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31 Days to Clutter Free Challenge:: Day 12–Pantry

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Today’s Clutter Free Challenge is the pantry. As I was in the middle of cleaning out my pantry, I realized the importance of a clean and organized pantry. I found items I thought I didn’t have, and didn’t have items I thought I had on hand. Having a well-organized pantry is essential to menu planning, and will help you save money in the long run.

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 I’m going to share my tips and what I did to clean out my pantry::

  •  Start with one shelf, take everything out, and place it on a table or countertop.
  • As you are taking items out, check the expiration date on the food items. If the food items are expired, toss them.
  • Evaluate the items and see if they are items your family actually eats. If your family doesn’t eat them, put them in a donation pile. You can give it to someone, or donate to the food bank. {I found a jar of baby food stuffed in the back of my cabinet. My youngest doesn’t eat baby food, so I put it to the side to give to someone. If you purchased two boxes of cereal when they are buy one get one free, opened one, and didn’t like it, donate the 2nd unopened box. Don’t put the items your family doesn’t eat back in your pantry.}
  • Once you have one shelf cleared out, look at the items, and see what items are like/can be grouped together. Group the items together. {For example: On the first shelf I cleared, I had napkins, Ziploc Sandwich bags, Hefty quart size storage bags,  a couple boxes of toothpicks, Gerber Graduate Lil’ Entrees, and mustard. I put the Lil’ Entrees in one stack. Then I saw I could group together all the storage bags, napkins, and toothpicks, so I put them together on the empty shelf. I placed the mustard by itself since I didn’t have any other condiment items.}
  • If you have big bags of staples like rice & cereal, see if they would fit better in an air tight container. If so, get an air tight container to store them in. These items will stay fresher longer this way too.
  • Repeat this process on the second shelf. As you take the items off (that have not expired), see if these items fit into any of the small piles you have started or start a new one if you need to.
  • As you go through this process, you will start noticing you have less piles on your table and you’re able to put more away.
  • Once you have everything organized, label the shelves and/or containers. This way everyone in the family can help put items away in the proper place. {I didn’t get my labeling done because the batteries in my label maker died. Boo!}

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This whole process took me a couple of hours; however, my pantry was a hot mess! How did your pantry decluttering and organization go? Do you have any tips to add?

If you missed an assignment, you can catch up here. It’s OK if you got a little behind. Commit to working on it an extra 10 minutes a day to get caught up or to complete a really big decluttering task. If you want to work on decluttering and want all the 31 days at one time, you can see it.

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