Today we're going to tackle our cupboard clutter in 3 simple steps focusing on the pantry and other places you store food items.
1. Take out anything expired and toss it. Also toss opened packages that are now stale or icky such as chips.
2. Take out anything you'll never eat and put it in a box to donate. Also take out things you overstocked on and add them to the box - you know - those "I need cream of mushroom soup" moments that accidentally occurred for 7 paychecks in a row. If you won't eat it before it expires, now is the time to pass it on to someone who needs it.
3. Organize what's left so you can actually find it.
When you organize, keep in mind who eats what and where it should go. Keep treats in high cupboards to prevent pint-sized snitchers (the big snitchers, well, you're on your own). I also recommend keeping sweet things used for baking like chocolate chips, candies and such up high as they are often the most pilfered in my cabinets when the treats disappear.
Keep healthy snacks for the kids at their eye level in the cabinet in their own basket to set them up for success. Some larger families I know have gone to a basket per kid system to divide the treats in advance when they come home from the shopping trip.
Organize one of two ways - put items together that are usually used to store a meal, such as storing spaghetti next to the spaghetti sauce OR organize by type of food, all the pastas together, all the sauces together. Since I tend to make "Frankenmeals" that are grab what I want, I organize by type rather than by meal.
As you're organizing and pitching, take note of what you're getting rid of and what you'll need. Also pay attention to those "I'm missing one can of this to make that" moments and add those to your list of what you need. When you have all your ingredients, it's so much easier to make that kitchen magic happen. :)
Next time you're going by the local food pantry or attending Mass, just drop off your box and then take that list to the grocery. :)