How does your kitchen pantry look? Some of you may not have an “official” kitchen pantry. It might just be a cabinet or series of cabinets. If you like in an RV, it might be a plastic bin. But no matter how you store your canned and boxed food items, you need to purge regularly.
Here are some quick steps to help you focus and make the most of your efforts to declutter and organize your pantry:
Declutter from the back of the shelf to the front.
Start with the top shelf toward the back. This is where items end up going into hiding in your cabinet. You are going to find expired items, and you will find items that are still in date but long forgotten.
Pull these items and toss the expired items. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t overthink it. If the date has passed, just toss it.
Now take a look at the items you forgot about. Do you still want them? If so, put them in a more prominent place. If you don’t want them, put them in a box to collect to donate to a food bank.
Do not empty the whole shelf! Just work your way from the back to the front for 15 minutes.
If you have been at it for 15 minutes, it’s time to stop. If not, go down to the next shelf and do the same thing.
Start with the bigger items and free up some space.
The bigger items are quick and easy to go through. The smaller canned goods will take longer.
Involve your kids if you have a lot of canned goods to sort and put in some sort of order. I tend to keep my soups on one side of the cabinet, the vegetables in the middle, and the fruits to the other side of the shelf.
Sort by height and type of food item.
I have another shelf where I keep taller bottles and boxes. This is where I keep sauces, salad dressings, and box mixes. If a container, such as the oatmeal box, is too tall for that area, I keep it on the one shelf that is taller than the others.
Since I am gluten-free, I keep a separate cabinet just for those items. It is separate from the pantry, so the boys know not to use them in their recipes. (smile) If you have teenagers who cook and eat a lot, you know what I am talking about.
Keep your spices together and handy for cooking.
The main way to create different flavors with the same basic food items is to use different spices. You can keep them in a spice box or drawer, but you need to check them at least once a year for expiration dates. It’s always interesting to me to see how old some of my spices are. I keep the most used spices near my stove, and the other spices are in my pantry.
If you have many items in your pantry, you might need to do several 15 minute missions over the course of a few days. Don’t empty it at once. You will end up with a mess and will feel overwhelmed.
Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in your pantry for 15 minutes.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and a salad.
Have a great day!
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