Whether you have a formal pantry or a couple of food cabinets, this space in the kitchen frequently becomes a black hole for abandoned food. Common culprits include half-opened packages, expired food, take-out packets, leftover liquor, and old candy. Since food goes into our bodies, keeping the pantry full of fresh food is an investment in our health as well as in the order of our space.
To do this right, empty the contents out onto a counter or island with good lighting. Group like items together. Trash anything your family isn’t eating (no matter the reason!). Check expiration dates, and pitch anything that is beyond its date. Wipe down the shelves. Before returning food to the space, consider adding shelf risers, turntables, and/or pantry bins to improve the functionality of the space.
If clearing your entire pantry at one time feels intimidating, you can break this process down into chunks. For example, review one shelf a day. In a week or two it will be finished!
When is the last time you reviewed your food storage and did a clear out?