Spring Cleaning and Restocking Your Pantry

pantry

It's that time of year again -- time to start cleaning and restocking your pantry! If you're like me and love to cook, it's so important to keep everything clean and organized so you can easily grab and go when you're cooking or baking.

Here are my best tips for getting tackling this year's clean-up:

1. Purge first, ask questions later. I like to take a Saturday morning to initiate my pantry purge. I look at every single expiration date and immediately throw away whatever may have gone bad. Honestly? This should be something that I do with the change of seasons, but let's all admit that life gets in the way. But I make sure to do this every spring for the ultimate in refreshing tasks. Take your time, have a mimosa, possibly nosh some toffee while you go through it all. Bonus points for separating the containers that can be recycled!

2. Note the missing pieces and hit the shops. Usually as I am taking things out of the cupboard, I'm making a grocery list. If you usually keep a stocked pantry and something essential is gone, it can be a complete time suck heading off to the grocery.

3. Try some new things. We all have our go-to ingredients that we love or use all the time. But why not try something new? I have a section in my pantry (to the left, and in a basket at eye level) with a few ingredients that I've been wanting to try, but never have. Those ingredients are at eye level so they don't  get lost -- it's important to follow up on those whims!

4. Organize mindfully. This one is a little trickier. Think about what you use the most and put it in the most easily accessible place in the pantry. Get reusable containers for baking items like flour and sugar to give your pantry a streamlined feel. Hide things that you may not want to use as much (tortilla chips -- guilty). How do you find a way to organize it all? I usually try to spend a minute looking around in there. Your pantry isn't really somewhere you linger (unless it's an afternoon toffee popcorn hunt). Spend a minute looking around and see what you can do to make some helpful changes.

If you follow these tips, you're guaranteed to have a clean, organized pantry just in time for the spring baking season! Enjoy!

-- Christine