Tips for Cleaning and Organizing Your Pantry: Most people store the bulk of their food in the pantry, but since the space is often hidden, you might not clean it as often as you should. At best, this can make your pantry a messy, disorganized space that makes it difficult to quickly find what you need, but at worst, it can actually have a negative effect on sanitation and food safety. Learn how to clean your pantry the easy way with these smart tips.
Take everything out of the pantry when you want to deep clean it. Remove all the food and cookware from your pantry, and thoroughly wipe down shelves with a microfiber cloth dipped in warm, soapy water. If your shelves aren’t very soiled, you can just use a damp microfiber cloth and some DIY kitchen spray for especially dirty spots. Take out removable shelves; soak and wash them in the kitchen sink in warm, soapy water; rinse well; and dry completely. Vacuum the floor of the pantry, and use the crevice tool to vacuum in corners and other tight spots.
Throw away spoiled and expired food. Put any leaky foods in sturdy new containers to prevent future messes.
Wipe off containers. Clean any dusty or greasy containers with a damp cloth, and dry before replacing in the pantry.
Keep dry goods fresher longer by storing in hard plastic and glass containers. Did you know that pantry moths can chew right through paper, thin plastic, and cardboard packaging to access your food? Keep all your dry goods, including cereals, flour, sugar, rice, bread crumbs, crackers, and more, in airtight containers to keep them fresher longer and prevent pests like ants, houseflies, and pantry moths from contaminating your food. If space is tight, try stackable containers.
Label everything. Prevent waste by clearly labeling and dating your food. That way, you’ll know when it’s set to expire so you can use it beforehand.
Organize your pantry. As you put food back in your pantry, take the time to organize your space. Store similar items together, label and date containers, and keep your favorites where they can be easily accessed.
Keep it up. You should deep clean your pantry and other storage areas at least 3–4 times per year, and perform more routine maintenance—such as cleaning the floor, discarding spoiled food, and wiping up spills and other big messes—every time you clean or at least once a month.
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