5 steps to spring clean your pantry
Despite your best intentions, having many hands grabbing for food each day can put your pantry in a state of disarray. But it's that wonderful time of the year when a refresh is in order, and getting your pantry back in ship-shape is easy when you have a step-by-step plan. Try out these top tips to spring clean your pantry.
Spring cleaning pantry checklist
These basic steps are all you need to follow to get your pantry in order. Some steps require prep beforehand, like getting labels and containers ready, so we recommend preparing for your spring clean before you start pulling out the contents of your pantry!
1. Clear the Deck
It may seem like a mammoth task, but creating a clean slate will make the whole process much easier.
Take everything out and wipe down each shelf before you start replacing items.
Vacuum or wipe down any storage baskets and containers while you’re there.
2. Sort the Pile
As you’re pulling out items from the pantry, arrange them in groups. We find the following categories are a good place to start, and you can add categories for your own list:
- Canned goods
- Dried goods (pasta, noodles, beans and grains)
- Baking goods
- Tea, coffee and drinks
- Dry produce (potatoes, garlic, onions etc.)
Tidy up your items as you go, giving them a wipe or dust down as needed.
3. Gift or Donate Unwanted Items
Take a good hard look at your items and assess whether you’ll actually use them. If you don’t think you will use something, put it aside.
Toss anything that’s clearly expired, and consider donating or gifting unwanted food (that’s unopened and in good condition, of course) to a food charity like Foodbank
or a friend. One cook’s chopped liver is another’s foie gras!
This is a good time to consider how old some of your perishables are, such as spices, baking soda and baking powder. These items usually lose their potency after a year or two.
4. Label and Date
It’s very easy to end up with unmarked bottles of mystery items in the back of your pantry - take a moment to identify those items and give them a label and a date.
Whenever you add to your pantry, take an extra minute to label and date those items to save you time in the long run.
5. Repackage and Refill
Investing in airtight containers is not only satisfying aesthetically, it will also help your dried goods stay fresher for longer. It’s a win-win.
Choose clear containers for easy identification, or those with changeable labels. Once you've repackaged your goods, time to put them back in the pantry, taking note of anything you need to replace.
Place items you use often towards eye level. like sauces, spreads, teas, coffee and oil. Place dry produce and heavy items like potatoes, onions and cans towards the bottom, and baking goods towards the top.
Congratulations! Your pantry is now stocked and organised, with no more stale odds and ends. After all that, your pantry is now ready for some heavy duty usage for your spring cooking. Check out some spring recipes below, or keep the cleaning going with these 5 top freezer organisation hacks