Deep Clean Week 13: Your Pantry and/or Food Storage

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Everyone’s home is a little different. Some of you may be in a small space with very limited storage and have to get very creative when storing food in your home. Some of you may have a very large pantry. This is why I’m using the term food storage in addition to the term pantry. You might have a cupboard shelf or two, maybe you have taken over the linen closet. Growing up, we had a couple of shelves in our laundry room

Whatever the case, today we are going in to your food storage area(s) for three reasons:

  1. To remove expired food.
  2. To check for signs of pantry moths, biscuit beetles, or other pests
  3. To take stock of what we need to have on hand in case of emergency.

You aren’t going to need a lot for today:

  • pen/paper
  • broom/dustpan
  • trash bag(s)
  • vacuum
  • potentially all-purpose spray & rag or paper towels
  • flashlight if your food storage areas are dim or unlit

If you have food in its original packaging, check for holes and tears. If the food is unopened, but the packaging is damaged, you’re going to need to check closer for infestation, as that’s how the pests get in. Check the corners of your food storage area, especially the upper and lower ones for any signs of webbing or insect or rodent debris. Clean up ANY spilled food as this invites more and throw out any damaged and expired food. If you can, transfer food to air-tight containers.

In my part of the country, as I write this, we’re already two weeks into hurricane season, lucky us. This means that it’s time for us to take stock and make sure we have at least enough food to get us through two weeks of no power. We also need to be able to store enough water for every family member for at least 72 hours minimum.

The good news is that you don’t need to run out and stock up all at once after you do this deep clean. Just add a little bit to each shopping trip until you meet that general standard. Oh, I can hear those of you in evacuation zones clamoring, have we already forgotten March of 2020? Having non-perishable food on hand makes it much easier to stay home when you need to. It doesn’t take a worldwide pandemic to need to. Sometimes it’s just a very personal case of stomach flu. Speaking of that, go ahead and take stock of your first aid kit/medicine cabinet. Do you have your basics? Good.

For later:

It’s awesome if you can afford a set like these, but there is nothing wrong with repurposing jam jars, pickle jars, etc if that is the route you need to take. I used to be so happy whenever my mom and stepfather would pass along the empty gallon jars they bought their pickles in. They were perfect for storing grains in. I also used to ask the ladies in the bakery at the grocery store if they had any empty frosting buckets and they were happy to pass those along. I just had to wash those out. Just be polite and don’t ask when they are busy.

Ready? Let’s go!

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