There is a saying that a cluttered home means a cluttered mind, and lifestyle experts talk about the importance of decluttering your home and the benefits that this will have for you. One area of a house that people often let get cluttered is the pantry. This can make it hard to find things, waste your time, and lead to waste when you forget what you have in the back of your pantry. Some people put off decluttering their pantry as they think it will take a long time and make little difference to their lives. However, it is easier than you think, and you will find it very beneficial in the long run. Here are the best tips for decluttering your pantry to get you started on this task.
Take It a Step at a Time
Some people find the thought of cleaning out a pantry an overwhelming task, especially if the pantry is large or contains years of clutter. Home Storage Solutions recommends not overwhelming yourself taking things one step at a time. Start decluttering one shelf at a time, or set aside 15 minutes a day to spend decluttering until you have completed the task. Many people find it easier if a task is divided into small chunks.
Check the Dates
If you have forgotten what is in your pantry, then it is likely that you have items at the back that have gone out of date. The first step is to check the dates on the contents of the pantry. Get rid of anything that is past its expiry date.
Donate Unused Items
Most people are guilty of taking advantage of offers, even if the offer is on a product that they have never tried before and do not know if it is something they will like, After trying one of the items, they realize they do not like it and the rest of the goods are left in the pantry unused. If this is something that you have done, then get rid of the unused items to free up some space. Don’t throw food away if it is within its expiry date. Instead, consider giving some of the food to local food banks or charities. There are plenty of people in need who will benefit from your unwanted items.
Organize the Contents
Organizing the contents of your pantry can free up more space than you would imagine. Divide up the space in your pantry into sections, such as an area for dried goods, another for canned food, and a further section for packets or condiments. As you go through this process, check to see if you have two packs of the same item open, such as dried pasta, and put them into one container together. This will tidy up the pantry and make it easier to find things as you need them, thus saving you time.
A fantastic way to add some order to your pantry is to use labeled containers, says Decluttering Your Life. If you bulk buy dried goods, then using containers is a fantastic way of reducing the clutter in your pantry. Lining up several packets of pulses, rice, or pasta will take up space on the shelves. A space-saving alternative is to buy tall containers that you can decant each of the products into, thus taking up less shelf space and making better use of the space above. Don’t forget to rotate the products, so you need to empty out the contents before adding new food and then put the older goods on top.
Similarly, you can use old takeaway tubs to keep herbs and spices together in your cupboard. These often get lost behind larger items if you keep them separately, and you then buy duplicate products because you think you have run out. A handy tip is to put stickers on the fronts of the containers to identify the different products, which is particularly useful for products that look similar or if the containers are not transparent. You can also write on the dates when the containers were last refilled.
Make the Best Use of the Space Available
Reader’s Digest has some excellent tips for making the most of the space you have available. The upper sections of pantry shelves are often wasted, and this is space that you can use effectively for increased storage, consider adding racks or extra shelves so that no space is wasted. You can buy racks for this purpose, or you can adapt closet racks to fit the space. Using boxes turned on their side is also a nifty trick for those on a budget, as it creates lower compartments with shelves above.
Have a Quick Clean
As you go through the process of decluttering your pantry, take the opportunity to have a quick clean of the shelves. When a new space becomes clear, give it a spray with a disinfectant or antibacterial spray, and then wipe it down with a damp cloth. Give the surface a dry with a tea towel before returning the items to the cupboard. At the same time, wipe down any items that have gathered dust while they were stored in the cupboard.
Decluttering Your Pantry- The Final Verdict
Although decluttering your pantry may seem a daunting task, it will benefit you in the long-run. Using the best tips for decluttering a pantry will save you time, make it easier to find the things you need, and free up space. Just some of the steps you should take when decluttering your pantry include getting rid of out of date food, donating unwanted items, organizing the pantry into sections, and cleaning the shelves. You can also use labeled containers to keep the same items together and make the most of unused space by adding racks. By using these tips, you will find that decluttering your pantry wasn’t the ordeal you had expected, and you will have an organized pantry with everything to hand.