We are focusing on eating healthy in January. Cleaning out your pantry is a good place to start. Thanks, Jill, for these tips. We’ve also included some pictures and links to our top 3 favorite pantry organizing products at the end of the post plus Tracy’s favorite pantry organizing tip.
Do you have a pantry or kitchen cabinets that are full of food, yet you have no idea what’s really there, let alone what to make for dinner?
We all make mistakes. Many of us purchase too much food, especially when it’s on sale. If the food is stale or unsafe to eat, let it go and move on. Food pantries will not use it.
It’s also time to clear out food you bought but no longer use. Maybe you bought it because it was on sale, you were hungry and it looked good or you were eating differently due to a special diet. We have all done this so don’t beat yourself up!
Here are the steps to organizing your pantry.
• Attack ONE shelf at a time. You could spread this project among several days, especially if you feel it’s too overwhelming.
• Have a trash and recycle bin handy.
• Remove one item at a time.
• Look for an expiration date. If you can’t find a date and you think it may be more than one year old, toss it.
• If it’s a jar or can that needs to be emptied, put it next to your sink. Empty and recycle all the cans and glass containers after you finish a shelf.
• Donate food you no longer want and isn’t past its expiration date. Food pantries are happy to receive your excess!
• Repeat this process for every shelf and cabinet.
• Lastly, categorize your food on the shelf and label the shelves if it’s helpful. My pantry has categories for breakfast items, spices, snacks, starches, tea, condiments and canned/jarred goods.
Think of all the time you will save once your pantry is cleared out and organized. You might even save money because you will know what you have.
These are our top three pantry organizing products we recommend:
Use inexpensive clear bins like these Sterilite® ClearView Latch™ Storage bin. They are the perfect size for containing like items such as pasta, grains, bread, paper products, snacks, etc.
2. Lazy Susans
The OXO 16-in x 16-in White/Black Poly Round Serving Caddy, available at Lowes, has become one of our new favorite pantry products. Add to any corner in a pantry or corner cabinet or use a smaller lazy susan on any shelf for quick access to your items. Group like items together…oils, sauces, condiments, etc.
Or, custom make corner lazy susans like Emily from DecorChick did on the best pantry makeover I’ve ever seen!
Label everything. Here is Tracy’s favorite label maker. Labeling helps the entire family find things AND put things away. If teenage boys get excited about labels then its worth your time to label your bins, lazy susans and shelves.
Tracy’s PANTRY ORGANIZING TIP
Create a snack bin. Empty all your individual boxes and containers of snacks into one bin. You’ll know at a glance what you need to restock and what items have been neglected. This is Chelle’s snack bin. Notice her adorable label. My kids know JUST WHERE the snacks are!
Do you have a pantry organizing tip you could share in the comments?