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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 kitchen food storage so you know what you have and where you have it. These tips can help get you started.

Kitchen Food Storage:  Group Foods by Type

The best kitchen food storage plan is to group foods by type in clear storage containers so it's easy to see what you have, and what you've run out of.

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

In my pantry, I put crackers, chips, and other snack foods on the highest shelf not easily in reach;  cereal and other breakfast items on the second shelf; pasta, pasta sauces, and boxed pasta and rice mixes on the third shelf; canned vegetables and fruit on the fourth; and 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 items on the tallest shelves and in the back of cabinets. Put your family's favorite foods in the middle, at eye level. Heavy items such as cans go near the bottom.

Food Organizing Ideas

Use lazy Susan cabinet organizers, pullout shelving, and wire racks to maximize storage space.

Repackage shelf hogs. Get rid of half-empty cartons of cereal and place the cereal in smaller air-tight 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 to keep contents from slipping and sliding around.

You'll be rewarded when you carefully divide everything up, using varying sizes of  storage 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.

Store Bulk Purchases Outside the Kitchen

Finally, 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 use it to replenish your supplies as needed.

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› How to Organize Kitchen Food Storage