According to my “Keeping A Clean Home” Printable, I am due for a good seasonal pantry cleaning. It is perfect timing as the holidays are coming, so I need to see what I have and make room for the holiday cooking and baking items I need.
I will have people all up in my kitchen, opening cupboards and helping me prepare—talk about motivating! I love having a full kitchen during the holidays, but I don’t want to cringe when someone opens my pantry or cabinets! I know you feel me.
It will also be very helpful to know exactly what I have in my pantry when I am holiday menu planning, and really just meal planning in general. I get so frustrated when I buy an item just to come home and discover I already have it. Wasted time, space and money!
Speaking of money, having an organized pantry really does help save money. Not only will you buy less duplicates, but if you make sure all foods are in containers or airtight, they will last longer and you will have less waste. We definitely are better at eating up the food we already have when we can clearly see what is there, which keeps us from grabbing food on the go or wanting to order food in. All big-time money savers.
Last summer I made and shared with you this super helpful “Keeping a Clean Home” printable checklist. It divides tasks into Every Day, Once a Week, Once a Month, Once a Season, and Once a Year. This checklist allows me to focus in, know exactly where I am at and what needs done.
The chart is keeping me on track and I’m slowly working through it. I’m pretty good at the Daily, Weekly, & Monthly lists. It’s the Seasonal and Yearly lists that I really need to zero in on, which I have actually been doing! The list is on my refrigerator and I have about half of those Seasonal and Yearly items crossed off.
Would you like to print one out for yourself too?
5 Steps To A Clean Pantry
1. Remove Everything From Your Pantry
This will allow you to see what you are working with, what needs to go, and clear your pantry for a good clean wipe down. This step is always entertaining, as I find all kinds of items that I didn’t know I had! I get inspired and a bit giddy about all of the possibilities of fun food I can make with the treasures I find.
2. Sort and Toss
Go through the items, start putting ‘like’ items together, then toss, toss, toss! Say goodbye to old, expired items. Don’t be afraid to get rid of items you won’t use, even if they are not expired. Donate them if you don’t want to throw them out. Use a critical eye and don’t keep anything you won’t use.
This is a good time to get rid of spices that are older than a year and bulk items that you have no idea when they expire or when you purchased them.
Think “like with like.” Use the way a grocery store organizes their food as guide to organize yours. Decide if you want to create stations, like a baking station, breakfast station or snack station. I personally always have a nuts and seeds station and an ‘oatmeal toppings’ station, as these are foods I eat everyday and it is convenient to have them all gathered together in a specific area.
Cleaning will be a breeze with all your items out of the way. I used my DIY All-Purpose Lemon cleaner and paper towels from Viva to unleash clean in my pantry. I like using Viva Vantage because it has a scrubby texture like a terry-cloth, that is great for cleaning anything that is stuck on shelves and cabinets. They are so strong and durable that you can actually wring them out and reuse them several times! I used Viva Vantage to wipe the bottoms of my food containers and jars before placing them back in the pantry.
As you can see in the picture below, Viva not only sells textured Viva Vantage towels, but also Viva towels which have a signature soft and smooth texture, almost like an undershirt material. They are amazingly absorbent and won’t leave any residue behind. I like to use these to dry my jars and dust the tops of cans. I also use these to dry my shelves completely before returning items.
DIY All-Purpose Lemon Cleaner
1/2 c white vinegar | juice of one lemon | 2 c water
Stir to combine. Put in spray bottle.
Use the dusting vacuum attachment to get all hard-to-reach crumbs from the corners and any that fell to the floor. Now is the time to be thorough, since this is a seasonal cleaning.
5. Return Items
This is the most fun and satisfying part. Put your organized, wiped and grouped items back. Keep beauty in mind as you are arranging them on the shelves. If you use storage containers, keep them similar in color. My favorite storage containers are mason jars. I love being able to see what is inside and they look so darn cute. I also have a few favorite containers to coral smaller items. Keep it simple, keep it beautiful, and label only if it is your ‘thing.’
Now your pantry is clean and ready for the holidays. Hopefully you have created extra room to hold all of those holiday groceries and store holiday leftovers.
How often do you clean out your pantry?
Are you having holiday guests this year?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.