Last month we took a look at the kitchen and decluttered many small appliances and utensils and cleared out a lot of room in drawers and cabinets. This month we are sticking with the kitchen but moving on to more consumable items that are stored in the pantry as well as the fridge and freezer.
These areas are especially important to keep up on using and decluttering items as things go bad and then they are of no use to anyone. Items that get shoved to the back of the cupboard or fridge can go bad as they are forgotten about and I really hate wasting food.
I have three areas where I keep dry ingredients; my main pantry, my baking cupboard, and another small cupboard that keeps sauces and breakfast items.
My main pantry is the least of my problems as items get moved in and out of it very frequently. Canned goods such as beans and tomatoes are major staples in my diet and we go through them very quickly and one shelf is drinks such as tea and coffee which we also use a lot. I have one shelf which just has extras of items so I did a quick look through of those products to make sure that I knew what was back there and if there was anything I had forgotten about.
The baking cupboard is a tough one for me as it is an awkward shape in the corner and can be hard to display everything that I use all the time. I took everything out and rearranged it a bit to put the base ingredients on the bottom shelf and the more filler ingredients in the middle. The top is the emptiest as it is so high so I just keep some baking soda/powder etc.
The third dry ingredient area is also not a problem for me as I use most of these items quite regularly. I love having a breakfast shelf for common needs such as oats, coconut, nutella, and granola and the other sauces are used commonly.
I chose to go through my fridge at a time right before we left for a vacation so that I could really empty everything out and clean the fridge. This also gave me a chance to look at the condiments that pile up as most of the other things in my fridge I can eat through before they go bad.
The freezer is my real trouble spot. It is just a small freezer but still I lose track of what is in the freezer and they get lost in the back. I started by taking everything out and writing it down. I now keep that list permanently on the freezer to update it whenever we use up or buy something new. This helps when I am meal planning on Sunday’s and also if I need to quickly grab something to make for lunch or dinner when plans change.
TIPS for Decluttering your pantry and freezer
- Put all your odd ingredients in a place where you can see them and build them into recipes without keeping them in the back of the cupboard
- If you have too many condiments and sauces make it a goal to finish them up before you can purchase anything new
- Have lists for places that you can’t easily sift through such as freezers or odd cabinets. This will help you know what is at the very back and help you use things before they go bad
- Store items in clear glass containers. Not only does this help them to stay fresh longer, but then you can see into the containers and know what is there
- Once you have a system set up, go through them quickly before each grocery trip and meal plan. Try and use the items at the far back and what is about to go bad before the items that you just bought.
You can check out some of my past decluttering posts here: