I like to clean and organize my pantry every few months. It becomes a mess. My little ones like to explore in the pantry and items are often moved around. I set aside a few hours to do this chore.
1. Start with a pantry inventory sheet. You can create an Excel or Word document, find one at this website or download one of mine, here or here.
2. Empty every item from the pantry and put them in one place. Line them up on your kitchen / dining room table or floor. This makes it easy to see what you have.
3. Clean shelves and floor.
4. Sort through all your items. Discard any that are out of date or you no longer wish to use. Donate unwanted (in date) items to your local food bank. Empty packages into clear containers. This makes it easier to see when you need to shop for more. Refill larger bulk containers as needed. Label your containers and jars. It will help you and your family to find items quickly. As you sort through your items, write the item and quantity on your pantry inventory sheet.
5. Put items back on the shelf in a way that makes sense to you and the space you have. For example, try and put like with like. Examples of this are canned goods, spices or grains. Put extra inventory at the back of the shelves. If you have time and inclination, label your shelves. It will help you and your family to put items back in the correct place.
6. Keep your pantry inventory list in your pantry or in your home management binder to help with grocery lists and menu planning.