5 Easy Steps to Cleaning Out Your Disastrous Pantry in Minutes

Hot List 7

PantryJust like massive football linebackers, your kitchen pantry can be one horrific thing to try and tackle. OK, so the joke is lame -- but in all seriousness, standing in front of a chock-full cabinet, organizing and cleaning out the shelves isn't exactly anyone's idea of the perfect Sunday afternoon activity.

Nevertheless, it has to get done every once in a while. Things goop and gob, jars get shelved again that have nothing left inside, and let's be real -- that can of soup you don't even like that you bought solely for the fact that it was 25 cents? Yeah, you don't need that anymore.

Check out these 5 painless tips for cleaning out your pantry in minutes:

1. Start by throwing out anything expired: It's not worth your or your child's health to eat that two-week-old can of black beans. The can costs you $1.25 at the store, splurge for a new one.

2. Toss the "never gonna eat this" items: You know exactly what I mean, I know you do. Example A: That can of water chestnuts that's been there for two years just in case you choose to make an Asian stir-fry. If you haven't made it in two years, you won't be making it next week. Other items to toss: Things you don't actually like that you bought on sale, items that were once part of a Christmas gift basket you have no desire to eat.

3. Take everything out and place it on the counter: This is so you can get to the nitty gritty, the goo. Use a sponge soaked in warm soapy water to remove grit and dirt from the shelves. Wipe them down with a paper towel.

4. Line the shelves with contact paper: This will save you a MAJOR headache the next time around. Clear contact paper, which can be as cheap as $2 at your local grocery store, will be unseen and protects your shelves. Instead of scrubbing the grossness next time, you'll be able to simply peel it away.

5. Rearrange by category: Put all the snacks in one place (ideally far away from kids' reach), the cereals in another, and your canned goods somewhere else. Categorizing your items will make it SUPER easy to find things when you really need them.

How do you organize your pantry? Do you have any tips or tricks?


Image via amichiganmom/Flickr

chores, storage, kitchen


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momav... momavanessa

I need to clean out my pantry bad!! LOL

manda... mandaschelle

I used clear shoe bins from Walmart $0.50 each to sort items into categories Baking Pasta Cannedgoods etc. the ones I use most are at eye level the ones I use least are on the top shelf.

handy... handy0318

One thing I would do is to never just toss food that isn't going to be eaten, if it's still perfectly good.  Sure, toss the expired stuff, but  those food items that somehow wind up in the pantry even though nobody likes them can be donated to food pantries.  Just because one's family doesn't like them doesn't mean others can't use them.

Robyn Sweet

I organize the pantry by type of food; veggies, fruits, pasta, soup, side dishes, etc. The snack items (like crackers, chips, etc.) are in individual baggies (perfect snack sizes) and placed in an over the door shoe holder so the kids can see the items and pick what they want.

MNCak... MNCakeMakerMom

When you get new items, rotate your stock and put the new stuff in the back and bring the oldest stuff to the front. That way you won't be having expired items.

Lowry... LowryCuisine

Number 2 is a halfway bust for me. I have items that were bought in bulk that I may not need or use all the time, but when I do need them I don't have to run to the store in the middle of cooking. Example - specialty flours and rices.

catng... catngabsmom

I do this weekly and only buy a specialty ingredient when it is on the menu. A pantry that looks like that would make me insane!!

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