Here is the fifth post in our Kick the Clutter Challenge series. This one focuses on organizing your pantry.
What’s lurking in your pantry? Are you still storing snacks for your kids that have left your nest? Are there cracker crumbs on the floor, six different kinds of pasta on the shelf or are the canned items hidden behind the large bags of chips? It’s time to get rid of the pantry pandemonium and spend time organizing your pantry.
The first thing you need to do is throw out all the items that have expired. Hold on to the items that you are going to eat in the next six months and be realistic when choosing to keep an item. You don’t need to keep cans of mushrooms if you really don’t like them, just because they have health benefits.
Do you need 12 packages of lasagne noodles? If you’re Italian and hosting big family dinners on a weekly basis or you have grandchildren that like to do pasta art projects then maybe you do. Or maybe you bought them on sale for a steal and you couldn’t resist that bargain price. Refrain from impulse shopping at big warehouse stores to save a few dollars especially if you’re an empty nester. The kids aren’t around to eat all this extra food now so donate extras to your local food bank.
This may be the perfect time to commit to a healthier eating plan. Place a pretty basket on the shelf and fill it up with nuts, seeds and chia bars. Try a couple of plant-based protein powders to add to your morning smoothies. Organic quinoa, beans and black rice can be tossed into salads and are a good way to add protein to a meal without the meat.
Flours, crackers and items that are open and in a bag should be placed in an airtight container to maintain freshness and keep critters out. Bed Bath and Beyond and Crate and Barrel both have great selections of containers that are reasonably priced and will transform your pantry pandemonium to a pretty peacefulness in no time.
Consider organizing your pantry by category such as (a) canned goods, (b) items that you use regularly, (c) flours and baking products, (d) rice, pasta and grains, (e) snacks and miscellaneous items and (f) dog or cat food. Make sure you can see most items so they don’t get lost and expire before you can use them.
Cooking can be fun and easy, especially if you and your pantry are organized. Now buy some new cookbooks, designate a shelf in your pantry for them and start experimenting with new recipes and seasonings!
Photo by Chalon Handmade.