Jostling up against the pancake mix, the peanut butter, and the plastic grocery bags filled with mysterious contents (which everyone has to dig into to figure out what’s there) are a silver coffeepot, the odd pan, and―wait: Is that a broom? The mission: Simplify, simplify. Restrict the pantry to (mostly) food and paper goods, and make it easier to see and grab the contents and feed hungry mouths ASAP.
- Purge. Anything that doesn’t belong will get ruthlessly weeded out, consigned either to the trash bin or to an appropriate closet or cupboard.
- Improve access. Given the pantry’s deep shelves, sliding shelf organizers will make life―and finding what you’re looking for―much easier. Just pull the drawer out on its rails and whatever is in back is right up front in a second.
- Expand the space. Expanding wire racks will double the shelf area: Some things go under them, others on top (much safer than stacking cans). A shoe organizer on the closet door will provide storage for small packages easily lost on shelves and for things used on a daily basis.
- Consolidate and clarify. Everything that comes in awkward or space-hogging boxes or bags―pasta, cereal, chips―will be poured into transparent bulk plastic containers that store foods compactly and let you see immediately what’s inside.