Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday's Household Assignment- Pantry

School started today!!!! I ran up to school and then came home to tackle the task I always do the first week of school.....clean and organize my pantry!

I have a good size pantry and usually muck it out 3 times a year. The first week of school (which cleans up after a summer of kids shoving things in), The first week of December (to get ready for the holidays) and then right after spring break in April. Cleaning out your pantry on a regular basis helps save money by reminding you of items that you have that you might have forgotten you had so that you can use them up, it weeds out any expired food that could be unhealthy to consume and just plain old makes you feel good when you look in and see it all in order.

Here is how I suggest you clean and organize your pantry.
  • To start with, get a large trash bag and a folding table. I set up the folding table right outside the door and the trash can next to that. Start at the top of pantry and work your way down.
  • Remove everything from the top shelf and place it on the table.
  • Wipe down the shelf and then sort through the items you removed, checking dates and contents. Anything that has expired throw away, combine other items if you have a couple of half containers.
  • Place the items back on the shelf with the oldest items in front so that they'll get used up first and the newer ones behind those.
I arrange my pantry by categories. Baking Ingredients, Cereals, salty snacks, sweet snacks, canned fruits and all juices, Nut butters, jelly and honey, Pasta and sauces, rice and beans, Asian, Drink mixes, and condiments.

HINT: Try using baskets and bins to keep smaller items together. For example; I have a plastic shoe boxes for chocolate chips and baking chocolate, one for nuts, coconut and baking candies, and one for crisco.

Try using large bin for pastas, a bin for rice and beans, a bin for condiments, and a bin for dry seasoning. None of my bins match but it's my pantry- who cares!! Sorry the photos are so bad.

One thing that I find really handy, I have an airtight tub that I keep all of my bread making ingredients and bread recipes in. That makes it easy to pull out and have everything that I need to make a batch of bread with.

Here are two interesting questions that came up as I cleaned my pantry today.

  1. How is it possible, when I do this every 3 to 4 months, that every single time, I find one or two items that expired years ago? This time I found a can of peaches that had expired in 2005 and a bottle of ranch that had expired in 2007? Are expired foods sneaking into the pantry in the middle of the night? I really do look at every single can and box before putting it away. I have a good friend who has this same Twilight Zone experience every time she cleans her pantry.
  2. Why were there at least 6 EMPTY boxes in the pantry? Who puts away an empty box? I bet it was the same person who put away the empty milk carton this morning.
Have fun cleaning yours out and let me know what the oldest item that has expired in your pantry is.


JosiahsMommy said...

Wow!! Not only am I a little jealous of how your pantry looks, but it's so big! We are so challenged for storage space in our kitchen. I am going to pretend I have your pantry. Lol. Thanks for being brave enough to share pictures.

Sandy said...

I do this quite it always seems to get so messy & cluttered..LOL! Great tips--thanks! :D

The Crazy Coxes said...

Oh my gosh! We went to the same Pantry cleaning out school! I too use shoe boxes for smaller items! Who woulda thought that we do it the same way? :)

Veronica Lee said...

Those are neat tips!! Thanks for sharing!!

Faith Imagined said...

I just had a new pantry built a couple days ago. I am going to try to organize it like yours but i stress the word 'try'!!!

I love the sunset pictures!

Suzanne said...

You inspire me! I need to do this. It amazes me how quickly it gets out of hand. Thanks for the cleaning tips. And I love your daily photos. I might do this...great idea!