This was my pantry the other day - after I had declared war on it and had already worked on it for a while. The doors were hard to open, everything was crazily stuffed in, the chaos on the floor was nearly knee-high, and I could never find anything. As an organized person, I made an followed a plan. It will be easy! Remove, clean, toss, decide, stack, corral, purchase, label, tidy, photograph!
10 Easy Steps to a Clean Pantry
1. Remove. Take everything out. Ignore teenagers who are trying to walk through through the mess and grumbling. You have to make a bigger mess before you can clean one up.
2. Clean. Wipe down shelves and doors. Scrape off old, unknown blobs. Scrub at grease and oil stains for a while before giving up. Sweep the floor. Deodorize a little, if needed.
3. Toss. Throw out anything obviously gross or rotting. Put these items in the garbage, underneath something else so they won't be found and returned to the pantry.
4. Decide. Determine what you want to do with the space. Is your pantry for food exclusively? Small appliances? Long-term storage? Your mother's paper plate collection? Look at what you have strewn about the floor, and decide how much room you need for what kind of thing.
5. Stack. Start putting like items together. Stack cans in neat rows like the supermarket, or load into neato-mosquito can roller thingies. Line up boxes. Pile bags into neat areas.
6. Corral. Get containers to contain small items. For some reason, I have a bunch of baby shoe boxes. Oh yeah, my box fetish. They work great for collecting and sorting spices, seasoning packets, birthday candles, and other little things that tend to get in the way.
7. Purchase. Go to Cute Tubs and Baskets R Us or your local amazing mart and get all the adorable containers that you see on Pinterest. Make sure to know what sizes you need before you go. Measure the shelves from one corner all the way to the other... Hey! What's that box in the back corner there? I've never seen it before. Fruit snacks, granola bars, baby doughnuts? Must be Trent's secret stash. Looks good, though...
8. Label. To heck with all the cutsie homemade chevron chalkboard labels. I'm eating doughnuts!
9. Tidy. Someone is coming home! Brush the powdered sugar off your chin! Stuff all the rest of the goods into the pantry and close the doors!
10. Photograph. Doesn't that look lovely? Much better. I should just always leave the doors closed, and the pantry looks fabulous, dahlink. Fabulous.