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Spring Cleaning: Pantry Purging & Organizing
We are partnering with Coupons.com (my shopping best friend) to share our tips for a neater pantry and have some great discounts to help you get the yummiest and cleanest cupboard of them all!
The pantry is the hub of our home. It is the first place my kids head to in the morning and the first place they go after school, so as a result, our pantry is always a little unorganized. Frankly, it is often hard to find things in there!
Suzanne Willett of Clutter Ninja recommends the FIFO system with regard to any food in your home. “The first in, first out system (FIFO) should be top of mind whenever you are putting food away. I cannot tell you how many times I pull hundreds of dollars of expired or stale food from a client’s pantry because they just didn’t know it was there or they couldn’t see it. People should always organize by category: grains and pastas, chips and crackers, breakfasts, etc. This also makes it much easier to create a grocery list and not re-buy things that you already have. I also tell everyone to contain it all so that there is no loose stuff. Loose things tend to get moved, fall or just disappear. A little organization can make your life so much easier.”
Thankfully spring is here, which means our pantry gets purged and organized. Here is our plan of attack for purging and organizing our pantry.
- Clean it out. Start by dusting and cleaning the shelves. What works best for us is taking everything out of our pantry and only putting back what we need and/or will eat. Then, we wipe down the shelves with a damp cloth after removing crumbs and anything else that can be thrown away.
- Grab your open items. We have several open bags/boxes of pasta, cereal, spices and more. In fact, we had three open boxes of spaghetti! We combined several bags and threw away other things like cereals that were stale.
- Pay close attention to expiration dates and get rid of expired food. We are fanatics about not eating any expired foods. I check dates on everything, especially canned foods. Real Simple shares, “According to the USDA, high-acid canned goods, like tomatoes and citrus fruits, will keep for up to 1½ years. Low-acid canned goods—that’s pretty much everything else, including vegetables, meat, and fish—will last for up to 5 years. Canned foods are sterile, so they won’t host bacteria, but eventually the taste and texture of the items inside will deteriorate. Keep them at room temperature in a dark place, like a cabinet or a pantry.”
- Create categories or zones. This makes it much easier to find what you are looking for and the categories should be something that everyone knows. Our categories are: Snacks, Baking, Beverages, Breakfast, Pets, Sauces and Meals. Everything in our pantry falls into one of these categories.
- Keep items for your kids at their eye level. Keeping snacks at eye level for your children makes them easy to grab and creates less mess. Kids will not be rummaging around or trying to climb the shelves to get their Fruit by the Foot (save 50 cents on two (2) right now) when they can reach what they want right away.
- Give it a specific place. We use these handy organizers from the container store for fruit snacks and other items that are kid favorites. Getting the right containers for your pantry organization project is key, and you can find everything that you need at The Container Store.
- Make it visible and consider labels. Although this kind of goes along with #5, it is also helpful for adults to be able to see what is in the pantry. I cannot tell you how many times I purchased more pasta because I thought that we had run out. The photo below/above shows how our canned and boxed items can be seen at a glance! I can easily grab Hamburger Helper or Hormel Chili (Save 55 cents on any two (2) HORMEL® Chili products) and create a dinner in just a few minutes.
For a clean pantry, our rule of thumb is: If you can see it and grab it with one hand, then your organization is working. Once you have purged and organized, it is time to stock up. Coupons.com helps me fill the pantry shelves with the brands my family loves, and we stocked up on some of our favorite foods (also our pantry staples) and now you can too:
Want more pantry organization inspiration? Check out the Blogger Spaces: Organized Pantry Round-Up! on iheart organizing. And don’t forget to visit Coupons.com to snatch up great deals and discounts on all your favorite pantry brands!
How you would organize your pantry and/or food?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Coupons.com.