It’s easy to organize a minimalist clothes closet. You don’t buy clothes every week or two weeks, and even if you do, you’d only be buying just another tee or top/shirt or shorts etc. You don’t overhaul your entire closet on a regular basis. But your pantry has to be stocked every one to two weeks. If you have an organized pantry, filled with only the things you need, and not a single thing more (it’s possible!), it will be a very efficient system. You’d become better at food management too, eat fresh food and you will throw out less food. Here’s how you can organize a minimalist pantry:
8 Tips to organize a minimalist pantry
Develop a minimalist pantry system
The first step to create a minimalist pantry is to think minimal. You have to first let go of your instincts to buy in bulk, just like the rest of us, who buy in bulk because of the huge discounts. But you’ll notice that, when you buy in bulk, you can’t really use up all the food in time, which gets wasted. So the money you saved in discounts is actually not a saving – the amount of food wasted makes you spend more anyway! Minimalism in kitchen is a way of life, and once you start practicing it, it will carry over to other parts of your life, for you and for others in your family. Thinking minimal is thus essential to organize a minimalist pantry.
Treat every article as an ingredient
This might be a novel idea, but one which really works. Just as you don’t use extra ingredients in a recipe, you will not stock unwanted things in your pantry, and you will know exactly what to keep. This will save you a lot of time, energy (physical and mental) and money when you’re shopping.
Just as using the same ingredients in the same recipe gives the same results, try to stick to the same quantities of foods, such as cereals, spices etc and stick to the same brands as far as possible. Try to find objects which are organic but as you’ll be buying smaller quantities, pesticide and chemical fertilizer free food will become affordable and lead to sustainable living. This is one of the best ways to organize a minimalist pantry.
Find the exact quantities of food to store in your minimalist pantry
When you’re shopping in the store, you will find many attractive, healthy foods which you end up buying, but ultimately never use. For example, if there is a discount on many types of cheeses, you may buy all of them, but you will use only one type. The rest will either be used after several months, or will go bad and the bin will be the only place for them. So another tips to organize a minimalist pantry, is to buy only the things you will cook.
It’s quite sensible to buy one type of rice, one type of pasta, and only the cereals that each member of your family likes. Resist the urge to buy tons of spices which look very appealing, and only buy the ones you always use. Practice minimalism in kitchen and you will be surprised at how clean and neat your pantry looks. Besides, food will not be wasted which is an important part of sustainable living.
Label all the containers
Label the containers according to the contents – it will make using the pantry very convenient for you and your family members. Especially spices and foods like cherries and cranberries which look alike. If you want, go a step further and add ratios and cook times to each label, so that everyone knows how much time each ingredient will take to cook.
It might be one of the easiest ways to get your whole family start cooking! You might give an idea of the flavor too, for the spices, such as sour or hot or sweet so that any novice cook would know which spice to add in which recipe.
Buy glass containers
Glass containers are the best containers for the pantry. You can see through the glass and see exactly how much is left of something, which helps to plan your next trip to the store easily. Replace all the containers with glass containers, big, small and medium to fit all your food items. It will also let you know what things are required and what to keep.
It’s a good investment, as these containers last a lifetime, and there is no fear of plastic leaching into the food. You can replace containers over a period of time, starting with one shelf at a time. When you’re buying containers, check if your hand will fit inside, will they fit on your shelves etc. Making the transition to clear containers is one of the best and most effective ways to organize a minimalist pantry.
The best way to organize a minimalist pantry is to name the shelves, for example, baking shelf, breakfast shelf, snacks shelf, grains shelf, dry fruits shelf, spices shelf, cheese shelf and so on. If you have deep shelves or an unused shelf, designate it to store certain things you might buy in bulk, such as sugar, oats, oils and grains. Bulk shopping is not a minimalist kitchen practice, but you can buy those items in bulk which are sure to be used before your next trip to the store. Your kitchen runs on a budget so you do have to look at cost and efficiency too, so a little bit of bulk shopping is allowed!
Add some permanent scoops to your glass containers for ease of use. You won’t have to run around looking for the scoop if you have only one. The size of the scoops should be according to the amount you use at one time.
Add some bins
The one most irritating thing after overhauling or cleaning your pantry, is those random packets of snacks, sweeteners, leavening powders and so on, which still keep floating around. There is a very simple and effective solution for this – just add some small bins to each shelf to collect all the shelf cluttering items.
To keep your pantry organized, set a date on the calendar every week/ten days to rearrange or take inventory. You have to constantly work on your minimalist pantry to keep it working smooth and convenient way.