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Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist: Pantry Edition

Picture this.

It’s the end of a long day. The kids haven’t showered, homework isn't done, and you still haven’t made dinner. You’d like to whip together a quick meal but, of course, there’s no food. 

Yet. . . 

A quick look in the pantry says otherwise. Food is piling on top of each other, things are falling off the shelf, and it’s impossible to find the one thing you’re looking for. 

If that’s you, then a Pantry Spring Cleaning may be just what you need to re-energize! Because, as famous Japanese Organizing Consultant, Marie Kondo, says, 

“The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living in that environment.”

So let’s kick off the season with a heaping dose of happiness! Here’s the Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist: Pantry Edition.

Empty Shelves

It may seem unnecessary, but taking everything off the shelves helps you get a better look at everything you have. You’d be surprised with how many food products you don’t need, want, or even remember having. Plus, it keeps you from the temptation of “I’ll finish tomorrow. . .

Toss Expired Products

With everything out in the open, now’s the time to get that trash can handy. Check the expiration dates, toss what’s expired, and recycle where you can. 

Quick tip: spices should be tossed after 6 months.

“Marry” Like Products 

Chances are, you’ve found multiple containers of the same products. Spices, flour, etc. So, after ensuring they’re not expired, marry ‘em up in the same container.

Donate Canned Goods

If you have lots of extra canned goods, consider donating to a local food bank. Here’s a list of several nationwide organizations:

Set Up For Success

Building healthy habits for the whole family isn’t a walk in the park. But creating a positive environment that supports your family’s health goals make it much easier! So, take the time to toss any products that aren’t aligned with healthy habits.

Candy? Don’t need it. 

Ultra-processed foods? Toss ‘em.

Sugary gummy vitamins? Show ‘em the door.

The pantry is a great place to foster an environment of success. Here are a few simple swaps:

Wipe Down Shelves

Warm water and soap is all you need for a good wipe down. But if it’s especially dirty or dusty back there, then running over with a vacuum may help. Just make sure you get into the nooks and crannies. Crumbs love hanging out in those areas.

If you have a case of the “stickies,” then mix equal parts baking soda and water to wipe down. For exxxttrraaaaa sticky spots, let the solution sit before wiping down.


It’s easier to organize before you’ve put all the food back. So, take the time to decide how you want your pantry to look. Are your spices hard to reach? Move ‘em down a shelf. Got lots of small packages? Throw ‘em in a small bin. Here are a few handy tips:

  • Flour should not be next to strong herbs & spices such as cumin or curry.
  • Onions should not be next to potatoes – it causes spoiling.
  • Potatoes should be stored in a dark space as well as olive oil.

Replace with Food that Brings Joy

Spring cleaning is about sparking joy in your home. And the pantry is no different. As you’re adding food back into your pantry, make sure the food you keep is good for your body, mind, and soul.

Quick Pantry Spring Cleaning Checklist:

Empty Shelves

Toss Expired Products

Marry Like Products

Donate Canned Goods

Set up for Success

Wipe Down Shelves


Replace with Food that Brings Joy

Happy Spring Cleaning!


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