The holiday season is swiftly approaching, and there’s a lot to do to get ready. Among other things, the winter holidays are known for various celebrations involving food. Whether you’re going to prepare and host a major dinner singlehandedly or just prepare a single dish for a potluck, you have to ask yourself an important question: is your custom kitchen pantry ready? Cooking and food preparation can be a difficult task at any time of the year, and it’s even more challenging during important holidays.
Here are some ways to get your kitchen pantry ready for the holidays.
Take a look at some of the tips that will help you create the most organized custom kitchen pantry possible for your holiday season
If you’re already struggling to find what you need and put things away while just making ordinary meals, you’ll definitely want to get the best pantry system possible in place before the holidays. The best way to start is by emptying the entire pantry. Yes, that may look like a lot, but it’s the best way to make sure you have a handle on everything in the space and it also gives you a chance to clean the inside of the pantry. A good tip is to time this for the day before your next grocery shopping trip, if possible. That way, your pantry stock will be at its lowest point.
As you take things out of the pantry, look for items that are expired, packages that have been left open so the contents are stale, and packages that have been put back into the pantry even though they’re empty. You should also keep an eye out for unopened items that are still good but have been there long enough for you to know that you and your family aren’t going to eat them. Put these in a container for donation to a local charity or food bank. When the pantry is empty, wipe all the shelves, clean the walls, and sweep and mop the floor so that you can put your food back into a clean space.
Now that you’ve removed everything, gotten rid of the trash, and separated items to be donated, take a good look at what’s left. Taking regular inventory of your pantry can help you make shopping lists at any time, but since your pantry items are currently all out in the open, you should be able to get the most detailed and accurate inventory possible.
Are there staples you’re low on? Don’t forget that you may need extra staples due to holiday cooking – if you’re doing all the baking for a gathering with three generations of family members, you’ll need more flour and sugar than you would normally keep on hand, for example. What about special items that you’ll need for holiday cooking that you don’t normally have? If this is the only time of year that you buy pumpkin preserves, nutmeg, sliced almonds, or cinnamon sticks, make sure that you add them to your list as well.
Before you start putting things into the pantry, create a space-saving strategy that makes sense for your pantry and inventory. Are you removing things from their original packaging and putting them into canisters or containers with lids? This can keep staples fresher and help keep your pantry pest-free. Epicurious points out that pests love whole grains, so taking flour out of the bag and putting it in a sealed container wards off infestations. The same is true for other pantry staples.
Another good way to save space and keep your pantry organized at the same time is to use bins to separate different types of items. When all the dry goods are in one bin and all the canned goods are in another, you’ll know right where to go for each one and they won’t end up mixed up in the pantry, causing you to have to search for the right thing in a critical moment.
It’s important to make use of all your space in a kitchen pantry. It’s easy to overcrowd this space, as it has to contain essentials for feeding everyone in the house, and space can be at even more of a premium over the holidays. However, there may be space that you’re not using that you could be.
For example, installing slide-out spice racks underneath the shelves clears shelf space and ensures that your spices have dedicated spaces and are easy to find. An over-the-door organizer puts the normally empty door space to work, and the organizer’s pockets are a good place to store all kinds of small items that can clutter up a pantry, like condiment packets, tea bags, straws, coffee filters, and more.
Pantry organization is important all the time, but it can take on special urgency during the holidays. Make custom kitchen pantry organization a priority in your preparations for the upcoming holiday season.
Categories: Kitchen Pantry Tips