It’s Spring and, for many of us, that means a spring clean is in order. Make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by taking it one room at a time, starting with the kitchen – one of the most used rooms in the house. Don’t have a lot of time but want to get going? The grocery cupboard (also known as the pantry) is a great place to start.
If you feel like you’re always buying food even though your grocery cupboard is full or that you can never find anything you need (or you find two or three of the same item in the back of the cupboard!), it’s time to get this space sorted.
HERE’S HOW TO SPRING CLEAN IN 20 MINUTES AND 5 EASY STEPS:
1. EMPTY OUT AND CLEAN UP
Take every item out of the cupboard and place it on the kitchen counter or the floor. An empty space will already make you feel better able to tackle the task at hand. Then, wipe down and carefully dry every shelf using appropriate cleaning products. A clean space is a happy space after all!
2. SORT OUT WHAT YOU’VE GOT
Go through each item from the cupboard and place them into either a ‘keep’ or ‘discard’ (for expired food) pile. Then further divide the ‘keep’ pile into sections or categories – you could go for tinned, dry, and whole foods or group them per food category or theme (for example, Asian, Italian etc.). Choose a system that works for you and place the items back in the cupboard in those groups. This will make it a lot easier to find what you need for a particular meal without having to go through the whole cupboard.
3. CREATE FOOD ‘ZONES’ IN THE CUPBOARD
Put in place a storage system so that every item that goes into the cupboard has a place and stays put. Depending on your storage space, you can use cupboard or drawer dividers or food storage bins. Or use different size or colour containers (and lids) to quickly identify the different sections.
4. LABEL AND STORE EACH ITEM PROPERLY
Before returning any item to the cupboard, make sure it is properly sealed and stored to avoid spoiling. Use airtight plastic containers for loose items or items with damaged packaging. If the contents are not clear, label each container for easy identification. When you return the containers to their designated spot in the cupboard, face the labels outwards so you can see at a glance what each container holds.
5. MAKE A LIST (OR TWO)
No more hidden tins wasting away at the back of the cupboard! As you re-pack your shelves, create an inventory list and tape it to the inside of the cupboard. Here, you can list exactly what you have stored (and how many of each item). Tick the items off as you use them and then re-print the list once you’ve restocked the cupboard. This will save you time and money in the long run. You can also take this a step further and make a list of quick and easy meals based on the contents of your grocery cupboard for those days when you get home late or just don’t know what to cook.
Need plastic containers to help you bring order to your grocery and other kitchen cupboards?