Cleaning up the pantry should be a regular practice. Editing the food you eat should be high on the priority list. As a stylist, the pantry shot is usually the most time consuming. Why? Because the pantry usually looks like an archaeological dig in Egypt, rather than the shelves at your favorite gourmet food store.
Guess what? Your pantry should look like the shelves at your favorite gourmet store. When I train new stylists the first thing I teach them is how to style the pantry. Natalie, my assistant has mastered the art of the pantry shelves, and it did not take her much time, following my simple rules.
1. Buy simple baskets, and jars of all sizes. World Market Cost Plus, or The Container Store have a nice selection. Buy all the same style of baskets, several sizes, same with the jars.
2. Place items that are bulky and alike in the baskets. Like bags of snacks, crackers
3. Remove loose food items from boxes and bags items include; cereal, cookies,rice, beans, dried mushrooms, polenta, pasta,nuts, sugar and flour, place these items in glass jars. This makes a uniform statement on shelves as well as creates the ability to see what you have, and how much of it you have as well.
4.Put like items with like, in other words all the baking items together, rice and pasta together, cereal, dried fruit, oatmeal, then canned and jarred goods together on a shelf.
5. Have all the canned item labels facing the same direction ( yes like "Sleeping with the Enemy".)
6. Store large items on the floor, ie water bottles.
7. Look at expiration dates, and toss anything that has not been used for over a year.
If you start with these simple steps,you should have a much improved look to your pantry as well as a high functioning pantry.
Having a high functioning pantry, will improve your ability to shop in a more efficient manner and actually save money in the long run.
Have fun with it! Buying antique jars, can be fun and add alot of style to your pantry! Be creative!