As the new year approaches, new changes are likely too! And that might include some changes to how you set up and organize your kitchen.
I don’t know about you, but there’s something relaxing about starting the new year off with a fresh, clean, organized space—it makes me feel like I can stick to my no takeout resolution! Check out these six tips to prep your pantry for the new year.
#1 Toss Out the Old
Many of us hold on to food long after its expiration date, usually because it’s hidden away in a cupboard or pantry closet and we’ve forgotten about it.
One tip for prepping your pantry for a new year is to clean it out! Focus on getting rid of expired items and food you will no longer enjoy eating.
Throwing away expired food is an easy way to declutter a pantry space and make room for new, non-expired items—just make sure you’ll actually use them!
Pull all items from the pantry (or even a single shelf) and go through them to determine what needs to be tossed and what can be kept. Once you’ve determined what you aren’t going to keep, you can throw away anything expired and donate any canned food you won’t eat.
#2 Disinfect the Pantry
The best time to disinfect the pantry is when you’ve already got everything pulled out of it! You can disinfect both the shelves and the items that will be going back in.
Using your preferred cleaning supplies, wipe down the shelves. You’ll be surprised at what you might find—sometimes things leak or leave bad smells that make the pantry less appetizing. A quick wipe will provide a fresher smell.
You can also wipe your shelves with a lime solution, since insects and other critters don’t like it. This is a great way to keep the pantry bug-free!
#3 Take Inventory of Pantry Items
Looking ahead to the new year will make your pantry prepping even more successful. Taking inventory can help you plan without feeling overwhelmed.
Take notes or pictures of items you already have in your pantry so you don’t accidentally buy more the next time you’re at the store, wasting space and money.
You can also make a note of anything that’s half-full so you know to finish it first! That way, when the new year rolls around, you can start off with fresh new items.
#4 Use Pantry Space Wisely
Don’t keep anything you know you aren’t going to eat—it’s a waste of space and food! If you bought those pickled beets with the best of intentions but secretly know you’ll never eat them, donate them, give them to someone who will eat them, or get rid of them.
It’s important to use your pantry space wisely! Trim down to what you know you’ll use, and then organize the remaining items in a way that makes sense for you and any family members or roommates.
For example, keep taller, less frequently used items at the back and on higher shelves. Shorter, more frequently used items should be front and center—easy to see and grab when it’s time to cook.
Some pantries have adjustable shelves. You can try changing the height of the shelves or even getting rid of a shelf or two!
#5 Get Clear Storage Containers
Clear storage containers are a must-have for any fresh pantry. You’ll be able to scan everything at a glance and know when it’s time to restock on staple items like pasta, cereal, flour, and rice.
Clear storage containers also help pull the pantry together visually. You can find matching lids or opt for containers with different colored lids for different types of food!
The Container Store has a wealth of options, but you can find clear storage containers at any major supermarket.
#6 Organize Like Items
Have you ever noticed that people on TV seem to have perfectly organized pantries? You can achieve that look too! Simply group canned items with canned items, and storage containers with storage containers.
This not only helps you quickly identify items, it also helps keep your shelf space organized and aesthetically pleasing.
Instead of just tossing everything in containers, be mindful of what you want to use containers for and how much space you have. Keep smaller items like spice jars and seasonings in another cupboard so they don’t create clutter.
Related: 5 Ways to Get Your Closet Ready for the New Year
Some of us may not feel like reorganizing the pantry for the new year, and that’s okay too! But for those of us who prefer an organized pantry, we hope these tips help.
What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for staying organized?
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