Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Spring Cleaning the Pantry :: top 5 tips for taming the clutter

Its spring in my part of the world.

Time for a good pantry clean.  I might not have as much time as I used to, but I'm so glad I made time on Saturday morning for this.  A few expired ingredients headed for the bin, but thankfully not a whole lot.  Its not like our 'pantry' spaces are huge, but the open shelves tend to collect a lot of household detris.

Notice the pile of containers to the right on the bench top - I simply couldn't squeeze more containers into the cupboard.  Letting go of all the orphans was a big deal for me, I'm sure now that I have they'll come home from lockers and lost property bins.

Notice the random shoe and my daughter glued to the computer - that's us keepin' it real.

Now for the after shots:

Now all the colourful vintage items stand out.  Only the things I used frequently are out, I managed to find space in the cupboards for everything else:

I had a major rethink of containers and freed up half a shelf.  All the breakfast and snack stuff is on the right in easy reach for the kids, along with packets of noodles, recipe bases..."Get me out of trouble meals" as I like to call them.  All my baking needs are on the right, alongside my blender and the black box is all the storage containers and drink bottles.

Want some tips for a successful pantry sort?  Here are my top 5:

  1. Music (or whatever puts you in a good mood)
  2. Start by emptying the whole pantry area and cleaning it.  Have a cuppa at this point, you're half way there!
  3. Group your items on the bench before putting them back in the pantry.  This should give you a good idea how much space to allow, and think about the frequency of use and who needs things - this should guide you as to location.   Don't forget to check the expiration date.
  4. Make a list of all the food that's still good you didn't know you had.  Try and plan some meals around these ingredients soon.  Be honest, if you're not going to use it give it to your local foodbank or pass it on to friends and family.
  5. Containers are great for keeping things tidy.  I wish I had the pull out wire draws but they are expensive, so that isn't happening any time soon.  Instead I searched through op shops and found stacking baskets, which I've taken apart, and they slide out like draws.  For breakfast spreads and condiments I picked up cute mini shopping baskets at the $2 shop and my favourite - the black box came from the supermarket for free.  It originally stored/displayed mushrooms, so it's super strong cardboard.