How to Declutter Your Pantry

Whether you are blessed with a well-equipped walk-in pantry or making do with a few shelves in your kitchen cabinet for food storage, adding this space as a priority in your home cleaning checklist can bring many life-changing benefits. It can change your perspective about spending time in the kitchen, making you more excited and creative about preparing home-cooked meals instead of seeing it as a source of stress.

In this article, we’ll share expert tips on decluttering your kitchen pantry, transforming it from a chaotic abyss of forgotten whatnots to a well-organized part of your home you’ll be happy and proud to see every day

Compelling Reasons to Declutter Your Pantry Now

  • Save time and energy: A decluttered pantry lets you quickly find the ingredients you need, eliminating the frustration of rummaging through a messy space.
  • Reduce food waste: A clear view of your pantry contents helps you avoid impulse purchases and prevents food from expiring unnoticed in the back of the shelves.
  • Healthier eating habits: A decluttered pantry can help you prioritize healthy ingredients and keep them within easy reach, making it much easier to stick to a more nutritious diet.
  • More hygienic: Decluttering and cleaning your pantry regularly prevents dirt and bacteria from building up and deters pests from taking over the space, creating a more hygienic environment for food storage.

Start with a Blank Slate

Empty the shelves and drawers. Taking everything out can give you a better idea of how to create and optimize an organizational system that fits your lifestyle. In addition, it lets you thoroughly clean every nook and cranny without worrying about getting anything wet or soapy.

Follow these steps to deep clean your kitchen pantry.

  • Clean crumbs and dust from the surface using a handheld vacuum cleaner or a vacuum with a hose and brush attachment. 
  • Wipe down shelves with a damp microfiber cloth washed in warm soapy water. Make sure that you have wrung it properly so it’s not soaking wet and creating puddles.
  • Spot-clean any spills or stains and disinfect areas affected with mold or mildew.
  • Sweep or vacuum and then mop the floors with a multipurpose cleaner diluted in a bucket of water. 
  • Open doors and windows and allow the area to air dry.

Declutter and Discard 

Unleash your inner Marie Kondo and declutter your pantry like a pro. Don’t think twice to be ruthless. Discard anything you no longer use or enjoy. Remember, letting go of unused items creates space for things you actually love.

  • Toss expired items without hesitation. Include products left open for too long or show insect contamination in your throw-away pile.
  • Donate unopened, non-expired goods that you cannot use within the next month or so to your local food banks or shelters.
  • Take out laundry and home cleaning products in your pantry. In an article in Southern Living, Chef Molly Gordon advises against storing anything inedible in your kitchen cabinets. These include household cleaners, scented products, and garbage bags. These things do not use food-grade plastic and containers, so there’s a tendency for their chemical fragrance to be absorbed and contaminate food products stored in your pantry.

Conquer The Chaos with Containers!

  • Wipe each item with a microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipe, particularly those that feel sticky or dusty, before putting them back on the shelves.
  • Group similar items together in large bins for a logical flow and make finding things a breeze. For example, baking goods, snacks, canned goods, pasta, and breakfast items.
  • Invest in clear, airtight containers for dry goods like flour, cereal, and pasta. This maximizes space, prevents spills, and allows you to see what needs restocking at a glance.
  • For bulkier items like bags of chips or rice, decant them into clear containers. This not only saves space but also prevents bag tears and stale snacks.
  • Store frequently used items at eye level for easy access. Lower shelves are ideal for heavier items like canned goods, while upper shelves can house lesser-used appliances or seasonal ingredients.

Follow the “First In, First Out” Rule

This golden rule prevents forgotten items from gathering dust in the back of your shelves, leading to spoilage and wasted money. Place newer stock behind older ones to ensure you use everything before it expires. 

Maintaining the Magic: Tips to Keep Your Pantry Clean for A Long Time

  • Schedule regular cleaning and decluttering sessions, even for 15 minutes weekly. This prevents unnecessary clutter from accumulating and keeps your pantry a haven of peace and tidiness.
  • Create an inventory of everything in your pantry and update it every time you declutter. This effectively streamlines everything you have and stops you from hoarding more than you or your household can consume in a realistic timeframe. 

Following these expert tips, you can transform your pantry from a source of stress to something worthy of bragging rights. Remember, a decluttered pantry not only saves you time and money but also reduces stress and makes meal prep a joy.

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