Sunday, 30 June 2013

Doing A Stock Take And A Clean Out

For a few months now I have been meaning to clean and do a stock of my pantry.  I have been putting it off.
I even had a good reason to do it a few weeks ago when I knocked over a bottle of balsamic vinegar and poured half the bottle on the shelf below and then onto the floor. But I still didn't do it.  I just cleaned up the vinegar and closed the door.  It was however 5.30 pm and I was in the middle of cooking dinner.  That's my excuse anyway.

It has taken me another 3 weeks to actually get around to emptying the entire pantry doing it properly.
Here in QLD one of the pests that we face on a constant basis are cockroaches.  And because we live in an old house that is not 100% sealed mice can be an issue as well.  This means that all food must be kept inside a well sealed container and even then I have had a hungry rodent try and chew through a plastic container to get to the contents.   Anything left in just the packaging it came in, even if it has not been opened, is at risk.
We have not had any issues with mice this year so one of reasons to clean out the pantry was to get rid of any food that might attract them as the weather cools down and they head indoors.  However once I removed everything from the first shelf the evidence of cockroaches was plain to see.  YUCK!!

Yuck, just look at that mess.  The paper also helps soak up the oil that
seems to find it's way onto the outside of the bottle
My pantry is built into the old cooker recess but the shelves have not been lined or painted so I like to line them with butchers paper or newspaper.  This makes it really easy to just fold up the old paper up wrapping any litter and mess inside to be thrown in the bin.

First job was to empty the pantry.

Spices out for checking a topping up
Second job sort through everything and top things up instead of having half packets inside storage containers.
Check expiry dates and discard anything out of date.  Make a mental note, or list if you prefer, of anything you have a lot of, close to expiring or cannot match it with anything.
In my case I discovered I have 2 packs of sushi paper that I need to use up, a few spices that I am out of and a few things that I had to through out.
I have topped up containers where I could, added to things I am out of to the shopping list and planned to make sushi on the weekend.  I also threw out half a block of compound chocolate that was hiding in the bottom of a container and was well out of date as well as a few other things.  Thankfully there was not a lot to throw out.

Then it was time to vacuum and wipe down the shelves before re lining with paper.

Ahhhh nice and clean
Then it was time to put everything back in.

Placing things that need using up first towards the front and at eye level will remind you to use them up.

Now all I have to do is sit back and and enjoy my nice tidy pantry.  Or bake up a storm, but that might mess up my organisation.  Oh well can't stop cooking.

I feel much better having done this and my next project is the filing cabinet, and that will be another challenge.

Do you have any areas that you are considering clearing out or taking stock of?


  1. I spent yesterday cleaning and sorting my laundry including mopping behind the washing machine which was very dusty, I did about 90 percent and have to do the last bit today. Every time I opened the cupboard to get the dustpan it fell out and I have my vases under the sink as well and there wasn't a lot of room because everything which was once organised was now not organized. Even no one else would notice I felt a whole lot better. Now to a couple of cupboards in the kitchen to make more space. Regards Kathy A , Brisbane, Australia

  2. Great job there I'd say Fiona, particularly as you have been giving yourself a stockpile chalenge - I'd say there's still plenty left in the panty. Mine would look like this too if I cleaned it out.
    Aren't cockroaches just the biggest pain. We have them too - I just wish that the geckos would destroy them.
    The weather is conducive to cleaning out I think. While we have both been home sick, I have to say that I've tackled the filing cabinet which is good now that we are into the next financial year.

  3. My pantry needs doing too *sigh*, but it's going to have to wait as my sewing supplies need to take precedence. I've had avid if a sewing spree lately and I have now got fabric all over the place instead of in nice little boxes. Might be a job for the school holidays I think.

  4. You have a lovely large pantry. Good Job, it looks so so organised. My filing cabinet seems to be my downfall.

  5. Wow looks Great!!!

  6. It sounds like there is a bit of a cleansing bug going around, maybe it is because we are all spending a bit more time indoors instead of going outside to ignore it.


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