This week Food 52 published a piece on achieving "pantry zen." This elusive state is most easily reached with their five simple steps:
1. Keep Like With Like: While this sounds completely intuitive, I bet if you take a peek into your pantry, you may be breaking this rule. It becomes really tough to find certain ingredients if your flours are mixed in with your nuts and your extracts. Divide and conquer!
2. Consider What You Use and How Often: Keep items that you use frequently at easy reach and push less common things towards the back.
3. Use Food-Grade Airtight Containers: Not only do they look nicer and more uniform, but your dried goods will remain fresh for a longer period of time. Win, win!
4. Label and Date Things: I buy most of my dried goods and spices in bulk because they're fresher and I can control the amounts I bring home. The downside to this, if you're not organized, is little bags of unmarked grains. Soon, if you're anything like me, you're staring down a bag wondering if it's farro or wheat berries and cursing your laziness.
5. Keep track: Stay in the know with what you're almost out of and what's starting to reach its expiration date. This way you'll remember to pick it up while you're at the store instead of reaching for an empty bottle when you're in the middle of a recipe.
(Image: Faith Durand)