It’s time for a pantry clean-out. Most people don’t even think about cleaning out their pantry but I had to. The timing was right for a lot of reasons. One, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and I wanted to clean up my diet. Two, my A-game organization skills were clearly slacking. And three, I needed to shorten my meal-prep time. Sounds logical, right? I thought so too. So here’s what my pantry looked like before I started.
Looks organized, but trust me, it’s kind of messy. I tried to place like-foods near each other – breakfast, snacks, dinner prep, things for a party etc. This set-up has worked for quite a long time. Since we’ve moved into this house, really. The thing I notice when I look at these shelves, though, is that everything is just, put on a shelf. There really is no organization. Some things are hidden behind other things, the stuff on the bottom seems to get lost and the foods that I have at eye level may not be the healthiest. So what did I do? I literally took everything off the shelves.
Everything was put on the floor so I could go through it all, one item at a time. This allowed me to get a sense of the space I have available. Doing this took some time, but let me tell you, it was so worth it! I cannot tell you how much stuff I had that was expired. Seriously! I’m talking stuff back to 2015!
After clearing out all the junk and the stuff that was too old to even open, I had to develop a plan. How was I going to get all my food back on the shelf without it looking like it did before? I did not want to go back to where I was before and I did not want to have things expiring without me even knowing it. I knew I needed some help and I knew I needed a few things to help me organize and prep in a way that would work. Two things immediately came to mind – baskets and snack size bags. These were the easiest “tools” I could find to help me get e started.
The baskets I got at my local department store for less than $10. They came in two sizes so I grabbed both. I didn’t realize it, but I would use them for two different reasons.
The taller, more square baskets I decided I would use for tossing things in. Prepped foods that would be great for grab-and-go, like granola bars and bagged snacks. I also used these for putting like-items together, like seasonings. The shorter, longer baskets I decided I would use more for keeping things together. Like toppings for my yogurt and salad additions. Easy peezy!
The other tool I grabbed was snack size Ziploc bags. The snack size ones.
These I knew would be good for prepping the grab-and-go foods. I had pretzels, sweet potato and beet chips, sweet potato chips, trail mix and nuts. Once the snacks were prepped, I tossed them all in one of the taller baskets.
So what did the end result look like? Well, here it is! Clean, organized, put together and ready for the taking. I felt a sense of accomplishment. I felt at peace. I felt like I could take on the world.
Ok, no, I’m just kidding. But I did feel like my life was organized again and like I would be able to eat healthy and not feel guilty about what I’m putting into my body.
If you’re still with me, you probably are wondering if you could do this too. Trust me, you can. All you need is some time, some energy and maybe a little bit of money.
This project was definitely something I loved doing and it was fun for me. If you need help going through this exercise, let’s schedule a meet-up. I’d be happy to come over and help you do your own pantry clean-out.