There’s nothing like a clean cooking space, but what about those overflowing cupboards? Our kitchen storage can quickly get disorganized with half-filled flour bags and expired ingredients, making it harder to know what you need to add to your shopping list or whether you have enough left for a complete recipe. Avoid that last minute trip for more brown sugar and take this time at home to tidy up! No one likes reaching for the vanilla only to find a jar of sprinkles tumbling to the floor. Expert baker Emma Duckworth shares four steps to organizing your baking storage.
Empty out all your ingredients and do a stock check
There’s no easy way to do it other than emptying that drawer/cupboard/shelf. Give the area a good ol’ clean. I guarantee there’s spilled sugar granules, flour grains, and smeared food coloring underneath all the packaging. From there, make a list of everything you already have. You’ll likely be surprised by what’s hiding in the bottom of your drawer. To make life easy, refer to my list of staple ingredients for a baker’s pantry. You can simply tick off everything that you already have, making it easy to see what you need to buy. This will also help you later on when it comes to storage ideas. I have a blackboard in my kitchen that whenever I’m running low on an ingredient I quickly scribble on.
Check use by dates (and/or write them obviously on packaging). Your baking can be affected by using out of date products.
Group ingredients together
Now we have to organize our ingredients. Dumping them altogether back into your cupboard will only create the same problem. The easiest and most efficient way to organize is by grouping your products together.
Here is how I group mine
- Natural Sweeteners
- Dried Fruit and Nuts
You’ll find grabbing your set of ingredients for a recipe much easier like this. I’m all about time saving hacks and this is one of them.
So now you’ve made a list of what ingredients you already have, what you need to buy to top up your staples, and you’ve organized them into groups. Time for a storage plan. Storage is one of the most important factors in how to organize your baking pantry. Choose a clear container that you can decant your ingredients into. Being able to see your ingredients is a sure fire way to quickly view what you are grabbing. You can see the quantity and know when you need to top up.
Here are some baking storage ideas
- Glass clip top jars with a rubber seal – I use these for my larger stored items like flour and sugar.
- Plastic sealable containers – Lightweight and cost effective.
- Recycled jars – Finished with a pasta sauce jar? Soak the label off, rinse it out, dry it fully, and fill with smaller items like dried fruit and nuts. A great money saving tip.
I live in a rental apartment and cupboard space is low. Baking a lot, I wanted all these ingredients easily accessible, so I asked my landlord if I could put up a couple of long shelves and brackets to hold them. Luckily she said yes. I now store all my baking dry goods in glass clip top jars lined along shelves. The accessibility is fantastic and I can make the shelves look pretty with uniform containers and some trailing plants. Not everyone can fix shelves to the wall, but there are removable options available as well.
Label your jars
Once all your dried goods are in functional jars or storage containers, it’s best to label the jars. You don’t want to be mixing up self rising flour and cornstarch. You might have a disastrous bake on your hands! There are plenty of ways to label your containers, whether it’s handwritten, with a label maker, or printable templates. Get creative!
Ideas for labelling
- Handwritten – Cut out a rectangular piece of paper and, with your best calligraphy writing, write out the ingredient.
- Chalkboard labels – Using a white chalkboard pen, these look great as a contrast to the ingredients inside.
- Dynamo label maker – As used on many of my jars — this is super quick and easy to do.
- Embossing label maker – Remember Motex labelers? I loved them as a kid and still do! I used the black tape to label some of my jars.
With these simple steps you can now go away and organize that baking pantry. Above anything else it will help with your productivity in the kitchen so that you can bake like an organized boss.
Recommended storage containers, labels and label makers
Glass Storage Jars
- Large glass jar with clip top lid (ideal for flours)
- Medium glass jar with clip top lid (ideal for sugars)
- Small Glass Jars with clip top lid (ideal for nuts, dried fruits)
Plastic Storage Containers
- Large plastic storage container with clip top lid (ideal for flours)
- Medium plastic storage container with clip top lid (ideal for sugars)
- Small plastic storage container with clip top lid (ideal for nuts and dried fruits)
Label Makers and Labels
Read Emma’s full post here!