With pantry moths about to arrive for their season in autumn, it might be a good time to prevent them from entering your pantry. Here is a few helpful tips to declutter and moth-proof your pantry.
Planning and commitment make for a successful pantry declutter. As with everything about organising your home, ensure you are committed to the cause and plan ahead how you are going to tackle “Project Pantry”:
Pantries are reasonably easy to declutter compared to other home areas because we get pointers:
Everything coming out of your pantry can be placed in one of four categories – the same ones I use all over the house (except for paperwork)
If you are a current customer or have been to one of my workshops, you will be familiar with these categories – and will know about my love for the last one:
This is to keep you focused, in your mind and in the location. Instead of trying to find a spot for all the bits and bobs that might be coming out of your pantry: the leftover candles, the pens, the soccer trophies – all placed here without thinking too much – shoving is the word I like to use – you place them in a container and keep going. Instead of leaving the room and maybe starting to think about organising other areas in your home, all the odd bits get placed in that last category and you can keep working on the pantry, the task you set out to do!
(A note about rubbish and giveaway: I am a big fan of avoiding unnecessary waste. Here are some tips. Does your neighbour or the local school or community have garden chooks? They might love to take your out-of-date grains, rice, sultanas etc. Community food pantries or collections for families in need accept your excess (but not out-of-date) of tins, rice, soups etc ).
When organising everything back into the pantry, be very realistic with your approach.
The amount of time I find way more empty containers than groceries in pantries is astounding. If you didn’t decant your flours into matching, labelled containers in the past – chances are, you are not going to do it in the future. Learn to see the difference between ‘wanting’ and ‘doing’
One thing that IS important though is to avoid the dreaded pantry moth infestation. Ensure that there are no open packets, no open boxes or opened flour bags, even crumbs in the kids’ snack box are enough to attract these beasts. Make use of your containers and stick on labels if you need.
Instead of wanting fancy labels and a beautiful looking pantry, I suggest being realistic and settle for an easier solution.
Maybe having all carbs on one shelf is good enough? Maybe just labelling the shelf will give you and your family enough structure to keep it up? Or maybe you will group all packs/tins/sachets in an open container. Grouping LIKE with LIKE will make it easier to keep on top of your food supplies before it is all mixed up again after a few days.
You are the judge of this – but my advice after seeing many a pantry as a Professional Organiser: better to have things done now than done perfectly.