It pays to know what you have. You want to be able to access your goods, use your goods, and not run out and to be always prepared.
So get it organized!!!
My theory of doing this.....
Take everything out. Yep, this is time consuming and makes a mess! No doubt about it.
Go through your items and make a pile of things to donate. You know - those things you bought thinking you would like, but didn't! Or things you thought you would use, but didn't! Don't waste the goods or the money. Gift them to someone else that can use them. Donate to your local pantry or your church pantry or to a shelter/soup kitchen.
Clean the shelves. Wipe everything down - shelves and cans/jars.
Do you have packages that have been opened? Make sure that it is good and has no pests and then either place it in baggies or jars and label.
ORGANIZE as you put things back. Do you use baskets? Do you use dispensers? Or do you just stack things together. I use some baskets/tins and I stack. My main pantry has several deep shelves - so I can organize by TYPE of items.
Soups, canned veggies, baking goods, canned meats, pastas, fruit, etc.. I try my best to keep like items together. It just makes it easier to find things.
Of course we all know we have pantry 'gremlins' that mess things up often!!! LOL. Even living alone, they visit! I guess we all get in a hurry putting up groceries and just stick things in - and BOOM in no time, things are a mess.
Make sure as you put things back in after cleaning - you put back with the oldest items in the front. Use the oldest first. The old adage of first in - first out is WISE.
Just remember PLEASE - 99% your pantry items DO NOT EXPIRE!!!!!!! I can't say that often enough. The dates are "BEST if used by" dates and are listed by the manufacturer. They are not mandated by the government or any other agency. They are random. They are used to get you to buy MORE!!!!
Sure some things will lose a bit of nutritional value as it gets older or taste may change - but it is still OK to eat. Not all countries do this.
Things like oils will go rancid after time and they smell.
If your pantry items are sealed, not leaking or rusty, and are properly stored they will last AGES past those best by dates!!!!
It could mean the difference of being hungry at some point!
(Just remember the items in that can or package have NO idea what the date is!!! They don't magically go bad over night).
I have my main pantry, I have a pantry area for home canned goods, and I have an overstock area (my store!). They all need to be kept clean and organized.
I imagine we all have many areas that we consider pantry - health, beauty, pet, laundry, cleaning, food, etc.
Make lists of what you have, or label bins or shelves. Just know your inventory. Then you can fill in the gaps. If you don't have a good understanding of what you have - then you don't know what you really need! This enables you to buy what you really need and not overstock on things you have a lot of. You know that happens!!!
A full pantry is important for a lot of reasons. You never run out of supplies and you can fix anything and not make a store run. It may get you through lean times. It may help you and family if things get out of hand in the world.
We all need to keep plenty of supplies on hand for various reasons.
Organize, clean, and sort those pantry items. Inventory and list what you have. USE what you have.
A pantry is a wonderful thing!!!!!!!