Molly Maid
Adult woman organizing items in a kitchen pantry with wooden shelves

How to Clean Your Pantry and Tips to Keep It Organized, Too!

Aside from the refrigerator, your pantry is likely the busiest place in the kitchen! From pantry items like soup and pasta to everyday snacks, it’s the hottest place to be in the home (no offense to the oven!). We’ve got the best way to clean out and organize your pantry, and even put your family in a position to be healthier, too.  

How to Clean Out Your Pantry  

In a few quick steps, you’ll be ready to clean and organize your pantry. Before a thorough wipe down and restocking the shelves, here’s how to get started.  

  • Empty Your Pantry. That’s right, it’s all coming out. Start by making two piles or spots nearby, either on the floor or countertop. The first pile is for all the foods you’re planning on keeping and placing back in the pantry. The other pile will be food to throw away if it’s perishable or opened and won’t be eaten. If you have unopened, nonperishable goods, consider making a third pile and donating to a local food pantry or shelter.  

  • Clean the shelves. With a clean damp rag, wipe down the shelves thoroughly. Most often, your pantry will have crumbs, wrappers, bread ties, and maybe a stale potato chip or two. If you do need to clean mold spots in your pantry, use a commercial cleaner or use a bleach solution to ensure the spots are disinfected.  

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  • Organize it! There are a few ways to decide where each item goes when you get them back in the pantry. We recommend putting everyday snacks and foods like cereal to be the most accessible, with lesser-used items placed on higher or lower shelves. You might also try to put bigger and taller boxes near the back which may still be visible even if they’re behind other items.  

  • Combine boxes when you can. Instead of having 2 or 3 half-empty granola bar boxes, put all of them into a single box. You might even find a few clear organization bins to empty such boxes into right when you buy them. This makes it easier to see how many bars or other snacks you have left and saves space.  

Think it out. The best way to clean your pantry is to make it work for you and your family. Prioritize the things you love and use frequently and try to avoid buying things you don’t eat very often to avoid clutter and reduce costly food waste. 

How to Clean Out a Pantry with Deep Shelves 

If your pantry is so deep that the back of it is barely accessible, use that to your advantage. Using clear containers or existing boxes, use the back part of the shelf to store your handheld electric mixer and other kitchen items that can serve as a sort of backstop. You might also consider installing sliding panels that let you pull pantry items out and make the back of the pantry more accessible! Mr. Handyman®, a Neighborly® company, can help you with all your home cabinetry needs.  

Clean Out Your Pantry for a Healthy Diet 

The first step toward getting healthy is getting rid of those less-than-perfect foods in your pantry. If temptation or bad habits have tripped you up in the past, use cleaning out your pantry as an opportunity to get healthier.  

  • Toss the junk food. Take a look at the foods you know aren’t the best for your health. Cookies, chips, candy, and foods high in sodium like canned soups and microwave popcorn are all best in moderation. Donate unopened packages or toss them. 

  • Keep the Good Stuff at Arms’ Reach. We reach for what we can see. If you do keep sugary snacks or salty crackers around, try to put them on a high or low shelf, preferably out of sight. Putting healthier foods in more accessible spots may help you develop healthier habits.  

A Clean Pantry, a Clean Diet, and a Clean Home 

Cleaning out and organizing your pantry is a great feeling. It might also inspire you to carry that cleaning and organizing success to every room in your home. If you don’t have the time or energy to take on your entire house, Molly Maid can help. Our professional cleaning experts can help you with occasional, recurring, or special event cleaning services that will help keep your entire home spotless. To learn more, call (800) 645-9647 or request your in-home estimate today