I like to think that an efficient kitchen includes a well organized pantry of some sort. On that note, from inventory to storage, a pantry is really only as good as its system implemented. While it’s wonderful to have ingredients on hand for a recipe, it’s not so helpful if the item has since expired.
If you’re wondering what TCLF is, it is a guideline that I came up with to keep my baking essentials in order:
- Clear Container
- Label It
- Find a Home
Seasonal Tidy Up
Tidying up, every 3 months or so, can help with minimizing waste. At the very least, it’ll get you reacquainted with what is in your pantry.
It may also be a good time to swap in seasonal ingredients.
Clearly See Your Items
What I have found to be most helpful is ditching the packaging, whenever possible, and storing items in clear containers. Packaging was meant to live on the shelf of a supermarket. Pantry life was basically an afterthought.
I store ingredients that I use the most (flour, oats and sugar) in glass jars. Whenever I need to refill a jar, I’ll grab the bag that I have set aside in my pantry’s back-stock cupboard.
Here are some simple, no-fuss storage options I have found to be useful when organizing my little pantry.
- small glass jars with attached lids for spices, baking soda, baking powder, etc
- medium canning jars for chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc
- medium & large glass jars with attached lids for sugar, hemp, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc
- large glass jars with removable lids for AP flour, oats, etc
- lazy susan for spices, etc
Put a Label on it
Oh and then there’s labelling. I have learned this from my grandma, who basically majored in sharpies + masking tape.
In terms of where to place a label, I personally prefer it on top of the lid. It will ultimately come down to where you are storing your container. Just make sure that you can read it clearly.
Find a Home
When I was a little girl a handful of wise aunties, with very organized kitchens, taught me that each and every item needs a designated home.
At the very least, separate items that you most commonly reach for from those that you use on occasion.
- I keep my flour readily available while my cocoa powder is in the bottom cupboard
- You may also want to look into where the items will best be kept in terms of climate
- I store all seeds and nuts in the freezer and flour in a cool dark cupboard
Happy Baking !!!
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