. Strickland’s Blinds, Shades & Shutters is a window treatment design center that has specialized in custom window treatments for nearly 75 years. Strickland’s Closets & Home Organization provides professionally designed organization solutions such as Murphy beds and custom-built systems for closets, pantries, garages, basements and laundry rooms. To learn more, visit www.StricklandsBlinds.com and StricklandsClosets.com. Fred can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 910.762.0944.