Spring Into a Clean Pantry in 5 Easy Steps!

Have you ever reached into your pantry to find a jar of molasses you have not used in years?  Or, perhaps you discover six different types of mustard buried among a stash of condiments. Spring into a clean pantry this season. Organize your pantry to save time and energy. An organized pantry will also help with meal planning and ultimately lead to a healthier diet!

  1. Empty and organize items into 4 different categories:
    • Items you use every day
    • Items you use less frequently
    • Unopened items that you no longer use that can be donated to a food pantry
    • Any suspicious items should go right in the trash
  2. Evaluate space and relocate items if needed.   
    • No matter how much space we have, we can always use more. Look around at what you currently have in your pantry. Perhaps there are some items that might be able to be stored elsewhere, such as paper goods.
  3. Clean it out!
    • Once your pantry is empty, wipe each shelf with a damp cloth and let it dry before reloading. Don’t miss those crumbs that fall on the floor!
  4. Organize: Are there tools that might help maximize space and help keep things in order?
    • Clear stacking containers are a great way to save space. Check out some of the great containers at McCaffrey’s to help organize your pantry.  
    • Label containers, baskets, and other items to make them easier to find.
    • Utilize space efficiently and be creative! Perhaps an over-the-door shelf would be helpful to increase space.
  5. Restock smartly!!  The pantry offers an excellent place to take control and begin the journey toward good health.
    • Take inventory. As you’re reloading your pantry, take note of any items that you may need to purchase.
    • Refill your pantry in organized zones.
      • Keep heavy items, like bottles of oil, on the bottom shelf, and items that you use every day at eye level and easily accessible.
      • Place baking items (flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.) in one section and breakfast items in another.
      • Set up a snack zone for your family so they can find what they need easily.
      • Keep like categories together (i.e., store all canned goods together, then separate into categories). Keep ethnic ingredients together, tomato products, etc.
      • Stash a stepstool in the pantry or nearby to make reaching high shelves easy.
    • Use the first in, first out rule. When you purchase new items, add them to the back so the older foods get used up first. You can also take a minute to put any out of place items back into their proper space.

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