How to Use Your Kitchen Storage Wisely

All food spoils eventually, but there are ways of storing that will preserve it for longer. If food is sold sealed, do not transfer it to another container unless you are ready to eat it and always look at date stamps on any food you buy and plan to keep. Be organized: after each shopping trip, put new food at the back of your shelves, moving older food to the front so that you will use it first.

Your kitchen, larder, refrigerator and freezer should be kept clean and kitchen and larder surfaces should be dry. Keep rapidly perishable items in a refriger­ator or freezer and other goods in a cool, dry larder, pantry or cellar. Do not store soaps and detergents, even in closed boxes, in the same cupboard as food or the smell will pervade the food.


It is essential to keep insects away from food. As many insect repellents contain poisons which can harm you too, use herbal insect repellents and put metal gauze screens on your windows to ex­clude flies and other insects.

Cover food containers with a sieve, fabric mesh or a sheet of greaseproof paper or foil. Plastic clingfilms may contain a carcinogenic plasticizer which if warm can be absorbed by foods, especially fatty ones such as cheese. It is better not to let clingfilm touch food. Never leave food uncovered in the kit­chen and clean your compost container and/or wastebin regularly, or they will both attract insects.


Storage jars should always be airtight as the shelf life of many products depends on the exclusion of air. You can buy special sealed glass storage jars; other­wise the best containers are made of ceramic or stainless steel. Non-glazed porous surfaces can contain mould and bacteria in the cracks which can con­taminate food so they are best avoided.

Storage rules

Biscuits, crackers, etc

Once open, store in a metal box or tightly closed jar. Do not store with cakes or they will become soggy.


Keep in the bread bin which should be as airtight as possible. Remove mouldy bread at once.


Store in a metal cake tin – keep a piece of apple or slice of bread in the tin to help it last longer. Do not store with biscuits.

Coffee (beans or ground)

Once the bag is open, roll up the top and keep it in an airtight container. If you want to keep coffee for a long time, you can freeze it.

Coffee (instant)

Always replace the lid.


Keep in a cool place. Do not wash them or you will remove the protective film from their shells.


Store in container with a lid – not in a plastic bag. Cornflour should also be kept in an airtight jar.


Keep dried herbs in dark, airtight con­tainers in a cool place.

Jams, honey, marmalade

Use quickly once opened. Store in a cool larder (or the refrigerator).


Loose nuts should not be stored in a larder as they can go rancid (instead keep them in the freezer).


Store in a cool, dark larder, rather than in the refrigerator.

Pasta, pulses, rice

Store in an airtight container.

Potatoes, root vegetables

Keep in the dark in a cool larder, pantry (or the refrigerator).


Keep in an airtight container with a piece of bread.


Store in an airtight container.

Tinned foods

Tinned food keeps longer because the air has been kept out so beware of tins with dents (especially on the seam), rusty tins, tins with a rounded end and tins which smell odd. Keep tins in a cool, dry place. Once open, remove the contents and eat within a few days.

Vegetables (fresh)

Make sure that cool air is circulating around them.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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