Pantry cleaning is one of the chores that should be done on a large scale about once a quarter. If you wait much more than that it will be too big a job. If you aren't sweeping or wiping things as you go, then even your quarterly job will become a major undertaking.
First things first, go through your pantry and discard anything that is past its "best used date". This is especially good for spices. Spices keep better if you can keep them in the freezer. They won't lose their flavor punch in the freezer like they do out of it. Generally speaking, once you have opened spices they have a shelf life of about 9-18 months, tops.
Next you will want to figure out a way to organize your pantry. You can do it visually or get a paper and pencil and draw it out. Depends on your personality type as to which will work best for you. Once you figure how to the where's and how's it is time to put your plan into action.
You will need to purchase any extra storage bins or dividers or things that you will need. If you can't get them all at once, start small. You can keep a list handy so that as you are able, you can get the stuff you need.
Wash things down, sweep, mop, vacuum, etc. Get everything clean from the floor, to the walls to the shelves. You can even wipe down anything that is dusty within the pantry. As you clean it, place it in its home.
There is no right or wrong way to organizing your pantry. It is strictly up to your needs/wants/personality. It also depends on if it is strictly for food or if you have cooking appliances in there. You might need a space for serving platters or punch bowls. Whatever your needs are, get it mapped out so you have room for everything and everything can be in its place.
Lastly, it is super efficient to get things labeled. This will make it easier to PUT THINGS BACK for anyone!
Enjoy your pantry cleaning time and know that it will benefit you in the long run!
Make it a great one!
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