Eating healthy this new year starts with getting rid of the old and getting organized! We’ve rounded up our favorite tips and tricks for keeping your pantry clean this year. Everything from herbs, sugar, cereal and olive oils gets covered, so let’s get started!
1. Ditch Old Herbs & Spices
This may come as a surprise to some, but after about a year or so, dried herbs and spices lose most of their flavor, essentially turning them into dust. Yup, dust. Do yourself a favor and toss those old spices out with 2015. Store fresh spices in airtight glass jars to preserve their freshness as long as possible.
__2. Take Inventory Of Canned Goods __
It’s easy for things to get lost in the dark corners of the pantry abyss. Despite popular belief, canned goods don’t stay good forever. Most come with best-by dates. While some of those may be years off, check to see what you’ve got and get rid of any old ones. I mean are you really going to eat that chili from 2012? We didn’t think so.
3. Store Baking Staples in Glass Containers
Make your friends think you’re the next Martha Stewart with a Pinterest-worthy pantry! Flour, sugar, rice and the like do best when stored properly in airtight containers. The bags you bought them in won’t last long and are prone to attracting bugs.
Pick up some glass jars from a home goods store for just a few dollars each to store your baking staples. Plus, they will look lovely sitting on the shelf, and it’ll make it super easy to see how much you have next time you’re ready to whip up a cake.
4. Toss Stale Cereal & Crackers
We’d be lying if we didn’t admit to having a box or two of crackers that have seen better days. Once we finish half a box of cookies, crackers, Cheez-It’s or Raisin Bran, they get pushed to the back when the next trip to the grocery store restocks new stuff. Instead, transfer crackers, cereal and snacks like pretzels into plastic containers with pour tops. It makes portioning a breeze. Once you’ve finished the container, get something new!
__5. Take Care Of Oils & Vinegars __
Just like herbs and spices, oils and vinegar don’t last forever either. Although their shelf life is a few years in most cases, be sure to check them every so often to make sure they haven’t gone rancid. Unless you are using oils and vinegar regularly, they are best stored in a cool, dark place, i.e. the pantry! Keep them organized and easily accessible so they are ready to cook when you are!
6. Move Garlic & Potatoes To The Pantry
There’s plenty of produce that gets tossed into the fridge along with the spinach and fruit, but there are a few that do best in the pantry. Staple a strong sack to the inside wall for garlic cloves. A mesh one that lets the garlic breathe will do best. Use a wire or metal bin for storing things like potatoes or even big winter squashes like butternut or acorn.
7. Label, Label, Label!
We can’t say this one enough! Labels and dates are the keys to keeping things clean, fresh and up-to-date in a busy kitchen. Chalk pens work great on glass jars or tin lids. Believe it or not, duct tape can be useful, plus it comes in tons of cute colors and patterns these days making it even more fun and colorful to get organized!