pantryWe only have a little over a week to go before Thanksgiving, so if you haven't done it already, now is an ideal time to clear out your pantry and kitchen cabinets to make room for all of the yummy turkey day goodies that are about to fill your shelves.

Between everything you need for all of your delicious side dishes to extra space for pie crusts and baked goods to (of course) bottles of wine, getting everything put away after your shopping trip can be kind of a challenge if there isn't any space available.

Here are some great tips to help you efficiently and quickly make room for your Thanksgiving feast in your kitchen cabinets and pantry.

1. Start with dates -- It's ok, don't be embarrassed -- we all have boxes of cereal and crackers that have been in our pantries a bit too long. A good rule of thumb is if you bought it more than six months ago, it's probably time to pitch it. (And when in doubt, throw it out.)

2. Group items into categories -- One of the easiest ways to go about organizing your shelves is to categorize your foods into snacks, canned goods, pasta sauces, breakfast foods, baked goods, etc. You'll be amazed at how much room you'll free up simply by putting everything in its place.

3. Give back to others -- Back to the old "I haven't used this in six months" rule. Some products have a pretty long shelf life, but if you haven't cooked up those boxes of macaroni and cheese or eaten all those cans of beans yet, odds are good you aren't going to anytime soon. Why not collect all your canned goods and deliver them to your local food pantry to help give others a Happy Thanksgiving?

4. Kick small appliances to the curb -- Let me guess, your pantry/cabinets don't just include food, there's probably a Crock-Pot, blender, and panini maker in there too, right? Take those items out of the pantry and bring them down to the basement for the time being to give yourself some extra shelf space.

5. Simplify -- If you're anything like me, you probably hoard plastic bags and containers, and anything else you think you might reuse at a later date. At some point, however, your stash outgrows its designated space. Either find a way to use this stuff up, or head directly for your recycling bin.

What do you do to make room for Thanksgiving goodies?

 

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