Monday, April 13, 2015

Kitchen Tip: spring cleaning a pantry

At least twice a year, I'd go through my pantry and rearrange pantry goodies. Depending on how the pantry is setup, I really have to think of how to utilize each shelf and each corner to the max. I mainly want to keep everything neat and clean and not so much of organizing anything. This is why I usually end up going through my pantry when I get super irritated with "where's this?" or "where's that?"

When I step into my pantry and look up, I can imagine so many more shelves. Guess what? I asked a guy to estimate how much it would cost to put up maybe one more shelf across the pantry. Three hundred bucks. WHAT??? No, thanks. I bought a few stackable baskets from Walmart and have been using them to store my baking supplies, such as cupcake liners. Bags of chips fit in the baskets perfectly. Easy to view too. Oh the basket was only five bucks each. Take that, Mr. Handyman!

The middle shelves are much easier to view. With these shelves, I store mostly foods such as dry pasta or noodles. Nuts do go into mason jars, labeled each jar of the day I open the packages. Nuts are tricky to store because they get so oily and taste kinda "blah" after a month. I definitely make sure I use nuts regularly. Use Sharpie to write the dates as they can be scrub off easily with stainless steel wools. The hanging shelf basket for the napkins that I pack for Brek's lunchbox is also another way to utilize more pantry space.

The bottom shelves of my pantry are really deep... and dark. I can't hardly see things that store in the back of these shelves. I usually store pans or containers that I don't use often. Baskets are a must. I use them to store plastic containers (highly recommend Lock-N-Lock containers), open packages of snacks, and paper or plastic utensils. One of these days, I'll make labels for these baskets.

Now all I have to do each time I decide to spring cleaning my pantry is to group the same items together. I take everything out of each shelf, starting from the top. Wiping down each shelf with damp cloth and then dry cloth before placing everything back where they belong. Before I know it, everything has its home. Most of the time, I'd end up with at least a bag full of garbage of expired foods, half eaten open bags of chips, or just empty boxes.

You know what, it doesn't have to be Spring time to spring cleaning my pantry. To this day, Brek still tells me that he would luv to spring clean my pantry for free. My kids luv to clean. Next time, I'll have to make it a homeschool special event, follow with something sweeter. Hmm... maybe I should make my pantry messy again.... soon.

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