You need to know where you are in order to map out how to get to your destination. Organising your stockpile is no different.
Once you decide you'd like to create your own well stocked pantry, you'll need to do a stocktake. That means getting everything out and making some decisions:
- What's in your pantry now?
- How long has it been there?
- Is it past its expiry date?
- How many of each item do you have?
- Will you (and your family) still eat it?
- If not, can you donate it?
You might by surprised at just how much stuff has made its way into your pantry and never seen the light of day again. Sort through it as quickly as you can, if you linger too long at this task you'll start to focus on the money that's potentially been wasted rather than the task at hand and that's not useful at this point.
Create three separate piles; keep, use immediately, donate. It would be prudent to throw away some things and I'm sure you know which ones when you see them. The 'keep' pile will form the basis of your stockpile, the 'use immediately' pile will mostly consist of items you bought on impulse rather than items you buy regularly so find a way to use them immediately. If you can't, donate them via a local food charity. Anything you can't ever see yourself or your family eating again, that's still well within its “use by” or “best before” date, donate.
Give your pantry a clean while it's empty. You might want to cover the shelves while you're at it, too. But, don't get too carried away or you'll lose sight of your objective, which is to start organising your stockpile.
When it comes time to refill your pantry, take a lesson from the supermarkets. Make sure the items you use every day are the most easily accessible and that usually means eye level. Items that are heavy or bulky should be on the lowest shelf or floor, items that are used less often can go on higher shelves, which is probably a good place for the biscuits!
Now that your pantry is clean and uncluttered, you’re ready for the next step. Tomorrow we’ll start on stocking your pantry.