When it comes to quick meal prep, nothing helps more than having an organized pantry. Not only can you find things faster & easier, your family will too. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
Clearly Easy - With staples like flour, sugar and rice, use clear containers so you can see when something may be getting low, that way you can re-stock with ease. Clear containers are also great for other dry things your family uses a lot, such as cereal. Don't you hate it when you decide to have a bowl of cereal and someone has put back just a box of crumbs?! *Tip: Save plastic produce containers for dried ingredients like beans, just wash and dry them well first. They stack well, too.
Sort & Organize - Keep items that you use together on the same shelves and sections in your pantry. Use plastic containers or baskets to help keep small items together. Doing this will make it easy to grab a container and see what you need (and it won't get lost!). Sticky syrups or oils can leave rings on your shelves at times, so keeping these items in containers will also help keep your shelves cleaner longer. *Tip:Keeping like items together also helps list building to be easier when you are making something you don't very often (like cakes or cookies).
Use Vertical Space - Items like canned goods and medium size unopened box items are easy to stack, using the vertical space between shelving. Just keep labels or the side of the box that shows what the item is facing toward the front for quick and easy identification. *Tip: Use risers to lift canned goods up to avoid a "tower collapse" in your pantry. If you have several cans/items of the same thing, put multiples behind each other as well.
Every so often it's good to give your pantry a once over, so you can check the dates and half used items that need to be thrown out. Once you have everything out, wipe down the shelves too, because no matter how organized your pantry starts out, it WILL get messy again at some point.