The Kitchn Cure Day 11: Declutter the Pantry

The Kitchn Cure Fall 2014

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The Kitchn Cure Day 11: Monday, August 25
Assignment: Declutter the pantry and make a donation box. Make a list of anything you're missing or need. (See all the assignments so far here)
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Welcome to Week 3 of The Kitchn Cure! You've handled the big cleaning jobs with aplomb so far. Deep cleaning the oven, freezer, refrigerator, greasy stovetop, and all your small electric appliances is no small feat! I'll bet your kitchen is starting to look and feel pretty great, huh?

Moving right along, there are a few areas we haven't hit on yet, like the cupboards, drawers, and pantry, but by week's end that'll be a different story. Let's begin in the pantry!

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Today's Assignment (estimated time: 1 hour)

  1. Take a "Before" photo of your pantry: Your pantry is about to undergo some serious decluttering, so you'll want the 'before' state on record. Take a photo of your pantry now and post it to your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook account, and use the hashtag #kitchncure.
  2. Get rid of expired or stale food: Go through all the cupboards, cabinets, and closets where you keep your dry or non-refrigerated goods and get rid of anything stale or expired. Toss rancid oils or nuts. Consolidate duplicates (if they're both still fresh) or discard the extra. Check flour and grain bags for pantry moths or other kitchen pests, and throw away anything contaminated. The goal here is to pare down your pantry so you have room to replenish it with fresh ingredients.
  3. Start a pantry donation box: As you clear everything out, start a box for any canned goods or other food items you'd like to donate. Make sure the expiration dates are still good!
  4. Move foods to airtight containers: It's best to keep as many pantry items as possible in airtight containers (a resealable bag or something sturdier) so they stay fresh and spill-free. But if you have limited space, prioritize the following → Which Pantry Items Should I Keep in Airtight Containers? then check out our guide to the best containers → Best Pantry Organizers: Space Savers and Food Storage
  5. Clear out your spices: Spices last a long time, but they don't last forever. Follow this guide to know what to keep and what to toss → Our Guide to Cleaning Out Your Messy Spice Drawer
  6. Make a list of anything you need: Take stock of your staples as you go through everything, and make a list of anything that needs replenishing.
  7. Get ready to clean: Now that you've cleared out the pantry, you're ready to clean it. But guess what? That's tomorrow's task, so you're done for today.
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(Image credits: Leela Cyd; Faith Durand; The Kitchn)