It’s Day 11 of organizing and decluttering our homes! Back to the kitchen we go!
Today’s challenge is decluttering, organizing, and cleaning out your pantry! If you don’t have a pantry, you can still participate! Your challenge is to clean out 2 cabinets that you store food in.
As you complete this task, keep your grocery list handy and mark down items that you are out of or know you will be needing to buy. After cleaning out the refrigerator yesterday and organizing the pantry today, you should have a great idea of what you need to buy at the store this week! (And tomorrow we’ll be doing the freezer if you want to wait for one more day before shopping!)
I like to start by taking all the items out of the cupboard. I then wipe out the cupboard taking care of anything that has spilled and any dust or dirt. If any of the cans have gotten dirty or dusty I wipe them off as well.
Next I group the items with like items. I like to group all the pasta in one place, canned veggies in another, snacks in one area, and cereal in another. This way when I need something I know where to look. I can usually tell just by opening the cupboard what I am low on when the like items are grouped together. Using a label maker works great for organizing your like items for your children who can read because they will know where to put those items back away.
As you are decluttering, be sure to check the expiration dates on the food. If it’s expired, throw it out! If it’s about to be expired, add it to your meal plan and use it up. If you have bought some items on sale that you know you won’t be using, consider donating to the local food pantry. Our church also collects food to give to people in the community who need it.
Check your spices if you store them in your pantry (mine are in a separate cupboard). Spices also have an expiration date. If you are like me, you may also end up with 3 containers of chili powder and find that you can donate at least one if it hasn’t been opened yet!
As you are about ready to put the food back in the pantry, it works well to put the items that you use the most in a place that is easily accessible. I don’t want to dig in the back of the pantry for canned fruit or vegetables because we use them a lot (especially now that our garden is done producing for the year.) Items that you rarely use are a good fit for in the back but don’t forget about them! If you can improve accessing items with sliding shelving or organizers, go for it! One quick tip that I love, is to store cupcake liners inside a wide-mouth jar. It keeps them from getting crushed and also looks pretty! It might really help your situation and therefore waste less.
The last tip I have for you is if you need to buy some storage containers for your pantry, write them on your list. Would it be easier to store your pasta or chocolate chips in an airtight container? If so, add that to the list. I love Lock & Lock Storage Containers (You will see several of these in my kitchen.) Can you consolidate items into one container to get rid of bulky packages or a bunch of packages of one item? One of my friends introduced me to them and I use them for my flour, sugar, powdered sugar, lasagna noodles, etc. I’m not saying that you need to invest a lot of money into items like this but it may help you. It certainly did with me! Can you add storage to your space by adding a shoe organizer to the back of the door to hold spices or small packages of food? Would a lazy susan help with items that get messy such as honey? Can you use a basket or small bin to put all of the kids’ snacks in?
I can’t wait for your updates on your pantry and cupboards look tonight!
In case you have missed any days in this series, here they are! (Don’t worry you can jump in right where we are in the series and go back later if you want to catch up or just finish out what we’re working on with us! I’m so happy that you are joining us in organizing and decluttering your home!)
Day 10 Update: Day 10: Day 9 Update: Day 9: Day 8 Update: Day 8: Day 7 Update: Day 7: Day 6 Update: Day 6: Day 5 Update: Day 5: Day 4 Update: Day 4: Day 3 Update: Day 3: Day 2 Update: Day 2: Day 1 Update: Day 1: