Heavier stuff is kept towards the bottom as much as possible. Look how much room I still have for more canned peaches! Woo-hoo!
I’m not always 100% perfect about this, but I highly recommend labeling staple foods with the date you buy them. This makes it a lot easier to ensure you use the oldest item first. This concept is called FIFO (First In, First Out) and it is a fundamental principle for food storage and rotation.
FIFOing helps ensure I use up the last of the tuna purchased in March before we move on to eating the more recently purchased August tuna. (That makes it sound disturbingly like a wine vintage, doesn’t it?)
On a lark I cut up an unused section of area rug pad – you know those slightly sticky, bumpy rubber pads you put between a rug and a hardwood floor? I trimmed one to fit the shelves that were designated to hold my glass jars.
The slight tackiness of the pad seems to help hold the jars in place and I like the extra cushioning for the glass. I “sewed” the pad onto the wire shelving with small size zip-ties. This stops it from moving when Oliver tries to yank it, with the jars atop it, to the floor.
So far, so good. No cute touches were added: nothing was painted, decorated or even really cleaned beyond a good sweeping. But the room works now, and works hard.
This organization scheme seems to be easier to keep organized than previous, over-stuffed attempts. It really helped to donate or move to sub-prime real estate all the stuff that we really don’t use more than a few times a year, like holiday platters.
Because of the knock-on effect on the garage, mud room and kitchen, this “pantry” re-org was really a multi-room project that took the better part of a week to complete. And I’d still prefer you not look in the garage, okay?
Still, it was well worth the time to make the pantry functional again. And as to the cost: $0. Gotta love that.