We open our pantries every day to prepare for meals. Not all pantries look pristine and magazine-worthy. I know mine doesn't. But it is a useful place to store stuff. But, as we go along our days, we add more items and find that the clutter gets out of hand. So, now is the time to clear out the pantry. Below I am sharing 15 things that you should consider revisiting and deciding if you still need it.
Get rid of these 15 items for a more well-organized pantry
- Old opened food packages. Do you have chips that were eaten and only had a few left in it? These are the opened partially used food packages we are talking about here.
- Condiments that have expired. These items include olive oils and vinegars that you may not have looked at in a long time. Empty them out and then recycle the plastic and glass.
- Old boxes of pasta. If you have old pasta, it may start tasting like cardboard. Yuck! Trash it, and if you can, recycle the paper container.
- Nuts you haven’t eaten. Did you know that some nuts need freezing? Visit this post (Why You Should Be Storing Nuts and Seeds in the Freezer) from the Cooking Light website to find out more.
- Dried beans past their expiration date. They usually last two years. But if you left them in the original packaging, the beans may have a plastic odor.
- Canned items that expired. Canned foods usually last about two years. If you wish to use them after the two-year mark, you may notice that the food tastes metallic.
- Old breadcrumbs in the original bags. They last no more than six months. I've used them after the six month mark but I had to add additional seasoning to it.
- Containers you are not using. Sometimes we use up the item in a particular container and never get around to refilling them. This is the time to get rid of those unused containers or reuse them.
- Beverages that have expired. Visit these four beverages that you should never drink past the expiration date from Good Housekeeping.
- Opened Old Cereal boxes. If you are like me, and your kids are away at college, you may have some leftover cereal boxes that you are not planning on eating.
- Any tea bags not individually wrapped and exposed to the air. Visit this "Does Loose Leaf Tea Expire" post for more information.
- Ground Coffee that is not sealed properly. Visit this post (Where Should You Store Coffee? We Finally Settle the Pantry vs. Freezer Debate)
- Expired soup that is over six months old. Canned soup can be eaten a long time after the can says, "Best eaten by.." However, the quality will most likely go downhill. Read about "Food myths debunked: When do canned foods really expire?".
- Baking items like flour that are older than six months - nine months. Having containers to hold these items will help prolong the freshness.
- Old unused spices and herbs. If you collect, spices and herbs in your pantry, it's time to get rid of the ones you don't use and that are turning dull in color. Some spices will not be as strong, like paprika, when it gets old. Some herbs like parsley and basil, get brown in color from the original bright green.
Visit these posts for more guidelines on what to throw away in your pantry.
After you purge your unwanted items, now you can organize the pantry! YAY! Visit these posts for guidelines and inspiration.
I hope this post helps inspire you to get the pantry decluttered. Doing this in the fall before the holiday season will give you some time to buy new fresh items for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Feel free to share your tips on what to get rid of in your pantry in the comment section below.