Spring Cleaning: Pantry Purging & Organizing - Divine Lifestyle

Spring Cleaning: Pantry Purging & Organizing

Tracking PixelHow to Organize & Purge Pantry

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!

Coupons.com Pantry Purge BeforePantry Picture

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.Coupons.com Pantry Purge Expired Picture
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.Coupons.com Laurel Fruit by the Foot
  5. 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.Coupons.com Pantry Purge FruitByTheFoot Snack Container
  6. 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.Coupons.com Pantry Purge Pasta
  7. 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.

Coupons.com Pantry Purge Final 2-2

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:


Chex Muddy Buddies: Save $.50 when you buy two bags of any 3.7 oz. or larger Chex Mix™, Chex Mix™ Muddy Buddies™, Chex Mix™ Popped™, Chex Mix Xtreme™

Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot / Fruit Gushers / Fruit Snacks: Save $.50 when you buy two boxes of any flavor/variety Betty Crocker® Fruit Shapes, Fruit by the Foot®, Fruit Gushers®

Planters Peanuts: Save $1 on any one Planters Nuts 7.5 – 18.75 oz


Lucky Charms (in the fabulous throw back box): Save $.50 when you buy one box of Lucky Charms® cereal

Krave Cereal: Save $.50 on any one Kellogg's Krave® Cereal (11 oz. or Larger, Any Flavor)

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios: Save $1 when you buy any two boxes of Cheerios™ cereals listed: Frosted Cheerios™, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios™, Banana Nut Cheerios™


Hamburger Helper: Save $.80 when you buy four boxes of any flavor Helper™ Skillet Dishes (excludes Ultimate Helper™)

Campbell’s Soups: Save $.75 cents on any one Campbell's® Soups for Easy Cooking (Walmart)

Hormel Chili: – Save $.55 cents on the purchase of any two HORMEL® Chili products

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.

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73 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I don’t have a pantry, but my cabinets could use a good purging. Stuff gets pushed to the back all the time.

  2. Your pantry looks well stocked. My build-in pantry has the shelves that pull out so I can see at a glance what I need to purchase. I keep canned goods on one shelf, baking goods on one, etc. I try to keep it organized. These are all good tips to help me do an even better job.

  3. Thanks so much for the tips. I really need to organize my pantry, I can’t find anything so your rule of thumb tells me it’s time to get busy.

  4. CourtneyLynne

    Ahhhhh this reminds me that I need to tackle my baking supplies cupboard in my kitchen!! It can get pretty messy with all the cooking I do 😉

  5. My pantry is the one place that is normally organized and up to date without any expired food. I keep a pretty good system going on for myself 🙂

  6. This post is perfect for me…I am in desperate need of a pantry makeover!

  7. I really need to organize my pantry. It is such a crazy mess.

  8. ellen beck

    I clean ours out every couplle of months. I am a couponer and am now and again lucky enough to win free coupons. Normally, I can donate things we have too much of (an example is i had a really good coupon for salad dressing and it made it a freebie) I saved some and gave the rest to friends and the food bank.
    One thing that helps me is as I get things, I put them behind like things so the first out is the older stuff.

  9. Thanks for including me on your article, Stacie! The pantry looks great! Especially with a busy family, labels can be a key to making sure everyone knows exactly where each item belongs!

  10. We really need to re-organize our pantry and that’s actually on our list when we start our spring cleaning. I wish I had a pantry of that size though.

  11. We are horrible with our pantry, we just have so many things especially spices! I think I’ll use a few of your ideas when I clean it out.

  12. I did a pantry clean out after Christmas and it was ridiculous!! I hadn’t cleaned the poor thing out since I moved in nearly four years ago! HA!

  13. These are really good ideas. It’s so easy for me to let my food pantry to get out of hand.

  14. Wowoweee, you have such a big pantry. We only buy small amount of things that we need so we rarely have expired products.

  15. Victoria

    Looking in your pantry was like looking in my cabinets. I think we like a lot of the same things. lol

  16. Elizabeth O.

    So envious of your pantry! It’s so organized and neat! I wanna fix mine too!

  17. This is something I do every week, I take a look and see what is not needed anymore or is too old; I’m a clean freak!

  18. These are great tips!! I always try to write expiration dates on the outside of packages for easy identification and rotation.

  19. I’m completely jealous of how spacious and well organized your pantry is. We don’t have a pantry and it’s always such a bummer when we run out of places for food.

  20. The last time I organized our pantry, I got rid of expired items too. Now you reminded me to organize it again. It’s been a while since I did it. Life’s has been so hectic. 🙂

  21. This post makes me want to build a pantry in our spare closet, our cabinet space is horrible! But thankfully due to the lack of space our cabinets stay pretty organized.

  22. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    We don’t have a pantry, but my cabinets definitely need to be re-organized! Great tips.

  23. These are some great tips. It is time for Spring cleaning and I plan to get started this weekend. I know I have my work cut out for me but I am sure some of your tips will come in handy.

  24. Hey Stacie, I love an organized pantry – ours is just perfect for our needs – mostly because I did purge the open shelves and the cupboards – I do keep the snacks in the cupboards = so I don’t see them so often and want some – lol

  25. By using meal planning we drastically cut down on the size of our stash and what we buy. It all gets used in good time, now, which I love!

  26. Catherine S

    These are great tips. My husband does the cooking so he likes to organize the pantry. He has OCD issues and doesn’t let me put up the groceries.

  27. Julie Wood

    I have been cleaning out my pantry too and getting rid of old food! I try not to let myself waste any food products, but sometimes I can not help it! I like how nice your pantry looks!

  28. I need to organize our small little pantry. At least, I need to make the hubs do it 😉

  29. Yona Williams

    My Mom is currently going through her pantry so that she can donate the items she will most likely not use, and eat what is soon to be expired. It’s amazing what you find in the very back when cleaning out the cabinets and shelves in your kitchen.

  30. I only dream of having a pantry like this one day. As soon as I do I’ll know how to keep it organized.

  31. I really need to do this. I’m pretty sure I have a random can of something in my pantry from 2010. O_o

  32. Just like you, we also get rid of expired canned goods. We don’t get that a lot since we don’t buy a lot. Sometimes I forgot what I have though.

  33. Man, my pantry looks like a tornado hit it. I don’t want to deal with it so I keep putting it off and it keeps getting worse 🙁

  34. Oh my pantry… I don’t even want to look at it!!! It for sure needs a hand haha… or ten! Thanks for the coupon at the end!

  35. You have an enormous pantry! I would have loved these tips had we not just had a beetle climb into our pantry and make his home – I threw everything away!

  36. Bonnie @ wemake7

    I have shelving for our canned goods, pasta and cereals, and use cupboards for snacks and another cupboard for cooking supplies. Seems to work pretty good.

  37. I’ve had a pantry in my basement for quite some time and I use the FIFO system as well. My biggest issue is not remembering to look carefully in the pantry before I shop and buying duplicates. I LOVE your wooden shelves!

  38. Fantastic post! I’m a stickler for keeping things organized, specially my kitchen. I clean out my pantry every quarter and definitely toss the ones that are expired. I have never used Coupons.com, but thank you for pointing it out. Any savings helps 🙂

  39. I wish we had a pantry for our food. We struggle with storage due to space limitations. We have a few cabinets dedicated to food, and we store them by type: snacks and breakfast foods on bottom shelf, crackers and other on the top.

  40. I would be happy if mine even looked as good as your BEFORE picture! I have a really hard time throwing away cans of food that have expired. The really weird thing is … I won’t eat them either. Go figure!

  41. I don’t have a pantry. I wish I did. It would make shopping so much easier. I could buy when things are on sale. Especially now that we really have to budget.

  42. Our pantry is awful. This is wonderful to see. Your pantry is huge! Our cabinets and small pantry don’t compare! Thanks for the tips I can’t wait to purge!

  43. Your pantry is huge, I love it. The BEFORE even looks impressive. And I love how organized you have everything. We have a tall narrow pantry in our kitchen, which is perfect for the two of us but I do need to make it look nicer (some stuff is just thrown in). And I also want to get some glass mason-type jars to put our most-used stuff in (tea bags, sugar, etc).

  44. Ann Bacciaglia

    These are great tips for organizing. I really need to do my pantry. I will have to do it this weekend.

  45. This is perfect timing as our house is in need of a spring cleaning. There is no better place to start than in the pantry. Plus, this will give us an excuse to go back to the Container Store to buy more cool stuff.

  46. Great tips and what a difference! We did a similar pantry purge last fall and I was embarrassed by how many expired items we discovered. Now I try and rotate stock more often and make an effort to keep items organized so we never have another big job on our hands.

  47. I just did this with our medicine cupboard. You would not believe the amount of expired medicine I had to throw away. All organized now though!

  48. I really need to do this myself. Right now my pantry is so unorganized. Thanks for the tips.

  49. I’m purging the pantry this week too! SO many things need to be disposed of!

  50. I love it! And it’s funny cuz I just started cleaning up mine yesterday!

  51. Can you come to my house and help me? I think half the battle is just starting.

  52. I love Spring Cleaning. We just went through our cans and got rid of ones that were expired.

  53. These are all great tips to organize your pantry!! My kids seem to destroy mine in no time flat. We write expiration dates on the packages for food to make it easier to see that the item is close to expiration.

  54. My pantry has a bunch of dry goods and I keep them all in air tight containers. They really come in handy. Don’t have a lot of canned stuff but do like to keep what I have on hand organized!

  55. Tracey

    Now that is a stocked pantry. Smart idea to check for expiry of products. I know I have some items hiding in the back that are probably due for a spring cleaning.

  56. My pantry has gotten out of hand a few times in the past. I agree that it feels good to purge and organize!

  57. I am doing a house purge this week. I did the pantry last week. It’s so nice to get rid of unwanted items

  58. Debbie Denny

    Wow. I just did this. Surprising what I had in there.

  59. I could really use a spring clean. Great tips. Thank you for the share.

  60. Staying up on expiration dates is hard for me. i need to come up with a better system!

  61. I am slowly but surely purging the things in my pantry. I noticed you have a lot of things in your pantry that I have in mine, so it made your suggestions even easier. I definitely watch the expiration dates now, moving things that are near their end date to the shelf in the kitchen where it is more noticeable.

  62. Spring cleaning at it’s finest…the pantry! Thanks for the tips and inspiration to get that pantry of mine all spick and span and organized.

  63. Open items should not be stocked for a long time since they will lose their freshness and they can spoil too easily. Expired canned food should be thrown away immediately.

  64. Yikes, you just drew my eye to the elephant in my pantry closet that I have been ignoring. Your after picture looks awesome, great idea to move the kids snacks down low where they can be reached avoiding spills and climbing.

  65. Megan @ C'mon Get Crafty

    I’m itching to get my organizing on in my pantry – we have deep cupboards rather than a specific “pantry”, so I’m constantly reorganizing so everything can be seen.

  66. Wow, so organized! Whenever I organize I find my efforts are wasted as it’ll get messed up by others within minutes!

  67. Christy

    This is such a good idea to start spring cleaning. I do like to start in the kitchen.

  68. I so need to do this. Hubby purged the other week, but it is no where near organized. My biggest issue is organizing spices. I have so many that there are gadgets out there that would help me, LOL.

  69. Your pantry is huge! My pantry is a mess. Our pantry could use some serious organizing.

  70. This is awesome! First I love your pantry! I think it’s awesome and full of goodies! We don’t have a pantry but every month before we go food shopping we clean the fridge, freezer and cabinets out. Make sure everything is cleaned and organized. No expired food and all that! It’s important to stay into of these things. The more you stay onto of them the less of a job it becomes. =)

  71. great tips! i have a very small pantry + i see to it that everything is in its place, but i get very lazy sometimes + also needs to tidy up + organize. something on my list of things-to-do this summer break

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