Decluttering your pantry for winter

Decluttering your pantry is a necessary step to preparing for the cold weather. Your kitchen storage needs clearing out and rearranging so that the ingredients for your comfort food are close at hand. So let’s look at six of the best decluttering ideas for your pantry.

1. Assess your kitchen storage

Do you have deep or narrow shelves? The type of shelves you have will mean different storage requirements. Do you have a big, walk-in pantry? Or are you using regular under or above bench cabinets?

2. Check expiry dates and for pantry moths

Pantry moths or weevils are the bane of my existence. One sure-fire way to keep them at bay is to check food regularly. So make sure you take out all your food containers and check them.

If there’s a spidery texture on the sides that means there are weevils in there. Throw out all the affected foods, wash your jars and lids thoroughly and then refill them with new products. You’ll also need to wash down your shelves.

A good tip is to freeze your flour, pasta, rice and oats for 24 hours before storing them in the cupboard. This will kill any weevils that may already be inside the packaging. It’s also important to decant any pasta or rice into containers - weevils love the glue used to seal the packages just as much as they like the food.

3. Find good quality jars or containers for better organisation

It can take a while to find the perfect organisation system for your pantry, but it’s a good idea to make sure packaged food is emptied into an airtight glass or plastic container. I also like to organise my cans and spices into boxes to keep them together.

Target and Myer have great options for storing your food. Target's glass preserving jars go for only $4 and $5 for the 1000ml and 1500ml options respectively. If you need smaller glass storage jars, Myer offers a 300ml option for for $4.95 or a 1100ml option for $8.95.

4. Group your products together

To make it easier to find what you need, keep your products together. For example, I keep my flours, sugar, coconut and cocoa together because they are what I use when I bake. It makes it a lot easier to have everything on hand and I can easily see what I have run out of. I also group all my spices together, all my canned food together and my pasta and rice together.

5. Put the things you use within easy reach

If you are short like me then you need the things you use all the time at a level that’s easy to reach. Put lesser used products such as appliances, platters and big dishes on the upper and lower shelves and frequently used products on the middle shelves so you can reach everything easily. I also put the snacks the kids are allowed on a lower shelf so they can access it themselves.

6. Label your jars

I find that labelling my jars is the easiest way to find what I need. I use a permanent marker to write on the glass and I’ll often add the expiry date too. This means nothing goes to waste! If you want some nice, printed labels then Stuck on You has a great range of customisable pantry labels, gluten free pantry labels and herb and spice jar labels.

Hopefully, these tips will have you well on your way to having your pantry organised for winter.

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