As the heart of the home, there’s no denying that the kitchen is especially prone to clutter, and the pantry is often the first place to get out of hand. From half-empty packets of pasta and chicken stock that expired six months ago, to poorly-labelled containers that you’ve long since forgotten about, it can become a real mess. Tackle the clutter head on and restore your pantry to its former glory with these simple steps.
The best place to start is by familiarising yourself with the task at hand. Pull everything out of your pantry or cupboards so you can see what you’re working with and evaluate what’s worth keeping and what needs to go. Like with all decluttering tasks – the best solution is to evaluate whether you’ve used the item in the last year, and if not – it’s time for it to go! The same goes for dinner settings or glassware that you may have been gifted or inherited from a relative. Check expiry dates on all food items and bin anything that looks a little off.
Before you start putting things back into your cupboard, wipe down the shelves and other surfaces with a damp cloth and a mild cleaning product. Dirt and grime builds up over time, especially in the pantry where you store food.
Before you start putting everything back into your pantry, it’s worthwhile investing in some good quality storage options. This will ensure things stay more organised and prevent you from having to clean it again in a few weeks’ time. There’s nothing more satisfying than shelves of matching canisters and containers neatly lined up in a row, labelled with their contents.
For the environmentally-savvy types, there are plenty of beautiful non-plastic options available. Glass canisters or jars are great for holding nuts, pasta, rice, biscuits and cooking ingredients like flour and sugar, and also make it easy to detect what’s inside.
Wire baskets and portable shelves are handy to create additional storage at the foot of your pantry to hold loose items such as onions and potatoes.
Now that you’ve sifted through all of the junk and disposed of anything that you no longer need, you can begin the task of restacking the pantry. Stacking everything neatly and easy to reach, will ensure that things stay neat and tidy.
Arrange it in a logical fashion – storing spices and condiments in one section, and boxes neatly lined up next to each other.