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Improving your Pantry
Save time and money by following this recipe for a well-kept pantry

Improving your Pantry

There's a secret joy that comes from opening the door to an organized cabinet fully stocked with food and seeing kitchen accessories and food storage containers neatly in place. Plus, having the right ingredients on hand makes preparing dinner a snap.

Pantries come in a variety of sizes—from oversized cupboards to entire rooms. The key is to know how much space you have to work with, and then fill it accordingly. Clear everything out to get a good look at how much space you actually have. If you don't have room to store large containers of bulk food, only purchase food in small quantities. Also, avoid purchasing food you and your family are never going to eat—it'll just take up space in your pantry.

If your valuable pantry space is being overtaken by bags and boxes of food, you may need to rethink your storage solutions. Store pasta, chips, flour, crackers, and cereal in Rubbermaid Modular Canisters. Their unique design allows you to store 48% more in 31% less space. You can also take advantage of space that's currently unused, like behind the door with the Over The Door Organizer and the underside of shelves with the Under the Shelf Basket.

You'll be able to find what you need quickly if you store like items together. Baking supplies such as flour, brown sugar and chocolate chips may take up one shelf. You might group breakfast foods (oatmeal, granola, coffee or tea) on another. Store dried pastas with rice, beans and other staples. Do the same with cooking oils, spices and condiments.

Things you use every day should be front and center. Items you use less frequently can reside toward the back of the cabinet. You can double your storage space by storing boxes and cans below and on top of Helper Shelves. Keep trail mix, cereal, dried fruit or fruit cups in single-serving containers on lower shelves, so the kids can help themselves to a healthy after-school snack. And add a No Slip Twin Turntable so you can grab things quickly and easily—even if they're at the back.