Dear Publishers,

Please feel free to publish the following article (in its entirety) in your 
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An Organized Pantry
By Monica Resinger

One night I was making burritos for dinner. I went to grab refried beans out of 
the pantry and couldn't find any. Later, while cleaning out the pantry, I found 
some. If the pantry had been organized to begin with, I would have been able to 
find the refried beans and save my husband a trip to the neighborhood store, 
saved money as refried beans at the neighborhood store are not cheap and lots 
of frustration. Another problem with a cluttered, unorganized pantry is waste. 
I found spilled flour, noodles, Jello and cornmeal packages. So, in an effort 
to improve myself and knowing what I had done in the past wasn't working, I put 
some thought into how I could create a better system. Here's what I came up 

Assign a Home for Each Item

Assign a home to each different type of item. For example, have one shelf for 
cereals, another for canned foods, another for spices and another for prepared 
boxed meals such as macaroni and cheese. If you have to, you can split up a 
shelf for two different foods. Be sure to keep multiples of foods together so 
you can see at a glance how much of something you=2

Get Rid of Dead Space

Make sure your shelves don't have too much ‘dead space'. Dead space is unused 
space which is usually found above what you are storing. For example, when I 
was putting my canned food away on the canned food shelf, I noticed I couldn't 
stack two regular sized (about 15 oz.) cans one on top of another, but there 
was a lot of empty space above the cans (dead space). So I adjusted the shelf 
up a couple of inches so now I have room to stack two regular size cans and 
there is less dead space. This made a tremendous difference--I could now get 
all canned foods onto this shelf rather than have them scattered throughout the 

Creative Containers

Find canisters or other holders for noodles, flour, sugar, rice, popcorn or 
other food that comes in plastic or paper bags. I used to store the opened bag 
of rice (or other plastic or paper bagged food) right in the opened bag (closed 
with a twist-tie) which always lead to spills. Now I use canisters, empty 
coffee cans, glass jars, and other containers to hold these items for no mess. 
If you use pretty glass jars (which you can find at thrift stores), you can 
store noodles, rice, split peas or other attractive food in them and display on 
your counter to save pantry space. Finally, put taller items in the back. This 
makes finding things easier. 

The effort you put into organizing your pantry can be very rewarding. It will 
save you time, frustration and money. It is so nice to be able to20open the 
door and see everything organized (or just being able to see everything without 
a can falling on your head or toes). 

For more kitchen organization tips, check out The Kitchen Organization Tips 
Monica is the founder Homemaker's Journal E-publications, the growing home of 
many fun and informative home and garden e-books, tip sheets, articles and 
Get a FREE Slowcooker Recipe E-book when you subscribe to Monica's FREE e-zine 
for homemakers!  To subscribe and receive instructions for picking up your FREE 
e-book, just send a blank e-mail to:

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