Have you ever looked into your cupboard and wondered how in the world you ended up with so much stuff? It’s likely that at one time, you bought a few of those items on a whim but never used them. Now they are taking up valuable space in your home. Here are some tips to help organize your pantry and get rid of the food you don’t need.
- Get organized. Take an inventory of your pantry (and any cabinets, closets and drawers associated with it). Divide items into categories — breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc. Throw away anything that’s expired or past its “sell by” date; anything opened but never used; and any other food that’s not fresh. Be sure to toss perishables such as chips and cookies in airtight containers or plastic bags right away.
- Toss foods that have expired – Milk, eggs, and condiments can lose flavor or go bad after their expiration date. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Get rid of spices that are old or rotten – You should check them every few months by smelling them. If they don’t smell like much of anything anymore, then you’ll know it’s time to toss ’em!
- Empty out your pantry and give it a deep clean – Take everything out (even if you aren’t tossing anything) and wipe down the shelves with warm water and soap. If you can’t reach the back, use a sponge or a long-handled duster to clean there too.
- Consider donating it to a local soup kitchen or shelter if the expiration date isn’t too close. If the food is still good, someone else who needs it can put it to good use. If it’s not suitable for donation, consider taking it to a food bank for composting. Be sure to check with your local waste disposal service about rules for disposal.