Organize Your Pantry Cupboard
Day 5: Looking Into The Big Stash
Now is the time to inventory and organize your main Pantry Cupboard. You’ve already dealt with your Spice Cupboard, and even your Beverage Cupboard. Today is the day for finding out what is in your biggest dry food storage area. This part of the Pantry Challenge for Beginners assignment is the last major cleaning and inventory job before moving onto menu planning and cooking. So let’s get started.
Getting Ready To Clean
As with the other previous assignments that you’ve completed over the past few days, there are a few things you need to get ready.
- Download and print a copy of the Pantry Cupboard Inventory sheet. Don’t forget to grab a pen too.
- Clear off the counter top or clear an area by your Pantry Cupboard so you can place the contents of that cupboard there as you sort, organize, clean, and catalog.
- Fill a large bowl or small bucket with hot soapy water. Make sure to have a wash cloth and tea towel handy to clean and dry as you proceed.
Get In There and Get It Done
However, as this assignment can prove to be more extensive than the previous ones, don’t be afraid to break it down over a couple of days if needed. This Pantry Challenge for Beginners is meant to introduce you to this process in bite-sized pieces. So if you need to do it over a few days, then that is perfectly acceptable. Do it one shelf at a time if needed.
You already have your regular busy schedule, perhaps a job, juggling kids, among a number of other things to do. Remember this exercise is to EMPOWER you towards a HOPE and a FUTURE, not to over stress you. But be assured, you can get this done. Doing it for the first time is the hardest. In the future, it will be so much easier to do.
Perhaps your pantry dilemma is like mine—spread out in a few areas. This is also why it will take a few days for me to also do this section of the Pantry Challenge.
A More Detailed Pantry List
You will see from this Pantry Cupboard Inventory sheet that it is divided into several category sections. This will prove to be very useful to you when you move onto the Menu Planning of this challenge. So make sure you write down the contents of your Pantry Cupboard under the correct categories. Whether it is canned meats, canned vegetables, a canister of flour, or more. Knowing exactly which ingredients you have in your home will greatly assist you in knowing how to combine them for your ultimate 7 day menu planning.
Rotate The Stock
As you put things back into your cupboard, remember to do the same as the grocery stores. Rotate the items on the shelves. Place the newest items at the back. Move the items that you’ve had the longest out to the front.
Are there any particular items that are close to expiration dates? If so, place a star or highlight that on your Pantry Inventory Sheet. By identifying these items, you should purposely see if you can use them in the Meal Planning of this Pantry Challenge for Beginners.
Reflection On The Pantry Cupboard Clean-Up
Now is the time to step back and reflect on what is in your cupboard. A number of questions to ask yourself might include the following:
- How many items did you have to throw out due to expired dates, or spoilage?
- Was that a wise use of your money?
- Why did items get spoiled or expired? Do you stock too much of any particular item? Stock less in the future.
- Or is the item that spoiled or expired an item that you actually do not like? Or is it an item that you use so infrequently that perhaps you don’t need to buy again?
- If you just keep stocking up on items, but never use them, then you defeat the entire purpose of cupboard stocking with bargains.
Because of your answers to these and many other questions you have asked yourself—do you better understand how your past shopping habits have been? What are you going to do now to be more purposeful in how you shop in the future?
Don’t be too hard on yourself though. Even I found that I had items in my cupboard that I didn’t use up. All you can do is to be determined to change how you shop in the future. For now, you are doing some self-examination, but clearing, cleaning, and sorting for a new beginning. Today.
Getting Ready For The Next Step
Beyond asking and answering these questions for yourself—take a moment and congratulate yourself. Just cleaning and organizing your cupboards can be a monumental achievement for some of you. If that is all you get completed on this Pantry Challenge for Beginners this time around be proud of yourself. Next time you do this challenge you’ll be able to complete the menu planning and 7 days of cooking sections too. So don’t be discouraged, rather, be encouraged.
However, others of you are feeling pumped up from all the cleaning and organizing. You are now realizing that your kitchen is a wonderful, clean place that you want to be in. A place to create meals that will have your family raving your skills.
De-cluttering items that you don’t use in your kitchen can be so liberating too. There are items that you have probably removed from your cupboards such as baking pans that you haven’t used in ages and now admit you probably never will. A quick decision—do you donate them to an organization such as Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs, Value Village, Sal-Mart, or others? That would be great if you can—it can then be re-purposed to EMPOWER someone else towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.
However, maybe your finances are really tight and you need to look at making a few dollars to help pay down a debt. Check out your local Facebook group Buy & Sell sites in your region. Maybe you can sell them. However, be purposeful with that money you raise. What can you do with those dollars to help EMPOWER you towards your HOPE and a FUTURE.
Join The Community And Comment Below
So now that you have done that, comment below how the challenge is going for you already. What valuable insights have you learned? What are you hoping to achieve from the Pantry Challenge for Beginners as we move into the final stages? We’d love to hear from you. Join our Facebook group too.
See you tomorrow as we gather your inventory sheets and design 7 days of meals from what you already have in your cupboard. Talk to you soon!