STOR­AGE STRATE­GIES: PANTRY

Want to be­come a meal­time hero? Stock your kitchen stor­age spot with every­thing you need to fix good meals fast.

Secrets of Getting Organized - - Contents - WRITER BRIAN KRAMER PRO­DUCER LESLIE POYZER PHO­TOG­RA­PHER MARTY BALD­WIN

POWER- UP Dis­cover clever ways to or­ga­nize your food sup­ply and sim­plify week­night meal prepa­ra­tions.

whether yours is a spa­cious walk- in

area or a sin­gle cab­i­net, a hard­work­ing pantry is about plan­ning, not spend­ing money. Fol­low three key strate­gies:

sort it out. Op­ti­mize your pantry by first emp­ty­ing it. Toss ex­pired, stale, and un­ap­pe­tiz­ing items, then group what’s left into cat­e­gories that are mean­ing­ful for your fam­ily. “I’m see­ing nu­tri­tion-minded clients or­ga­nize us­ing cat­e­gories like pro­teins, oils, and sweet­en­ers rather than pasta, canned veg­gies, and bak­ing sup­plies,” pro­fes­sional or­ga­nizer Kathy Jenk­ins says.

think be­fore you re­stock. Re­po­si­tion shelves to match the height of items to be stored, and con­sider lim­it­ing shelves to 12 inches deep or shal­lower. Place foods you eat every day at eye level or just below. Po­si­tion kid-friendly cat­e­gories (break­fast, snacks, lunch-mak­ing sup­plies) at ap­pro­pri­ate heights. Re­serve top shelves for par­ty­ware, small ap­pli­ances, and lightweigh­t items like pa­per goods. Rel­e­gate heavy items (pet food, bev­er­ages, larger ap­pli­ances) to the low­est shelves or the floor.

fin­ish with con­tain­ers. Re­sist the urge to shop un­til every­thing is back in your pantry. Then count the size and num­ber of con­tain­ers you need and pur­chase es­tab­lished brands so you can eas­ily add and ad­just as your in­ven­tory evolves.

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