There are certain things that you buy, fully intending to use, but that just seem to sit there in the pantry taking up space. It's easy to ignore at first, but eventually these items will have to come out.
Prepare your pantry for an all new look
Remove everything and place it all in boxes or on the counter.
Throw out food that has gone bad or is older than some of my neckties.
Remove shelf paper and clean and scrub the pantry shelves. Hey, don't put that old paper back! Use some new stuff.
it's pretty dark and dingy inside, paint it with a white or pastel
colored paint. You can illuminate it with one of those stick-on lamps
that don't require wiring.
If you have adjustable shelves, move
them up to minimize the amount of dead space – empty space above the
goods on a given shelf.
Now restock by keeping like items together
Shelve your goods in such groups as:
All canned vegetables
Canned meats, chili, soups
Boxed mixes – macaroni and cheese, ramen, etc.
Canned and boxed fruit
Dry goods – rice, flour, etc.
Baking items — cake mixes, icing, baking powder
Snack items – popcorn, nuts, chips, fruit rolls
Paper products – napkins, paper towels, lunch bags, etc.
items so that the taller ones are behind the shorter ones; a three-tier
organizer expedites this, and a slide-out organizer eliminates the
problem of trying to reach items in the rear. You can find these and
other handy organizers at stores that specialize in that kind of thing.
you need to (if you have few items in a given classification), you can
split a shelf among different classifications while keeping like goods
together. If you're really obsessive about neatness, you can put
cardboard or plastic dividers between the goods.
Be sure to keep
multiple items of each food (say, three cans of corn) together so you
can see at a glance how much of something you have.
take one of your stored items out of reserve and put it into "active
service," always make a note that you need to replace it the next time
you go shopping.
If you're short on space, consider
removing some non-essential items for storage elsewhere. For instance,
paper goods in the garage, soft drinks and wine in the basement, etc.
There is also something called a pantry caddy – mobile shelves which
roll on casters and fit in any 10-inch space you have in the kitchen.
They add a little bit of handy shelf space.