Foublie’s Step by Step Food Allergy Pantry Refresh
Some people clean out their pantry on a regular basis. Others (like me) do it every 5+ish years of so. Give yourself some time to take on this task (2 hours feels right). Remember, the process of cleaning is not a tidy one. Things will look really messy and then just come together!
Step 1: Get prepared
Assemble these items: Trash bin, 3 bags/boxes, Sharpie, Stickers, Counter wipes, Label checklist, Pen, Paper
You may try to do this when the kids are out of the house or otherwise occupied.
Step 2: Clear it out
Take everything out of your pantry and put it on the counter. Do a preliminary expiration date check. Expired? In the trash bag/box it goes.
Step 3: The wipe down
Wipe down your cabinet with all purpose cleaner, or whatever you wipe your counters with. Furiously scrubbing or bleaching is over the top, but do what makes you feel comfortable.
Step 4: Figure out your system of what to keep
Some families choose to keep all foods in the house. There is always a mom or dad who can’t imagine life without a peanut butter sammy. Cool! If you do that you need a system. You can:
- Keep it in a special place where a caregiver or child can’t accidentally get into it. Like a high shelf.
- Put a red sticker on the lid to remind you or others.
Step 5: Sorting & label- checking
The end result here is to have piles:
- Pile 1: Trash
- Pile 2: OK to keep. This food is safe for all to eat.
- Pile 3: OK to keep, but not safe for everyone.
For each product, read the label for the ingredients. Keep your list handy so as you organize you can write down the items you are not keeping.
Step 6: Foods to give away
Take a look at the piles. You now need to decide if you want to keep it or not. Get out your boxes/bags.
Bag 1: Food bank
Is it open? Food banks won’t take anything that you have opened.
Bag 2: Give away
If you spent a lot of money on something or have something fancy, you might want to give it to a friend or neighbor. Is it open? If yes…You could give it away, but that sounds weird.
You are almost done! This is really great. You are now organized! Your kitchen is most likely a mess, but hang with me for a few more steps.
Step 7: Put the keepers back
Now it’s time to organize! Sky’s the limit here. Do what feels right.
Step 8: Take a seat with your list
Now is the time to figure out what you need to buy. Hopefully you took my suggestion to write down what you threw out. If not, no worries, start with our list of pantry stables (up next).
Step 9: Congrats! You are done!
Go relax, if that is even possible. High five!