My pantry, or the place where we store most of our food, is really tall and really deep. I'm still in the process of learning how to use the space the best. Every once and awhile I will tweak things to make it work better.
|My pantry BEFORE|
One thing I did was to use a round cake pan to corral some like items together. On shelf three, it's the baking soda, baking powder,vanilla and salt that take up that space. And on the fourth shelf there is one in the back corralling bags of rice and other grains. I've seen pictures of people using plastic bins for the same purpose. I just happen to have extra pans so I use them this way in the kitchen.
I think the pantry is an important place to declutter prior to the holiday's since it seems we often bring MORE food into our homes during those times. At least we do. I do think it is best to pull everything out, but it is okay to just pull what you know can go and call it good if you are short on time. Check items for expiration dates, get rid of anything that you know you won't use. If you have an item you would still like to use but has been sitting there, consider making a meal plan to make that happen in the next couple of weeks.
As a generally organized person, I like similar items grouped together. Nearly all of our snack items are on the lower shelf. I have canned items on one side of the fourth shelf. Many of my most used baking items are on the third shelf. As you put items that you are keeping back, try to group like items together. There is no right or wrong way, but consider what you use most and make those items the easiest to reach.
If you want to add a little more to the pantry task, look at spices and oils as well for any that are expired or won't be used. (Most of mine aren't stored in my big pantry.) I know I've bought things to use for one recipe never to use again. Those I toss, so they aren't in my way finding the things I do use. I found two extracts (almond and peppermint) that were a few YEARS expired...and I moved them. So surprising!
And finally, you might make an inventory of what you have, especially items you are well stocked on, so that when making meal plans you know how many cans of kidney beans you have for example. I usually only do an inventory before a major shopping trip, but it can save a little money and probably time knowing what you already have.
I did tweak my pantry organization a bit. I had gone to the store after the first picture was taken and it was needed.
And a close up version:
Did you find anything expired? How about something you used one time, or won't use again? How much time did you spend on your pantry?