If you have a hard time staying organized all year long, spring is the perfect time to hit the reset button. Spring cleaning can get overwhelming, so focus on one space at a time to keep it manageable! Our favorite spot to start with is the pantry, since it’s a daily hotspot for every home. Follow these 5 simple steps, to give your spring up your space.
1. Clear + Clean
The first of order of business is to take EVERYTHING off your shelves. Whether you have a small cabinet, or a walk-in pantry, it’s important to spread the contents in front of you. (Tip: If you have an extra large pantry, unload it in sections so that you don’t end-up surrounded by too many piles!)
Once everything is out of your pantry -- clean it! A quick wipe down and vacuum once a year will get rid of crumbs, spills, and any drips from your honey jar.
Editing is the most important part of the organizing process. It helps you weed out the items you no longer want or use, and creates more space for the things you love. Before you start purging, take a minute to group all your items into categories. Once you’ve paired all the like-items you’ll be able to clearly see duplicates, nearly-empty bags, and stale snacks. Make a point to use the excess items, and remove the ones that are no longer worth keeping. And, don’t throw out non-perishables that are still good. Be sure to donate canned or boxed goods to your local food bank or religious center.
While you’re editing the contents of your pantry, be on the look-out for any seasonal food. Christmas cookies, Halloween candy, Valentine's Day chocolate -- if the holiday has come and gone, toss it! This will clear out clutter and keep your food current.
Dry baking ingredients should generally be replaced once a year -- so make this a pantry priority each spring. Baking staples like flour and flax can not only be prone to pests, but many contain oils which can turn. Always remember that items with wheat, grains, and nuts have oil, and oil spoils!
5. Expiration Dates
Checking expiration dates will shock you. You may be holding onto canned goods that expired months or even years ago. Take the time to spot check your canned goods, jars, condiments, and spices. You’ll end-up realizing what you actually use, what you have duplicates of, and what you over-buy at the grocery store. We all buy food with good intentions, but expiration dates politely tell you when it’s time to let it go.
Now that you’ve done all the categorizing, cleaning, and checking -- you can place everything neatly back on the shelves Tip: We recommend using bins, baskets, or containers of your preference to ensure each item has a home. This also allows you to see food
Doing this once a year will not only help you stay organized, but it will train you to use the food you buy and buy only what you use. By using that approach, you’ll be able to maintain your pantry until the next deep clean!