You probably instinctively flinch at just the mere thought of organising the larder. I too would rather do just about anything else, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be that painful. Take a deep breath, turn up the music, and just do it.

Take everything out.

Yup, absolutely everything – and line it up on the kitchen counter so you can see everything you have, ready for the big cull.

Throw away

Go through each item. If you haven’t used it in the last 12 months, simply chuck it in the bin. While we certainly don’t advocate wasting food, there’s no point in hoarding old packets with use by dates sometime in the last decade!

Clean the shelves

Get back to wherever you keep your long-life food; whether it’s a walk-in larder or some open shelves in your kitchen. Thoroughly clean every surface, making sure to get rid of oil build up and old spice stains with a good cleaning liquid.

Take stock

Now turn your attention to the items on your counters. Think about what you have and what you need for storage. Go through every product – nuts, flours, cereal, beans etc. – they’re all better off being in sealed containers. They’ll stay fresher for longer, and you’ll know exactly how much you have left.

Invest in useful storage

Now consider whether your current storage systems are working for you Do you need new, airtight containers, wire baskets to group things in, baskets for vegetables you keep in the larder? This sounds expensive, but having good containers is going to save you money in the long run, and doing this will likely make you stick with a clean and organised larder or cupboards. Before hitting the shops, figure out exactly what containers you’ll need and how big they should be.

Label your containers

While it’s easy to to tell apart a cashew nut from a peanut that’s being stored in a jar, if you’re storing your flours in the same way, you are rather unlikely to tell a plain and self-raising apart. Hence, labelling your items is very important, and will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Create a logical system

It is incredibly important to have a place for everything. This is especially true for your larder. Put like products together- tinned products, condiments, breads, crackers and biscuits and so on. Even label your zones if you think it’ll help. Once you’ve worked out where all your goods will go, and have a place for everything, carefully put it all back in its place.

Enjoy your newly organised larder or cupboards. Try to keep it up by putting everything back in its rightful new place, and write lists before you go shopping so you don’t over-buy.

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