4 steps to a func­tional pantry (that you keep that way!)

Family Circle - - ON DUTY -

Start by go­ing shelf by shelf and tak­ing ev­ery­thing out. Toss pack­aged goods that are ex­pired or stale. Trash any boxes with crum­bled half-cook­ies or nearly empty bags of chips your teenagers left be­hind. Make a list of tossed items that need to be re­placed be­fore the hol­i­days. Start putting things back ac­cord­ing to how you use them. “I group by type to speed up food prep,” says Kim­berly Kim­briel, kitchen buyer at The Con­tainer Store. She Chi­nese, Mex­i­can, what­ever. “I even have an en­ter­tain­ing sec­tion with all the pantry in­gre­di­ents for a quick ap­pe­tizer plat­ter.” Fig­ure out your bulk stor­age needs. Not all clear con­tain­ers are cre­ated equal. Go for op­tions that her­met­i­cally seal to di­vides cat­e­gories by cui­sine, like Ital­ian, keep in­gre­di­ents fresh. See-through is best so you can eas­ily tell when you’re run­ning low, says Kim­briel. If your pantry is deep, you might want to in­vest in tiered shelf or­ga­niz­ers so you can see items that are way in the back. Turnta­bles are also great for ac­ces­si­bil­ity.

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