How to Clean a Non-Pinterest Pantry

Here are some practical non-Pinterest pantry organization tips. These tips will help you declutter and find everything you’re looking for.

How Do You Clean a Non-Pinterest Pantry?

How do you clean a non-Pinterest pantry? And a non-Pinterest pantry is what most of us have. Most of us don’t have these beautiful, luxurious pantries where everything is color coordinated and has labels and it looks beautiful.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Family Eating Dinner

Pantries Have Become Catch-Alls

Most of us have pots and pans and containers of stuff that’s just chuffed in the pantry. And then we hope we can find it when it’s time to make a meal, right? During the COVID era with lots of people staying at home and lots of people having more meals at home, the pantries have just become these catchalls in many of the homes that we’re going to.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Pantry, Upsell

Now I want to stop for just a second and say, if you’re a homeowner, there is hope. And if you are a professional house cleaner, the pantry is a special project. We call it an upsell.

Pantry Cleaning is An  Upsell

Pantry organization is not part of a maintenance clean or a deep clean. It is a special project all by itself. So as a homeowner, if you’re going to hire a professional house cleaner, this is a special project and you should expect to pay more money and have them spend one day cleaning the pantry.

Group All Like Items Together

Stack mixing bowls together. If you have stackable storage bins, they all go together. 

Lemonade pitchers go together. If you have pots and pans, the ones that will stack on top of each other will all be stacked so that they fit on top of each other.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Mixing Bowls, Group Like Items

We want to get all of the small appliances in one area. So if you have a coffee maker or you have a juicer or you have a food processor or a George Foreman grill or whatever, you want to put all of those in one spot. You want to put everything that’s like-minded in one spot so that at a glance, you can see very easily what it is.

Use Clear Containers in Your Pantry

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Plastic Storage Containers

Clear: Non Pinterest Pantry But Effective

The next thing that we want to do in a pantry is we want to make sure that even if you don’t have matching containers and they’re not cute, if they are plastic and they’re clear, we want to put all the food inside. So if you have noodles or you have flour or you have oatmeal or things of that nature, we want to put all of those inside clear plastic containers, so we can see at a glance what it is.

Label Your Containers With a Date

Now in a perfect world even if you’re just using masking tape, you can write the date on it or when you put it inside. So at least at a glance, you kind of know how old it is. If it’s stuff that you’re recycling on a regular, weekly, or bi-weekly basis, you’re probably good to go.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Pantry, Add Date to Labels

But some of the stuff like flour, sugar, might last a little bit longer. And then we don’t know, is it two months old? Is it a year old, right? We want to make sure that we know.

Use Clear Containers in Your Pantry

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Empty Pantry

A pantry overhaul should be done on average at least twice a year. The hot winter months and cold winter months trigger it because that’s when rodents sneak into pantries to come in from severe weather.

Use Clear Containers in Your Pantry

If we are outside and we are uncomfortable, it is also uncomfortable for mice. And so, mice will try to get inside the homes.  They come up through where the pipes come up through the sink if there’s any space there. They get underneath the crawlspace of the house and they’ll climb up the pipes, looking for food, looking for water, stuff like that. Oftentimes it’s because there are babies somewhere they are looking to feed.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Mice Eating

Mice create lots of babies. And so, they will try to find a way inside your home.  They don’t care if you’re an Airbnb, they don’t care if you’re a house.

They don’t care if you’re a new house, if you’re an old house, if you’re rich or you’re poor, they don’t care. Mice will come into your house and they will try to find your food and then they will just help themselves to it.

Use Clear Containers in Your Pantry

If you find mice in your home it means we need to take precautions. So I do recommend inside every pantry, no matter who you are, no matter how wealthy or how poor you are, you have mice traps inside your pantry.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Mouse With Cheese

Set Mouse Traps In Your Non-Pinterest Pantry

Use peanut butter to lure mice into a trap. If a hungry mouse smells peanut butter he’s a gonner. He’s heading straight for your trap. And then bam, you got him, right? I’m not trying to be mean, I’m not trying to kill mice unnecessarily, but if they come inside your house, we don’t want them breeding and we don’t want them creating a contaminated scene inside your home.

That said, we want to put everything we can, chips, noodles, crackers, anything that has a smell to it, we want to put those inside airtight containers with a lid.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Stacked Pots and Pans

Use Clear Containers in Your Pantry

When stuff is scattered around the pantry it’s out of sight, out of mind. So in a clear plastic container, you can see exactly what it is.

Now, the goal is to put all the food together. You want to put all the noodles together, all the chips together, salad dressings together. All the soups go together.

This way at a glance, whatever you need is easy to find.

Use Clear Containers in Your Pantry

And so you want to organize everything, even if it’s not Pinterest looking so that it’s easy to find. The reason is that if you have a house full of people, everyone can find what they need and put it back where it goes when they are done. 

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Jars in Pantry

Save Money From Buying Duplicates

Then the next person comes in and they look where they thought the chips were, and they say, oh, no, my chips are gone. Someone ate my chips. So they buy more chips, not knowing that there are four different places in the pantry that have chips from four different members of the family, right? That’s crazy.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Family Party

So we want to put everything together, and then train everybody to put everything back in its spot. This also works for the people doing the grocery shopping in your house. When they go to the store and they buy cans of soup, where did they put them? They put them in the soup section of your pantry.

Make It Easy For Those Who Do The Grocery Shopping

When they buy chips, where did they put them? In the chips section of your pantry. So, there are a couple of basic rules that we want to follow. And if you follow the basic rules, you keep the food up and off the floor in airtight containers, mouse traps, and ant traps on the floor, what that’s going to do is discourage the rodents from coming into your space.

Non-Pinterest Pantry, Wipes, Sanitize Contaminated Areas

Sanitize All Areas That Have Been Contaminated

If you do find you’ve had visits from mice, make sure you sanitize the containers and floor. You don’t have to have a picture-perfect pantry, but these tips will help your family find the food they are looking for. You’ll be able to protect your food from rodents and ants. And your stuff will be easy to find when you go looking for it.

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