Transformation Tuesday #44: Kitchen Pantry Purge

My neighbor and I were chatting recently when she mentioned that she still needed to find time for organizing her pantry. I worked with her earlier this year on her kitchen cupboards and storage, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to do some more decluttering. 

She has a shelving unit in her entryway closet, stocked with dry goods like flour, pasta, rice, quinoa, and canned goods and various sauces/condiments. She admitted that it was probably a quick project since a lot of items were likely expired and just needed to be purged.

We coordinated schedules so I could get to organizing while she was away at work. What an awesome gift to give yourself - coming home to a tidy home (or in this case, a tidy pantry)! Side note: if you have ever wanted to treat yourself to this or gift this to a friend, let me know! 

In just under an hour and a half, I was able to do a simple purge:

  1. Remove all items while grouping into categories (pasta, rice, soup, sauce, etc)
  2. Check expiration dates
  3. Wipe down shelves
  4. Return unexpired items to shelves, still grouped by category

Roughly half the items were expired so out they went (items on the left of the top right picture)!

We decided that it made sense to get some handy shelf risers, making it easier to see what's in the back. Otherwise, it's easy to get caught in the cycle of not seeing what's there, overbuying that item, and ultimately having to toss it when it passes it's "best buy" date.

I also recommend when you do your own pantry purge, if you are running low on an item, especially one that you get in bulk, tape a note on the pantry shelf or cabinet door as a reminder. The next time you are checking your cupboards before a shopping trip, you can stock appropriately.

Use the capsule wardrobe approach - what has expired in the pantry, note what type of item it is. This is probably something you shouldn't buy in bulk anymore because you aren't getting through it fast enough or it's just not appealing anymore. 

What tips do you have for conquering kitchen pantry clutter? Let me know in the comments below!