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kitchen food storage tips

No pantry? No problem. If you don't have a built-in food pantry, just assign some cabinets to the task.

Ideally, choose a few large cabinets close to your refrigerator and stove.

Most kitchens have a lot of cabinets and drawers, but they are usually a chaotic mess. You buy marinara sauce, just to find three jars hidden behind the olive oil.

The solution? Organize your storage so you know what you have and where you have it.

group foods by type.

Don't just stuff items into the first open space you see. Instead, stock foods in the same place each time, grouping like items.

In my pantry, I put crackers, chips, and other snack foods on the highest shelf; cereal and other breakfast items on the second shelf; pasta, pasta sauces, and boxed pasta on the third shelf; canned vegetables and fruit on the fourth, soups and canned beans on the bottom.

This way, I can tell at a glance what I have and what I need to buy. If there's no oatmeal on the second shelf, I know there is no oatmeal in the house.

put rarely used food items on the tallest shelves and in the back of cabinets.

Put rarely used items on the tallest shelves and in the back of cabinets. Put your family's favorite foods in the middle, at eve level. Heavy items such as cans go near the bottom.

repackage shelf hogs.

Get rid of half-empty cartons of cereal and place the cereal in smaller, airtight plastic containers. Then label them with the contents and the expiration date. Unlike wine, foods don't get better with age!

place drawer liners in drawers.

Place drawer liners in drawers to keep contents from slipping and sliding around. You'll be rewarded when you carefully divide everything up, using varying sizes of containers to house your stuff, and the stuff actually stays that way. This also makes it easy for you to wipe off the dust that naturally settles there.

finally, store bulk purchases outside the rest of your kitchen food storage.

Store bulk purchases - you know, the 17 boxes of pasta, 40 cans of chicken noodle soup, and 100 rolls of paper towels you got for a steal at the club store - in the garage or downstairs in the basement. Call this your overflow pantry, and replenish your kitchen supply as needed.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for food storage supplies and products to keep your foodstuffs organized and safe.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.