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A Clean Pantry

January 6th, 2016

Cleaning the pantry was yesterday’s item on The Cure. For me, that essential means half the kitchen. The pantry is about the same size as the kitchen and houses a ton of stuff. There are big glass containers full of bulk items like salt, popcorn, dried fruit, grains, etc. There are also glass storage containers, food stuffs, and pretty much everything I use for cooking besides dishes and pots & pans.
pantry cleaning 1
There were nails here and there and hooks that were only put in with one screw (from previous owners) that I have just never gotten around the removing. Those came down, all the rough sawn wooden shelves got a really good vacuuming, which removed the cobwebs that invariable accumulate.
pantry cleaning 2
pantry cleaning 3
Everything came off of every shelf and they were each vacuumed, there’s no washing them since they are rough sawn lumber, but at least there’s no more dust or mouse droppings. This is an old not very well sealed up house so we get mice in the pantry all the time. Now you know why everything is sealed up tightly in glass jars. The cats catch the mice, but not before they scurry around leaving a bit of a mess here and there.
pantry cleaning 4
I’m always amassing eggs for my various egg customers, one of which picks up five dozen every couple weeks.
pantry cleaning 5
Last week I got these containers to organize my various caps for glass jars. They used to be in one large basket on the floor, but it always took time to find the size I was looking for. Now they’re organized into the three different sizes that I have and it’s perfect. It’s also nice that they’re up off the floor. After being asked a few time about these containers, they’re Koziol Organizer , made in Germany from BPA free plastic.
pantry cleaning 6
pantry cleaning 7
The shelves look much neater & tidier after a good cleaning. I didn’t purge much, I tend to do that throughout the year as I’m cooking. Every single jar/bottle was wiped down to get rid of any dust that had accumulated, which is quite a lot in an old dusty house. I’m not 100% finished yet, I still have to finish taking out everything that’s on the floor and giving the floor a good cleaning. It’s nice to have this very involved chore out of the way for the year.

What spring cleaning chores do you need to tackle before the garden gets going again?

19 Comments to “A Clean Pantry”
  1. Tiffany on January 6, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I usually do most of my deep cleaning and house projects between November and March, but the time and money involved in starting a farmers’ market has taken up most of our resources. I can at least get a few rooms deep cleaned. I need to tackle some closets in the next few days. They get damp and sometimes get some mold spots.

    Reply to Tiffany's comment

    • Lorna on January 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Tiffany. By closets, do you mean clothes closets? We had a disaster with all our winter hats/mittens/scarves getting musty-moldy in the cellar this past summer. I’ve tried soaking in vinegar, washing with vinegar+tea tree oil+ baking soda, and hanging things in the sun (for a week) and nothing has gotten rid of the musty smell. Do you have any suggestions? Bleach is not an option due to the color and an allergy. Thanks!

      Reply to Lorna's comment

      • Janet on January 6, 2016 at 5:11 pm

        Have you tried soaking in ammonia. When I have stinky clothes, I use a tote and fill it mostly with water plus a could cups of vinegar. Let everything soak for an hour or 2, then wash.

        to Janet's comment

    • Susy on January 7, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Lorna, I’d try using oxygen bleach, it’s supposed to get rid of odors and kill mold/mildew.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. PennyAshevilleNC on January 6, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Your pantry is beautiful, good work Suzy!

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

  3. bonnie knox on January 6, 2016 at 10:47 am

    What a fantastic pantry! (Clean or dirty, it’s fantastic, but it sounds like you did A LOT of work getting it all cleaned up!)
    I love your lid organization idea!
    My grandmother had a pantry off the kitchen. She didn’t want us rummaging through it, so I don’t remember what was in it. I wish I could go back in time and take a look at it from the perspective of an adult who is interesting in food storage.

    Reply to bonnie knox's comment

    • bonnie knox on January 7, 2016 at 10:44 am

      *interested* not *interesting*

      Reply to bonnie knox's comment

  4. Nebraska Dave on January 6, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Susy, wow, that pantry looks amazing. Not so much with my basement food storage area. I should do the same as you did but I probably won’t this year. I have other parts of the house that need more attention. It’s a real challenge to keep a house in order when two household members are not so much into keeping things neat. My challenge for this month is to take a room and deep clean it and then get into a habit of doing a daily sweep before going to the next room. Getting the basement cleaned out is on the list. Then all the 11 year old boy stuff will be moved into the basement play area. That would help tremendously in keep the main living area a little more in order. I really don’t like house cleaning but it’s one of those things that has to be done. :-)

    Have a great Winter/Spring house cleaning day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  5. Misti on January 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

    It’s been awhile since I’ve cleaned mine out and I certainly need to get on it soon. I’m trying to use some stuff I’ve had for awhile. Love how yours looks!

    Reply to Misti's comment

  6. Grandma Zee on January 6, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Looks great, always gives you a good feeling to get things organiized. Tip for getting rid of the mice: Bounce dryer sheets, must be the bounce brand, just original scent, lay them around, tucked into corners, etc. mice will be gone, You do have to put new ones in about once every 9 to 12 months. I use them in the parts of my chicken house ( were the chickens can’t get them) and it keeps the mice out of the whole chicken house.
    I really enjoy your blog. I just did my office / sewing room, pantry is next.

    Reply to Grandma Zee's comment

    • Susy on January 7, 2016 at 11:26 am

      I’m working on the sewing room as well!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Lorna on January 6, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Thank you for the link to The Cure. I’ve signed up and hope to complete at least some of the tasks :) No pressure to do them all!

    It’s funny though, the first few tasks are things I’ve been doing the past few days–cleaning the floors, making lists of things to be fixed, and today was to be sort-the-pantry day! Actually, I need to dismantle my cellar pantry area and rebuild it in a more user-friendly way. I’m sure it worked great for the previous owners (storage for big bulky items) but not so great for canned goods etc. I need narrower shelves so things don’t get so deep (and hidden).

    Reply to Lorna's comment

  8. Victoria on January 6, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Suzy, I see you have eggs in your pantry. How long will they stay fresh? 2-3 weeks? Just curious how long before you need to refrigerate them.

    I love your blog. I have learned so much reading your posts! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply to Victoria's comment

    • Susy on January 7, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I never put them in the fridge, I’ll keep them for months out of the fridge. These are fresh from my chickens and are unwashed. I grew up in South America where eggs are never in the cooler, even in the store.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Wendy on January 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Such a great idea for your lids–mine are collected in a Ziploc bag on the kitchen counter.

    Reply to Wendy's comment

    • Susy on January 7, 2016 at 10:51 am

      It really is great, I’m constantly using them and finding the right size always takes a few seconds. I really love having them organized by size now, not to mention it simply looks better and it’s up off the floor so I don’t have to move the basket to vacuum.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Janet on January 6, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Where did you get the containers for your lids?

    Reply to Janet's comment

  11. Veronica Moreno on January 13, 2016 at 6:31 am

    My pantry is also a separate room. We live on a farm and have many many jars that we store in the pantry. I need some serious preparation before cleaning the pantry because it isn’t that easy. Soon I am planning to clean and organize it because during the last few months we made a mess there. I really appreciate the post! You did a great job!

    Reply to Veronica Moreno's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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