While we may not share the same weather in Vancouver and Calgary, we do share one common problem as we approach the Holiday Season: how to get your space looking clutter-free as painlessly as possible. Our time is limited and our families are busy. Decluttering is often on your mind, but it can be difficult to get started. When you have piles of belongings, collectibles and life literally blocking your vision, it’s hard to know where to begin and what to do.
Here at Maple Leaf Self Storage, we hope to help you ease this pain. We believe our five-part clutter-free guide will assist you in conquering your clutter and taking back your space. Wouldn’t you rather be enjoying your life with friends and family? With one dedicated afternoon for each of the parts, your home will be in showcase-ready condition.
For part two of the five-part clutter-free guide, we will help you declutter your pantry. If you missed the previous part of the five-part clutter-free guide, you could find it here:
Purge your pantry
As food is essential to any holiday parties, we want your pantry to look organize and refresh. Let’s get started.
- Move everything out of the pantry. This way, you can thoroughly wipe your food storage area while sort out any expired items.
- Clean and scrub. We recommend using the non-toxic vinegar solution. The portion should be roughly one-part vinegar to five-part water. For notorious stains, we recommend using baking soda. The portion should be three-part baking soda to one-part water. Apply and rub the paste on the stain, let it sit for 10-15 minutes then wipe clean.
- Toss out the expired. Although dried goods have long shelf lives, they still have expiry dates. The second step to purge your pantry is to toss out anything that is expired.
- Watch for the expiry date. For the remaining items, gauge your usage in the past 3-6 months and see if you’ll use them. If you have any unwanted items, place them in a box and donate to your local food bank.The following is a cheat sheet for what to toss and keep for some of your pantry items:
- Cooking Oil. Once opened, oils should last 5-6 months in your pantry (in cool temperature).
- Dried Pasta. Generally speaking, dried pasta has a shelf life of up to two years unopened, but once it’s opened, it could go stale.
- Flour. According to Oldways Whole Grains Council, all-purpose flour can store for up to six months, and whole wheat flour can be stored for up to three months if your pantry is dry and clean.
- Rice. According to EatbyDate.com, uncooked white rice can store for up to 4-5 years while brown, and wild rice can store for up to 8 months.
- Dried Spices and Herbs. According to SpicesEtc.com, most dried herbs and spices can be stored for up to 3 years. Keep in mind they should be stored in an area that is out of direct sunlight and away from any moisture.
Refresh your pantry
Now your troops are all lined up and ready to march back to its station. It’s time to restock. The following three easy-to-follow steps will show you how.
- Wipe all bottles and jars clean using the same non-toxic vinegar solution.
- Use any empty jars to store dried herbs and spices. To beautify your pantry, use mason jars as they are easy to stack and looks good.
- Store the items you often use in front while placing the other items from left to right based on their expiration dates. This way, you’ll use the items that are closest to the expiry date first.
Want to learn more? Read the Clutter-Free Guide Part 3 – Kitchen now!
Still need more help?
Unsure of how to declutter your space? Consider hiring a professional organizer to help. At Maple Leaf Self Storage, we not only have many short and long term self storage units available for rent, we also have a network of experienced Professional Organizers who can help guide you declutter your home, making room for a new family member or just trying to regain control of your space. We like to help you to get “More Space. More Life” because it is so much easier to work, live and focus on important things when you have space physically and mentally. Most professional organizers in our Referral Network belong to the Professional Organizers of Canada, an organization representing over 500 members across Canada.
We look forward to helping you declutter and create space. Please contact one of our 10 self storage locations in the greater Vancouver area or 2 locations in Calgary AB for all your storage needs.