Storing Similar Pantry Goods Together Will Save You Some Time

An immaculately organized pantry is for more than just aesthetics. It helps you keep tabs on the ingredients you have in stock, which can streamline the cooking process. Depending on how you group your items, you can grab ingredients at a faster clip, nixing the need to root around for particular bottles and boxes. Specifically, if you store similar recipe items together, you can grab what you need faster.

If you currently have all of your grains on one shelf, condiments on another, and sauces on a third, you need to scan a lot of different places. Instead, group it in a way similar to grocery stores. For example, have a Latin section, an Italian section, a baking section, and so on. If you like to keep your ingredients in separate bins, you can even take out the container and put it on your island while cooking, placing everything at your fingertips. Plus, this type of grouping might even help you realize you have more ingredients than you thought, allowing you to add more interesting elements to your dish.

Different ways to store your pantry goods

While sorting similar ingredients together is a great idea, you can get as creative as you would like with the formula. Rather than just focusing on the food category — like Mediterranean or Asian — you can even break it out into flavors, like spicy or savory. You can also group your sweet items in one bin, herding together different kinds of sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, sweetened condensed milk, and other sweeteners. The same goes for umami ingredients. Here you can clump together soy sauce, anchovies, miso paste, seaweed, fermented foods, and dried bonito flakes.

Your categories all hinge on what you like to cook the most. For example, if you're a spice fiend that likes your dishes fire-alarm-hot, then it might be more helpful to group those spices and peppers together to help you see at a glance what is available. However, if you have certain recipes you cook multiple times a week, it might also be beneficial to cluster those ingredients together in your pantry, even if they don't really belong to the same category. It all depends on what makes the most sense for your kitchen. Just organize with purpose and try not to let it slide back into the mess it was before!