A pantry is one of the easiest messy spots to ignore in a home. We are sure that you have been diligently scrubbing down your light switches, counter surfaces and other commonly used areas of your home while in lockdown. But, take a second to consider the hidden germs and allergens lying in wait in your pantry shelves or in food cupboards. Plus, having a neat and organised pantry can make cooking for yourself over the next week a whole lot less stressful. Instead of searching in vain for that missing packet of two-minute noodles, you will be able to find exactly what you need in no time.
So, where should you begin? Empty out your entire pantry. Yes, the entire thing. Give the shelves a good dusting and scrub down before repacking. You should also make sure to check all expiry dates, especially on perishable goods like bread and fresh vegetables. Throw out whatever you can no longer use. If you find items just on the brink of expiration, use them to make a mish-mash dinner. Crusty bread is great for making croutons, French toast and bread crumbs. Overripe bananas? Join in on the #BananaBreadChallenge or get creative making Nice Cream Sandwiches.
From here, you can begin to organise your pantry to maximise space and avoid clutter. Decanter cereals, pastas, rice and your quarantine snacks into air-tight containers to keep them fresh and packed neatly away. Make sure to label each tupperware so you know what it holds. Don't have a label maker handy? Just use masking tape and koki pens.
If you are anything like us, you stocked up on a good amount of canned goods before the lockdown began. Don't let this army of cans take over your pantry. Organise them into neat rows, with the products you use most often at the front of command. Again, check expiry dates to make sure that nothing will go to waste.
Bulky vegetables can also cause havoc in an otherwise well organised pantry. Get yourself a vegetable rack for all your onions, potatoes and hardy squashes. The same principle applies to your favourite spices. There is nothing worse than having to search endlessly for the right bottle of spice in a messy drawer while cooking. Invest in a nifty spice rack to make life in lockdown a whole lot smoother. DIY project anyone?
You may be tempted to store all sorts of miscellaneous household items in your pantry. But, these can take up unnecessary space. Find a separate space to store cleaning products, pots, pans and medicines. Filling your pantry to the brim will only make it more difficult to keep organised.
Now that you've got your pantry in tip-top shape, join in on our fun Pantry Staples Challenge. If you're running low on supplies, check out these local grocers who will be delivering throughout lockdown.
One week to go. Together we can do this, Joburg!