Spring is in the air and once again it is time to get around to the tasks that seem daunting but once they are done, make you feel so much better!!
Cleaning out the pantry is one such task! But I promise you – You will save time and money when your pantry is cleaned out and organized.
But “where do I start?” is the question that we all groan and then it just seems too hard and we put it off for another day ( Or year)
So to make it seem all achievable I will figuratively hold your hand through the process and help make your pantry a source of joy every time you look at it
The Pantry Cleaning Steps
What we will achieve:
- Empty and clean the whole pantry
- Sort all the food into categories
- Work out where everything will go
- What storage is needed.
- Put it all back
You will need to print off the Pantry Assessment and Pantry Checklist to get started…So if you are serious in getting your pantry cleaned up!
Let’s get this pantry started so DOWNLOAD these now.
Plus you get bonus checklists for your fridge, freezer and food storage guidelines by the FDA
We need to empty the pantry COMPLETELY and Clean it.
Start placing everything in the pantry on a bench top or table.
Make sure you collect food from elsewhere if you have excess stored
Start sorting food into categories eg spices, school lunch items, baking ingredients, cans, sauces
Now go an wipe down all the pantry surfaces so it is clean and ready to go.
Magic Erasers are great if there is a bit of grime on the shelves – just add water and go.
If you want to use a surface cleaner – look for one that is low tox.
You don’t want stronger surface sprays around your food. I have created 12 cleaning recipes using Essential oils. They are effective, smell amazing and better for you!!
You can see my post HERE and download the 12 recipes.
Now back to the food categories you have sorted on your work space.
This is where we will throw out what is not to go back into the pantry
Go through each of your food categories
What is no longer fresh or usable– Put it in the TOSS pile
What containers are cracked or split – do not put these back in – Put these into the Toss pile too
You should have a reduced amount to go back into your clean pantry…But FIRST let’s get it all in order.
The secret to keeping the amount of food in your pantry manageable – Keep pantries filled with items you plan to use within one or two month’s time only — Anything else and you’ll be wasting space.
Go into the pantry and work out the zones
Ingredients used often need to be at a lower height so they are easy to access
Some zones that may work for you are:
Or you may group them into food types
Grains and flours
Cans, Jars and bottles
Spices and flavors
Beans and Rice
Noodles and Pasta
Storing your oils all together on a tray is a good idea. It means no oily residue left on your shelves.
But It is your pantry so create the zones that work for you!!
Make sure that heavy items are lower down and easy to reach
If there are items your children need to access – like breakfast ingredients. Make sure that they are placed where they can easily be accessed and remain orderly.
Now how are you going to store and organize everything?
Put as many ingredients and food types into clear canisters either glass or BPA free plastic for a longer life and make sure they are airtight. Airtight containers also mean keep pantry moths and rodents out of your families food.
Easy ones to start with are your flours, grains, cereals, sugars, pasta, rice and beans
Square/rectangular canisters or containers will allow you to fit more on a shelf. You will also label them so that they are instantly recognizable
Now don’t get all panicked because you don’t have matching jars or canisters. A set of labels does two things! It tells you straight away what is in the pantry AND it ties it all together so your pantry looks clean and organized ( and matching
We sell a beautiful set of Spice Jar labels
Yep – I got you!!
Cooking Gods released an Ultimate Pantry and spice jar labels set.
Over 250 chalkboard labels pre printed and some are blank.
Smaller items can be put into storage bins.
Buy storage bins that are easy to see into – you can have clear, wired baskets or low trays.
Each basket will be labelled so you know what is in there
Examples to put into baskets or tubs are, Chips, Snacks, assorted teas, dried fruits and nuts, soup and sauces.
Some great organization and space saving times are these on Amazon
Just click on the picture to go straight to the product page
Now to put it all back!!
Place all the new storage solutions into the pantry –if you haven’t yet put down shelf lining – do this now!.
Put the racks up and any new shelves.
Wash out all your canisters before using them (Make sure they are 100% dry before filling them)
Also wash any canisters you already had on hand – Everything goes back in clean
Empty all your items into the new containers and label straight away – do not mix up your canisters and mislabel your flours!
Now to put your categories into the zones you worked out.
All labels to the front and of course make sure the older dated items are at the front to use first.
Now stand back – does it all work – Do you need to spread things out or bring things in a little tighter.
Move things around if needed.
Come back in 5 days and see if all the zones are working and change what needs to be adjusted.
Now – A big satisfied sigh of relief – YOU DID IT!!!!