Use These Tips To Decant Your Dried Goods And Create Your Own Insta-Worthy Pantry.
Ah, those perfect pantries. We all want to head into the kitchen and be greeted by a fully-stocked and perfectly organized pantry with beautiful decanted containers holding all that goodness you have in stock.
While organizing has nothing to do with perfection or with aesthetics, decanting your food into containers will make your pantry look like a million bucks!
Think these social feed-worthy pantries are beyond your reach? Think again! We can get you there step by step. One of the first and most impactful parts of getting a beautifully organized pantry is decanting the dried goods in your pantry.
In this post, I’ll share the step-by-step and two pro-organizer tips to help you avoid costly mistakes and extra trips to the store. Shall we start?
Why Decant Your Dried Goods?
There are so many benefits to decanting your dried goods. Of course, it looks great, hello #pantrygoals. But, it also saves you time, money, and is healthier.
Here is a break down of some of the benefits of a decanted pantry.
A Healthier Pantry
Decanting dried goods like beans, nuts, seeds, cereal, and dried fruit has health benefits. Food that is opened and left in store-bought packaging is usually not properly sealed and can lead to contamination, staleness, and spoilage.
Be sure to check your dried goods with a higher moisture count, such as walnuts more often for freshness once they are decanted.
You Save Money
Decanted foods, when properly stored and labeled have a longer shelf life as they are less likely to go stale and are also less prone to contamination.
Once a container of dried goods is contaminated, you have to toss the whole thing.
By decanting you can protect your food for longer and save yourself having to repeatedly buy it.
You Save Time
A decanted pantry lets you very clearly see what you have and makes creating a shopping list much easier.
When it comes time for meals, you can easily access everything you need to cook.
When you know what you have on hand it also makes meal planning and prep so much easier and more economical. You can tweak your recipes on a particular week if you see that you need to use certain ingredients up before they expire and avoid food waste.
Here Are 5 Steps To Decant Your Pantry
Pantry Organizing Step 1 – Clear It Out
Empty your pantry, cabinet, drawers, wherever you have dried goods stored in your home. Wipe all the shelves and surfaces down. Leave doors and drawers open and let everything thoroughly dry out before you put your pantry items back.
Pantry Organizing Step 2 – Take Stock
Look at the dried goods you have that can be decanted. Some of the most popular decanted items to keep on hand are pasta, rice, beans, cereals, dried fruits, and nuts. Toss anything that is expired or gone bad.
If there are any items that have only a serving or two left you can plan to use those this week in your cooking, or if they are items you keep in stock you can decant them because when empty you will be replenishing that item and the container won’t go to waste.
Pantry Organizing Step 3 – Choose Your Containers
Once you see what you have to decant you should choose your containers. Avoid plastic if you can and opt for glass storage and pay attention to the two steps below. (link to storage containers)
Pantry Organizing Pro Tip!
1 – Before you commit to any item it’s important to make sure your new containers will fit in your pantry. Here is how to plan it:
- Count the number of containers you’ll need to decant everything you want.
- Measure the container you selected and multiply by the number of containers you’ll need. This total is how much linear space you’ll need in your pantry to accommodate your containers. This is a common mistake people make when planning their organizing projects so don’t skip this step!
- Once you are sure your new containers will fit in your pantry, then move on to step 4.
2 – Another important part of decanting your pantry is to make sure you purchase containers according to your consumption of any specific item.
Here is what I mean.
If you consume a pound of black beans a week and don’t want to have to replenish that container every single week, then you should look for a food canister that can hold 2 pounds.
On the other hand, if you consume a cup of lentils a month then purchase a much smaller canister.
Personally, I like to work with 3 sizes of food canisters: Small, Medium and Large even if that means having leftover space in some of them. This simplifies your planning, purchase and how your pantry will function in the end as you can stack them.
Pantry Organizing Step 4 – Decant & Label
Now, add your dried goods into the containers you selected for this organizing project.
Be sure to label each container with the contents and the expiration date from the package. You can also use adhesive pockets like this one to place the cooking instructions.
Labeling is a crucial step to keeping decanted goods fresh and healthy because once you get rid of the store packaging you will need to keep track of your food’s shelf life.
You can use chalk or dry-erase pens, write-on labels or of course, create your own as I did with my Cricut machine here.
Now That You’ve Decanted Your Pantry
Sort Like With Like
An expression I use frequently to clarify this step of any organizing project to my clients is “everybody has a family and every family has a home.” So, our next step in getting your pantry in tip-top shape is to get your “families” together.
Place everything on your counter and then sort like with like. This step makes your pantry super easy to restock and to use at mealtime.
It’s Time To Organize
Assess what you have to put back into your freshly cleaners pantry, shelves, cabinets, and drawers.
Organize your items, like with like as you sorted them, back into your pantry area. Try to place the items you use most in spots that are easy to access, leaving the hard to reach areas for less used items.
You might also want to organize by category, say baking, soup making, breakfast, and snacks, etc.
A decanted pantry not only looks great, but it also saves you time and money.
When you can see what you have on hand you can plan your meals around it to prevent waste, and you will save yourself the hassle of having to run to the store every day because you forgot that you didn’t have an ingredient.
The health benefits of decanting your dried goods are another pro to making decanting your pantry your next weekend project.