If You're Not Using This Trick To Organize Your Pantry You're Doing It Wrong

If you've got a few hours to spare and you're in the mood, now may be a good time to help yourself achieve a goal you might have always set for yourself — set up a well-ordered pantry. Because let's face it, how many times have we gone to our favorite supermarket to pick up a few essentials, only to have something we've always wanted catch our eye, purchase it, take it home, and then forget about it because out of sight, out of mind. Organizing your kitchen does more than make things easier to find — it also cuts down on food waste because you're able to then make an inventory of everything you've got and make a note of expiration dates, so fewer things go to waste.

The New York Times' Julia Moskin recommends storing dry goods like flour, oats, cornstarch and rice in airtight plastic containers, and storing them in a way that allows you to see them clearly and quickly. She even recommends using rectangular boxes since they are space-efficient, although going with another shape you prefer is fine too. And if you need to turn labels around quickly, you can't go wrong with a roll of painters tape and permanent markers.

There is a practical reason for decanting dry goods

The Organized Home gives us another important reason to move our dry goods like grains and flours into clear containers — it allows us to see whether flour beetles have decided they like our pantry so much, they're willing to risk it all to take up residence in it. They might be a bit yucky, but they don't bite. But they do eat through pretty much everything, and their ability to contaminate all the items in your pantry is astounding if they aren't stopped on time.

As Don't Waste the Crumbs points out, it's likely that these bugs, aka weevils, were already hanging out in your flour or rice when you first purchased the bag because from time to time, their eggs might actually make it through the milling process. The eggs then hatch when they're in a warm and humid place, allowing for generations of weevils to breed in your kitchen. Unless you go through your dry ingredients fairly quickly, investing in clear containers and decanting them could save both time and money in the long run.