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Clean out your pantry or clothes closet using the same rules


The dreaded pantry!

The dreaded pantry!

Clean out your pantry or clothes closet using the same rules is easy!  Okay, not easy, and you usually want to do it when you are home from work sick or bored out of your mind.  When do you know it is time to clean out that pantry you ask?  You have 8 different containers of breadcrumbs scattered about and you just purchased your 9th because you have no idea of the previous 8 which are very well hidden.






Where did these breadcrumbs come from?

Where did these breadcrumbs come from?

You then ask how do you clean  out your pantry?  I like to use the “clean out the clothes closet” method.  It’s really not that different from your pantry you see.

1.  Take everything out of your closet (clothes or food).  Hopefully you don’t find that old skirt in your pantry or breadcrumbs in your closet.

2.  If you haven’t worn it or eaten it in the last year, toss it out or donate it.  Hey, that gal at Goodwill may appreciate that cute jacket with a can of old sardines in the left pocket…bonus days!

3.  Check the expiration date on each package and toss out the expired items.  Yes, sunflower seeds can go rancid…they have an old oil type smell.  Plus that furry pink vest with pink pom pom ties may not have an expiration date on it, but its not coming back any time soon sister. Toss them both!

Yeast too old to bake with

Yeast too old to bake with

Pumpkin in a can, an old can?

Pumpkin in a can, an old can?

4.  Wipe everything down, put back like items with like items (baking items together and pants together) and lighter things on top shelves and heavier and bulkier items on the bottom.

There are a few questions that may arise during your scrutiny like “can I use that sealed bag of ready made brownies if it is two weeks passed the expiration date”? Probably…I mean you don’t want to be stupid and needlessly toss out a chocolate anything, right?  Just bake it real soon because the dry baking ingredients may not raise properly and you would not have a nice fluffy brownie…tragedy!  If a food item or clothing article no longer looks like its original self, by all means, throw it out.  Tomato juice is not brown. Ick!

Dammit, how did those go unbaked? Someone is slacking

Dammit, how did those go unbaked? Someone is slacking

If you are one of those anal people that feels so inspired you can make a list of what is in your pantry and cross things off and add items as you shop.  I just can’t spend my time adding and subtracting food items, besides having others in your household that are not as devoted to your system will not work.  Case in point, it is why I have 8 containers of breadcrumbs!  See, you can clean out your pantry or clothes closet using the same rules.

Organized for the next 5 years

Organized for the next 5 years

A zen moment as I know it won't last.

A zen moment as I know it won’t last.


I couldn't resist labeling the shelves

I couldn’t resist labeling the shelves

Ewwwww…pretty!  P.S.  I did end up putting labels on the shelves…only a little anal, right?  Now go clean out your closet!

8 Responses to Clean out your pantry or clothes closet using the same rules

  • Ok a little over the top anal, but I can relate. Great relating to your clothes. Rule of thumb, if you haven’t used it in a year give it away to someone who could use it. Never continue to add without making room for it.

  • This so true Janet, I do this myself, but I have to amit I only linen closet and spare bathroom in the last 2 or 4 years and with me being layed up my husband was getting me some of my meds and started looking at old stuff and started laughing and asking me do I know how old this stuff was I just laughed he ended up cleaning out everything in the

  • Awesome organized pantry. Kind of looks like a scene from Sleeping with the Enemy. LOL Had to do closet and pantry organization for my Mom when I was in NY. You know its old when the dates are older than you are. You know its old when the cans are bulging. You know its old when the labels have faded. You know its old when the mice have chewed the corner. I’m always a fan of Purging and Detoxing. It always feels good.

  • That is super cool! I just got these great little glass jars for my spice cabinet so they all match. I use a sharpie marker to write the spice name on it. They are stacked so neatly and we can see them all at once. I love opening up that cabinet now. I use to dread it! It is amazing how many things that can accumulate even in a spice cabinet..

    Decluttering in general is so cleansing. We can have so many energy leaks just due to our lack of organization. I am not perfect with it though there is always some drawer and closet that can be purged!!

    • Amen to that Sonja. I think I just need to have a big yard sale and get rid of clutter. We just sold our pool table so I can get my dining room redone and I want a whole wall of Ikea Billie bookcases for glassware, books, plates, (glass jars) etc. There is nothing like pretty glass jars to make us happy is there? I am going to try that too.

  • Hi Janet:

    I have a question about the cleaning of closets. Is there a way or source to recycle clothes that are too worn for charity? It seems like they might have some sort of use???


    • Hi Eric…actually I have seen some great recycled grocery store bags made from mens used long sleeve dress shirts. The collar was cut off, the arms sewed together to form a handle and the bottom front and back sewn together to form a seam and create the bottom. Ta da…cool bag. Much better looking than the Publix bags!

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Janet TiminskyI love being a decorator & coming up with ideas and "embellishments" for my client's homes. Style should be what makes you smile, comfortable,livable & honest. Just remember, sometimes when you change the doorbell you end up changing the roof. ~Janet Timinsky
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