Many of us don’t have time to gut the entire pantry and wipe down, sort, organize, and replace items in one sitting. For many of us with little ones underfoot, this is just not possible. However, cleaning and freshening up your pantry one step at a time for just 15 minutes is doable! As you tackle these 3 simple tips be sure and wipe down your shelves as you go.
Tip 1 – One tip I learned from Martha Stewart years ago, was to clean out & replace my dry baking ingredients once a year and spring is a perfect time to do this. Baking staples like flour and flax can not only be prone to pests, but many contain oils which can turn. Remember that items with wheat, grains, and nuts have oil, and oil does spoil.
Check dates on anything baking related. Toss those last few random cupcake liners, stray recycled birthday candles, old cookie sprinkles, cookie cutters that you don’t use and double check dates on baking chocolate and any other ingredients you use to bake.
Tip 2 – I also do something every so often that Martha Stewart calls “Editing”. I call it quick purging. Martha says it is the most important part of the organizing process because it helps you weed out the items you no longer want or use, and creates more space for the things you love.
Set a timer for 15 minutes. Scan quickly and grab nearly-empty cereal, cracker and snack boxes. Grab any loose ziploc bags, old holiday candy (including candy wrappers left by those closet pantry sneaky eaters-ha)
Now, make a point to use the excess items and toss the ones that are no longer worth keeping.
Tip 3 – Get your timer ready and set it for 15 minutes.
The first 15 minutes, go through and look at all the expiration/best buy dates of all of your canned and jarred goods. If you are able, go ahead and group them together. This doesn’t have to be the final landing space for them, but you are making steps so when you do gut the pantry, the job won’t be so huge.
Set your timer for another 15 minutes right after or later in the day and this time you are going to move things around and wipe down shelves and bottoms of cans/jars. Get that sticky honey jar area clean, spilled rice, beans and cereal. Or in my pantry, the petrified Annie’s gummy bunnies that fell out of the packets that someone was sneaking to eat. Lol.
That’s it. Listen, this isn’t the same as taking everything out and cleaning and reorganizing, but if you are pressed for time to get big tasks done, take the little bit at a time approach and you will get there. The reward is in the little steps during this season of life as a mom with littles or if your life is super, crazy busy right now.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you tried this and give you a virtual high five! You got this!