Cleaning out your pantry can be a daunting task, but it's important to do so to keep your food fresh and organized.
Here are some steps you can follow to clean out your pantry effectively:
1. Empty your pantry: Take everything out of your pantry and put it on a table or countertop. This will help you see what you have and assess what needs to be thrown out or donated.
2. Check expiration dates: Look at the expiration dates on all your food items. Throw away anything that has expired, as it is not safe to consume.
3. Sort into categories: Sort your food into categories such as grains, canned goods, snacks, etc. This will help you organize your pantry and make it easier to find what you need. Consider storing your cans, boxed goods, snacks and baking ingredients in open front storage boxes like these - (available in two sizes)
4. Wipe down shelves: While your pantry is empty, take the time to wipe down the shelves with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any crumbs or debris.
5. Donate unwanted items: If you have food that is still good, but you know you won't eat it, consider donating it to a local food bank or shelter.
Find your local shelter here: FeedingAmerica.org
6. Store items properly: Make sure you are storing your food items in a way that will keep them fresh. For example, keep grains and flour in airtight containers. Canned goods must stay in a cool and dry place.
7. Label and date items: Labeling and dating your items can help you keep track of when they were purchased and when they expire.
8. Regularly review your pantry: To prevent your pantry from becoming cluttered again, make it a habit to review and clean it out on a regular basis, such as once every few months. Use a rotating tray like the one found here to keep frequently used items like sauces or seasonings easily viewable and in plain sight to prevent them from getting lost or pushed toward the back of cabinets.
By following these steps, you can clean out your pantry effectively and keep it organized and fresh.