We do not have a large pantry. Just a small space underneath the stairs with few narrow wooden shelves. Even so, I found it to be a daunting task. Any tips on organizing a pantry - specifically an Indian pantry - and more specifically, a South-Indian pantry would be great!
Here's what I have done so far:
1. I used the V's handy label-maker, and typed away kokum, karamadhu podi and kalonji to my heart's content. My bottles and jars look very professional now!
2. I procured some new transparent containers - not very expensive but they do the job nicely.
3. I organized the shelves logically: All the things that I use the most are at eye-level (for me, that is. V's would be one level up). All the daals that I refill in to jars on my kitchen counter are kept at a lower level. Sambar podi, rasapodi etc. are together. Spices (garam masala, chili powder, dhania powder, etc.) are together. Baking items (baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, star anise, cloves, powdered sugar, molasses, etc.) are together but at a lower level since I don't bake every day. Ready-to-cook stuff like soba noodles, cream of wheat, rava idli mix, ready sevai, etc. are together.
4. All the appliances that I use often are in the kitchen cupboard, but the ones that I don't use everyday such as juicer, slow cooker, etc. are in the pantry on one of the two big shelves.
5. I needed to make sure we were using up food items in a timely manner (so that the pack of cous-cous doesn't sit in the pantry for 3 years). (Which reminds me that we need to do a pantry-purge soon!) I have kept things that I mean to use up soon within eye-sight, nicely labeled.
So far, it seems to be working. But... there is room for improvement! More ideas welcome!!