Kitchen Pantry Clean Out Tips

Most of us reach a point where we have a lot of food in our pantry, yet there doesn’t seem to be much to eat or many meal ideas. If your pantry is bursting at the seams, it is a great time to do a pantry clean out week! It is good to do a pantry cleanout regularly, to keep on top of items accumulating and to avoid waste.


~ go on a spending freeze!  You can likely get away without spending money on groceries, or just shopping for a few items to create recipes

~ reduce food waste (by not having to throw away expired foods)

~ make room / organize / declutter

~ a good time to do this is also before a big trip or vacation, so you can clean out your pantry before leaving

Here are some tips for a pantry clean out!

Start by checking expiration dates

A great place to start is going through everything and check expiration dates. Toss anything that is past the expiration date that is no longer usable.  Next, choose items that are at or near expiration, so you can use those first.


Be realistic when it comes to what you want to keep and what would be good to donate. Many times things get purchased but then they don’t seem appealing, so it is best to either eat those first or just donate them.


Organize what you have in your pantry.  For example, jars of pasta sauce can go together, as well as other things like condiments or grains.

Set aside items to use first

Choose which food items are going to get used first; these are often going to be ones that are close to expiration.

Decide on recipes

Start researching some recipes you can use for your food items, so that you can put them to good use. For example, if you have beans and you want to put together a soup, you can buy some vegetables to add in.  Consider that most items you will need to buy will be fresh, healthy ingredients to go alongside your shelf stable items.


While you are going through foods, clean the pantry as well. Vacuum, wipe down shelves, etc. This is a good way to keep your pantry clean, avoid pests (such as ants or mice), and feel good about your kitchen pantry. You may want to purchase some shelf bins or other organizational supplies to help get things in order.

Some extra tips

~ sometimes I like to see how long I can go without buying groceries or anything besides fresh fruits or veggies to accompany the pantry cleanout!
~ try making some bulk meals, freezer meals, etc.
~ stay on track – no eating out!
~ try some new recipes and mix up your usual routine for ingredients

What do you think?

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  • Clark
    February 9, 2024

    I decided to clean out my kitchen pantry after reading this, I notice some expired cans and jars. I was surprised by how much food I had accumulated over the years, some of which I had forgotten about. I sorted everything into piles: keep, will donate, and will toss. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I cleared the shelves and wiped them clean. I vowed to be more mindful of what I buy and consume in the future.

  • Samantha Donnelly
    February 9, 2024

    This is a job I keep putting off and do need to address at some stage. My cupboards are so messy as people take things out and never put them back in the right place

  • adriana
    February 9, 2024

    These are great tips! I’m sitting at my kitchen island reading this and now I feel like my pantry is staring me down… Haha! Maybe I’ll make some time tomorrow morning to clean it out!

  • Beth
    February 9, 2024

    I’m so inspired now! My pantry looks like a bomb went off in there. I actually am not sure exactly what’s in there. LOL

  • Tammy
    February 9, 2024

    I definitely need to go through my pantry and check those expiration dates. But great tips to keep the space organized!

  • Sue-Tanya Mchorgh
    February 9, 2024

    This blog post offers a refreshing perspective on managing pantry overflow! A pantry cleanout week sounds like the perfect solution to combat food waste and rediscover hidden culinary treasures. With benefits ranging from saving money to decluttering and organizing, it’s a win-win for both your wallet and your kitchen sanity. Plus, the idea of pre-vacation pantry purging is genius for coming home to a fresh start. Ready to roll up my sleeves and tackle that pantry clutter!

  • Luna S
    February 9, 2024

    All of these are fantastic tips! This reminds me I need to go through and clean out my pantry.

  • Heather
    February 9, 2024

    My pantry is always low in stock! It is always good to go through it, clean and check the dates!

  • Tara Pittman
    February 10, 2024

    This will help me save money. My pantry really needs a clean out.

  • Megan | The Booknerd Lifestyle
    February 10, 2024

    I have been trying to look through my pantry and meal plan before grocery shopping. It’s definitely a learned skill. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  • rosey
    February 10, 2024

    I had some expired cans the last time I cleaned up and I was so surprised. I thought I was so careful with food. I guess I keep pushing them back when I buy new ones and some get lost in the mix.

  • LavandaMIchelle
    February 10, 2024

    We recently cleaned out the pantry for the New Year deep clean. I wish I would’ve seen this post sooner!! I didn’t realize how much space we could be saving. I’ll definitely keep this in mind.

  • angie
    February 11, 2024

    oh yes a chore that we do about evert season. Cleaning out the kitchen may be dreaded but it still needs done. Love the post you wrote here gave a lot of ideas when we do it again

  • Beautiful Touches
    February 11, 2024

    Periodic pantry clean outs have been so essential for me. Especially before the nest was empty, sometimes it was difficult to keep track of inventory, so being smart about what and how we bought food to last was important with being cost-efficient.

  • Catalina
    February 11, 2024

    The concept of organizing the pantry and focusing on using items that are close to expiration is something I hadn’t given much thought to before. It’s so easy to keep buying new groceries without realizing the treasures hidden in the back of the pantry.

  • laura
    February 11, 2024

    These are great tips that I need when I organize my pantry. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  • Christy G
    February 12, 2024

    I need to clean out my deep freezer desperately. There is stuff in there from at least two years ago. I kinda forget about it. I’ll have to tackle that project soon on a day just before trash day.