Monday, January 16, 2017

34 Weeks of Clean- Rinse and Repeat: Week 2- The Pantry

Welcome back to 34 Weeks of Clean!


Oh my word!  You all are amazing- your excitement has absolutely thrilled me and your comments have blessed me.  I love to see you all cheering each other on and your sharing of our posts has helped spread the word across the United States!

If you are just joining us, we are so glad you are here.  You can find week one, Holiday Decorations here if you want to start from the top!  If this is your second week back, YAY you!   Know that we are cheering you on as well. We really are so excited to hear about all the people across the country who are determined to take back their houses with us - one week at a time!  And the pictures- wow,  did I mention you all are amazing?

So how'd you do with week 1?  Hopefully your trees are at the curb and your lights are taken down. Trust me, your neighbors will appreciate your effort! And as someone said this week, it is freeing.  As much as I love the pretty decorations, there is just something about starting the new year with a clean slate.

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Up this week, The Pantry!

Why start with the pantry?  I can only speak for myself here, but the holidays seem to be a season of food, more food, and even more food.  And a lot more junk food than normal.  I found myself opening the pantry, throwing something in, and shutting the door as quickly as possible to avoid the mess.  Yep, I am THAT kind of gal during the holidays.  But guess what ya'll?  Eventually, that mess starts trying to come out on its own.  So even if your pantry does not look as bad as mine, (and please do not tell me) yours surely could use some sprucing up as well.  Plus, we are in a new house this year, and let me tell you- not all pantries are created equal.  We went from a BIG, double door pantry to this little thing with a few pull out shelves.  Needless to say, some adjustments have had to be made and we did have to snag a little extra space in the cabinets.  Sometimes it pays to be creative.

Remember- our goal is to deep clean, de-clutter, and reorganize.

Here we go!

This week we are concentrating mostly on the food.  If you have food in other areas of your kitchen as well, don't leave it out!  Spices and such will be covered next week, as they reside elsewhere in my kitchen.
  • Pull everything out!  Yes, just do it.  I will wait.  And get used to it, because you will see that instruction at the beginning of every week.  We will pull EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING, out of a space to start with.  I promise, it works, just trust me!

  • Check expiration dates and throw things out.  One of our goals should be to NOT poison our families this year with bad food. Hey, did you know that even clear gelatin has an expiration date? Whoops. Who knew?!

  • Wipe down all of the shelves, wood or otherwise.  Between sticky honey drops (anyone else?) and dirty handprints, those things need to be cleaned!  If you are an all natural kind of gal, you can use my favorite natural cleaner recipe.  If you use store bought stuff, no worries - I won't tell anyone!

  • Wipe down the floors (or in my case drawers) of the pantry and the doors (or drawers) as well. You know women did not design all those fancy doors with little rims and grooves!  Sometimes it takes nothing short of a Q-tip to get those clean.  Yes, go ahead and get out your Q-tips!

  • Decide a plan of attack BEFORE you put things back.  I try to keep like things in one area, so in our case cans are on one shelf and boxed foods on another. You get the idea.
  • Put things back with purpose- do you use something only occasionally?  Put it higher up. All of our snacks are together, with smaller items in a basket, and then breakfast foods are at the bottom for easy access. 
  • Use glass jars when you can!  I admit, I love glass jars.  Here's why - I love the uniform look, I love that you can see exactly how much of something you have left, and I get so tired of looking at half opened boxes and bags.  This is especially true of things like flour and sugar.  I seriously would put our potato chips in a glass jar if I thought I could get by with it.  I also use Tupperware for staple item that need to be airtight.  After living in Florida for several years, I gave in and invested in containers that would keep the humidity and bugs out.  18 years later they are still reliable.  
  •  A quick word about food storage.  Yes, we do store extra food in case emergencies come up. (think power outages, blizzards, hurricanes, etc. But not in the same state, I know!)  We keep those foods in a large plastic tub that is inventoried and kept in the basement storage area where 1. it is cooler, and 2. little hands do not reach in and help themselves.
Finished results-

This project is a little quicker than last week's!  Regardless, don't forget, if you cannot do it all at once, no worries!  Set a timer for 15 minutes each day if you have to and work until it goes off.  Slow and steady wins the race.  You have a whole week so don't fret!  When you are done, reward yourself with a cup of tea and some chocolate.

And because a few of you have asked - nope, I am not going to give you a list of all the weeks in advance, though if you really want it, it is not hard to find! ;)  I remain convinced, and I saw from our first run of 34 Weeks, that it is best to only share each assignment as we go.  I think our tendency is to go in strong to a project like this, push too hard, and then fall off the wagon from exhaustion.  It's kind of like that rush at the gym every January. This way you can truly concentrate on the task at hand and not be weighed down by what is to come. 

So, I think that is about it!  This should not take you all week, but go on and get started.  There is never a better time than the present! And don't forget to post pictures of your progress- everyone who posts a picture for ALL 34 Weeks will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 prize package from our friends at 621 Gifts!  Wanna know one of our favorite products they have?

Sugar and Spice Pretzels and the Dipping Caramel.  Simply divine!  It would be the first thing I would put in the shopping cart!

Until next week - Happy cleaning and many blessings,


  1. We shopped yesterday and made our menu plan for the week. I've been trying to cook from the freezer and pantry more. Knowing what is there sure helps that process. Before our big holiday baking, I got a huge 25# bag of flour and we have more than I expected left. I have smaller Tupperware containers we scoop flour and sugar out of as we cook, but large glass jars would be ideal for extra bulk storage.

    1. I need to get back to cooking from the pantry! Thanks for the reminder. And that is a lot of flour- cookie for everyone! ;)

  2. Shared my (little bit of) progress in my Homeschool Highlights post. The decorations are all put away properly and we even weeded a bunch of them out. I need to work on the pantry still - maybe today.

    1. Great post! Glad you are joining us- and thank you for the shout out!!

  3. Wow! My pantry is so much more functional now. I'm embarrassed by how much stuff never got used and was up to 2 years past the best by date (some of the stuff I didn't buy). Now I can focus on using what I do have and replenishing the things I actually use as they are used up.


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