Purge the Pantry!
Janel Laban
Jan 7, 2015
(Image credit: Rebecca Proctor)

Those of you who have already taken a look ahead at the January Cure calendar for this month know that this upcoming weekend, we'll be doing some kitchen cleaning and organizing. In previous years Cures, this was a big job, so this time around I've broken out one of the more self-contained tasks (that EVERYONE always needs to do) and moved it up to today. It will lighten the load for the weekend and also give you a little dose of mid-week "I did it!" accomplishment.

It's Not Too Late to Join The January Cure:

Today's Assignment:

Clean and Organize Your Pantry

No matter how often you cook at home, your pantry can always use a good clean sweep - it's one of the spots in our homes that is, by its nature, almost always crowded, dark and full of things that get forgotten about.

Set aside 30-60 minutes today or tonight, turn on some music, a favorite podcast or maybe an episode of the Gilmore Girls on your laptop and get this done.

Here's a quick breakdown of how to do the job right:

  • Move your trash can or a garbage bag to your pantry area. A bag or box for potential food donations is excellent to have on hand here as well. A notepad and pencil are handy for noting down things you toss that need replacing.
  • Take everything out, one shelf/section at a time. Sort the items as you go, getting rid of anything expired or that you've opened but know you are not going to eat (it's ok - everyone has something like this in their panty - not ALL cookies are as delicious as they look on the box!). Transfer things that are unopened and still good, but that you don't think you'll actually eat, to the donation bag or box - again, it's ok - it's the right thing to do! We have a great, full list of what to purge right here - check it out and embrace it - it's time for a clean, fresh start.
  • Once a shelf is cleared, clean it. Use a vacuum attachment first if its crumby, followed by a damp cloth. Spray, then scrape and scrub any sticky spots (an old credit card or hotel room card key can be helpful here). Use a towel to dry the area well.
  • Replace the items on the clean shelf, giving them a quick pass with a clean, slightly damp cloth if they are dusty as you go. Put like things together so you can find them more easily and know at any time just how many cans of garbanzos you have around and when you need to stock up.
  • Repeat the process for each shelf/section and do a small celebratory dance when you are done - this is a great job to get under your belt the first week of the new year. Be sure to let us know when you finish and how it went in the comments - group encouragement definitely helps!
  • Important note: Don't fret about the REST of your kitchen or get overwhelmed - there is time for that work later - focus on the pantry only today. Kick butt, cross it off your list and then allow yourself to move on.

Completing this assignment not only contributes to a cleaner, more organized kitchen, it's the first step to more delicious home cooking and healthy eating in the New Year. Well done!

The January Cure Calendar:

Download our PDF to see the full upcoming schedule (and print it out if having a hard copy is helpful to you)

For all the assignments (so far) click over to the → January Cure Main Page

Hashtag for Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc (please show us what you are up to!): #thejanuarycure

It's Not Too Late to Join The January Cure:

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