5 Tips for a Happier Pantry

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Your pantry has the potential to be a huge source of inspiration and, best of all, your number-one ally when it comes to getting meals on the table. At its best, a happy pantry is one that holds the staple foods that are the makings of miracle meals, along with ingredients that fuel, nourish, and inspire you to cook.

But your pantry is also one of those tricky spots in the kitchen that can easily fall into varying degrees of disarray (hello, four open bags of oats from the bulk bin). While you can certainly do this any time of year, consider January a time to give your pantry some extra TLC. In other words, help it help you.

1. Give your spices and dried herbs an overhaul.

Even though spices and dried herbs don’t technically go bad, they do lose their potency and flavor over time. Toss those jars you never use, replace old spices with fresh pouches, and stock up on new spices that do have a place in your kitchen.

Read more: 5 Things You Should Purge from Your Pantry This Spring

2. Give your pantry the Marie Kondo treatment.

You already know how gratifying and liberating it felt to Kondo your wardrobe, so do the same thing for your pantry! It will feel equally as amazing. Basically, if it doesn’t spark joy, it’s time to toss it.

More Marie Kondo

3. Treat to your pantry to baskets.

If you’re lucky enough to have the space, consider utilizing baskets in your pantry. Not only are they super pretty, but they also offer an easy way to combat clutter by corralling odds and ends, random ingredients, and dish towels.

4. Treat your pantry to storage containers and labels.

If your pantry is littered with a stack of bags from the bulk bin section, now’s the time to finally invest in a bunch of big Mason jars or those pretty clear storage containers you’ve been eyeing. Not only will your pantry be more organized, but you can also finally say goodbye to the days of having three partially used bags of red lentils.

How I Organize My Pantry: Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean (Image credit: Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean)

5. Include a pantry once-over with weekly meal prep.

Follow Tracy Benjamin’s lead by giving your pantry a once-over as part of your weekly meal prep routine. It’ll help you keep track of what you have and prevent buying doubles, and taking a few minutes to tidy things up each week will help keep your pantry organized.