This post is part of a short series about my summer adventure in closet organization. To read the previous post in the series, click here.
Ohhhh, the pantry.
Can someone please explain to me how, despite the fact we clean out our pantry every six months, we still have food that expired three years ago?!
If so, please tell me the secret…because currently, my only theory is that we are purchasing expired food, and that’s just gross.
As we embarked on cleaning out the pantry last week, the majority of what we did consisted of just that: tossing expired food. LOTS of expired food. Which leads me to a preventative measure Mike and I agreed upon and that I would like to recommend to any readers out there: don’t buy food (other than basic staples like flour, sugar, dry pasta, rice, etc.) you aren’t planning to use within the next 1-2 weeks. Of course, this means you need a plan — you can check out Mike’s meal planning system in this post — which, to be honest, we have slacked on lately in light of summer vacation. As a result, we start buying random snack food at the grocery store that never gets eaten, which is just so wasteful! Sigh. Next week is a new week.
Basically, in a nutshell, we plan to change our buying habits with the hope that, come December when we undergo this crazy mess yet again, it will take far less time.
Speaking of crazy mess…
Um, yeah. I don’t have any “before” pictures because this closet clean-up happened rather organically, so to speak; Mike was in the pantry looking for something, we both got frustrated with the clutter, and before we knew it, the whole kitchen just…exploded! The “during” pictures are actually much scarier than the “before” pictures would have been, had I taken them, but that just goes to show that, when organizing, things get worse before they get better. You gotta just live with some momentary chaos, my friends!
Again, we followed our principle I talked about in my previous organization post: go through everything first, then purchase any organizational systems or bins you need, and finally, put everything away.
The momentary chaos proved to be worth it! We only purchased a few items: an under-cabinet drip tray for our panini press and toaster (they tend to make a mess in the pantry) and a basket for all our nuts (clarification: almonds, pistachios, pecans, etc. — you sicko!). We also got some super-fun chalkboard stickers (similar) from Fred Meyer to label all of our dry goods — we wouldn’t want to, you know, mix up orzo and rice or something terrible like that!
Next stop? The coat closet!
What tips do you have for keeping your pantry under control?