Before Revamping Your Pantry, Get the Scoop on Decanting
You crave simplicity and organization in your pantry. But where do you begin?!
Consider starting out by decanting dried goods.
Why? Dried goods are the staples of most kitchens and take up, next to canned goods, the bulk of your pantry.
I'm also offering another 5 good reasons to start with decanting instead of simply corralling (read, hiding) all like-items in uniform labelled baskets.
1 / Promoting (Visual) Silence
Labels scream. Again, another unpopular opinion nowadays, but the fewer words in your pantry, the better.
First, decanting helps us bid goodbye to loud packaging, which marketers intentionally design to catch our eye and attention.
Second, using clear jars does away with the need for labeling at all, further reducing visual input, and noise, in your pantry.
2 / Preserving Freshness
With the rising cost groceries (and most everything!), it's smart to invest in permanent solutions that preserve your food once the packaging is opened.
Containers with gaskets keep your foods fresh longer.
3 / Triggering Restocking
On that note, clear containers allow you to see exactly how much food you have.
If you stock up on essentials, consider buying a larger canister that will hold two or more store-bought packets of food.
You'll always know you have double the standard amount, and when the container is running low you know you can safely restock without overbuying.
4 / Reducing Waste
It's often less expensive and more efficient to buy dried goods in bulk.
When you have sturdy containers right-sized to your lifestyle and cooking habits, it's easier to buy refill or bulk packaging, which tends to be more environmentally conscious than smaller sized packages.
5 / Maximizing Storage
Decanting allows you to choose containers that fit within your storage context.
Perhaps your storage is more conducive to mason jars. Or perhaps you need square containers that take up every square inch of space without gaps.
Whatever your situation, the right containers can meaningfully maximize your storage.
3 Product Recommendations
Bormioli Rocco Fido Jars
My absolute favorite decanting jars are these Italian-made stalwart glass jars with a rubber gasket and metal clip.
There's so much to love:
Mouth openings are consistently sized, regardless of the container's capacity
Made of glass, it's healthier and sturdier than plastic
It's also much easier and quicker to clean
A variety of sizes make it ideal for outfitting the whole pantry
A true testament to its staying power is the fact that it's been available since the 1800s
And, gaskets can be easily replaced
Crate and Barrel offers the widest selection of sizes at the best prices (not an affiliate link), helping you keep your pantry's look and feel consistent.
For the bakers among us, Progressive ProKeeper are excellent containers that have built-in, helpful features.
For example, the:
Flour container is large and comes with a leveler
Brown sugar container comes with a terra cotta insert that keeps your sugar moist
Regular sugar container comes with a smaller pour opening built into lid
These helpful features save time and are very convenient. The containers are plastic, but I've found them to be sturdy and reliable.
King Arthur Baking sells a popular set of five containers (not an affiliate link).
This list would not be complete without mason jars.
My favorite are Ball mason jars. Once again, these come in various sizes with a standard mouth opening.
In recent years, several after-market brands have begun manufacturing adapted lids that extend the use of the glass jar.
I have found that Ball mason jars tend to be most affordable at garden/ seed supply stores such as Lebanon Tractor Supply (not an affiliate link).
1 Product to Avoid
I know I'll likely get backlash for this one. Bring it! (lol)
I dislike and don't recommend OXO POP containers.
There, I said it.
Though they're ubiquitous and figure in most "Pinterest Pantries," I find these containers have three significant drawbacks:
They're much too complicated to clean and everything, except the silicone gasket, is NOT dishwasher safe
Their lids don't stay on very well - if you have a habit of picking up containers from the top, be ready for spills!
Their lids are bulky and take up space inside the container, reducing the amount of food you can store
That's the 3-5-1 on decanting with REVEAL METHOD.
I hope this installment has encouraged you to decant confidently, knowing what to look for and what to avoid!
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