Day 293 Decluttering the pantry again

I have a hankering to rearrange the pantry again. Fine tuning the kitchen seems to be an ongoing exercise for me. As I slowly declutter more and more items I am continually reshuffling things around to find the best set-up. One day I will be satisfied and call it quits but that time isn’t here yet.

Some of you may think that if I just took care of it in one fell swoop it would be done and I could leave well enough alone. But you all know by now that is just not the way I operate. As I become more and more ruthless or sensible as the case may be, I am finding more things I am now happy to be rid of. Things I thought I wanted to keep but have found I really don’t use or only use them cyclically because I have too many of them.

Anyway I digress…Before I start reshuffling the pantry I am going to do some Natural Progression Decluttering of the excess food items so I don’t have to move them around.

Tonight for dinner we are having Tofu Laksa with Rice Vermicelli Noodles – Items used from the pantry were…   1 Packet of  laksa paste, 1 can of coconut milk and 1 packet of Vermicelli Noodles

Yesterday for dinner we had Beef Stew with dumplings – Item used from the pantry…  The last of a jar of beef stock powder.

On Sunday for dessert we had Creamed Rice with Apricot Conserve – Items from the pantry were…   The last of a packet of arborio rice and a half used jar of apricot conserve.

I haven’t decided what we are having for dinner tomorrow but I am sure I will find something in there to use up.

Does your pantry or refrigerator need a little decluttering? Take a look and see what you can find that has been lingering there for a while and find a way to use it up. Think outside the box if you have to. I don’t usually use arborio rice to make creamed rice but it worked, and I usually stew dried apricots but the apricot conserve was just as nice and less hassle to prepare. You never know you may come up with some new recipes while you are at it.


Today’s item was a two for one decluttering exercise. Not only did we get rid of the PC pictured on this box but we packaged it up in its box to be sent to my brother-in-law. This freed up space in the TV unit and the garage in one effort.

Another PC5 Things I am grateful for today

  1. Getting things done around the house regardless of the limitations I had on my range of moment.
  2. When I get sudden inspiration for a blog post when I am struggling for ideas and the day is running out.
  3. A hot shower on tired muscles.
  4. That quiet place within – It’s not always easy to find but is certainly worth the search.
  5. Finding the easy way to clean my oven – I haven’t actually found one yet but I figured if I am grateful in advance a miracle might happen. Please!


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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission ~ Friday 22Dec2017 Declutter a couple of old shabby shoes that you no long choose to use.
  • Mini Mission ~ Thursday 21Dec2017 Declutter your fridge of out of date items or by using up as much as possible before adding more. With the holiday season here you will likely need every inch of spare space.
  • Mini Mission ~ Wednesday 20Dec2017 Declutter by recycling some items. That mound ofused takeout containers, old newspapers and magazines, paperwork that needs shredding, glass jars you set aside in case you have a use for […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I really need to make a big batch of beans…

  2. Last week, I made up a huge pot of kidney beans, used two cups for a soup recipe and froze three packets of 2 cups each for future meals. Result: one quart jar empty.

    Today: Dhal from lentils in the pantry.

    About that clean oven? I recommend a fairy godmother. If that doesn’t work out, try baking soda and water.

    • Hi Willow,
      This is the eighth oven I have had in my married life and I have never come across one that gets dirty so easily and quickly and is so difficult to clean. I have tried all the usual cleaning tips but am now considering either dynamite or causing some sort of electrical failure in it that costs more than replacing it. 😆

  3. I second the baking soda. I mix mine with salt into a paste, smooth on all over the oven, leave overnight and then scrub in the morning. But I’m not saying it’s easy! 🙂

    As it’s getting cold here I realise my pantry really needs overhauling. Last year we were hit with massive snowstorms and I was lucky and had food. I’d like to be prepared again.

    • Hi TheSimplePoppy,
      Thanks for the cleaning tip but like I said to Willow, I think dynamite may be the best solution.

      I miss the snow here but then I never had to live with it all through the winter only the odd day here and there.

  4. A dish of ammonia set in the cold oven overnight. Said to loosen baked-on crud. I have not tried this, but annie at annienygma recommends it.

    You’ve got your pantry reorganization, I’ve got my basement, the last screaming throes of stuff that really needs to move on….

  5. My girlfriend Holly eats her pantry and freezer down twice a year or so. At first I thought it was weird – especially when I would look into her cabinet and find nothing but flour, sugar, and spices – but now I see the utility of it.

    • Hi Cindy,
      I know that this is the second time I have written about it here at 365lessthings so I suppose I must do it on a regular basis too without even realising it. The freeze and fridge will be in my sights at the same time but they never get too bad because I have a very small fridge freezer.

  6. I think I see some mulberries in that last photo, but what do you call that first, intricate flower? Looks like something that would be on a desert succulent.

  7. PLEASE let my husband discover the joy of de-cluttering the freezer!!!


    • Sorry Bobbi if I new how to train husbands I could make a fortune on the internet and come and live in France like you. I am just lucky my husband is on board with this whole declutter process and I take no credit for that.

  8. In case anyone is going to try the ammonia in the oven, make sure to have good ventilation; that stuff is potent. I have had some success with putting a pan of boiling water in the oven and letting it sit for about an hour. The steam loosens up the “lesser” crud. For the “greater” crud, I have followed up the steam treatment with using a scraper made by cutting in half a plastic lid (like the kind that comes with a can of coffee) and using the straight side. It won’t damage the oven’s finish. My final solution is chemical oven cleaner, but sprayed only on the stubborn spots. Ventilation needed for this too 🙂

    • Hi Jo,
      thanks you your tips. I have tried just about everything with this oven but it is very stubborn. I have never come across this problem with any other oven I have had so I will just have to do the best I can with what I have.

  9. Ah, the pantry. One of my greatest challenges. Once stuff gets pushed to the back (of the cupboard or the fridge) and has sat there for a few months (not fresh food, just bottles of condiments, lol), I start to worry if it’s still safe. Leads to lots of stressing out and lots of waste when I finally decide I’d rather toss it than get sick. I know the solution is to get organized, and I’ve done it before. I just need to KEEP doing it. That’s harder!

    • Hi Jo,
      we all fall into this trap so don’t be too hard on yourself. I find the biggest problem is deciding to try something new and then not liking it enough to get through it all. I suppose nothing ventured nothing gained is the attitude and throw it out being content that we tried something new.

  10. Next oven you buy, make sure it is a pyrolytic one, well worth the extra couple of hundred bucks and it cleans itself by burning off the gunk then you just wipe it out, no chemicals or hard work at all. I have two ovens in my new kitchen and just love this feature of them.

  11. One thing that’s helped me & hubby in a few ways was a meal plan. For the longest time I thought women that did it were a bit nuts, but found if we stick to a week at a time, we’re good. Hubby’s now gone for (who knows how long…2 to 6 months) his job, but I still am trying to do this….with an adjustment or 2. One night is leftovers–cooking what I normally would & putting the rest in the fridge is great for lunch (on-line student at home) and then one-day-a-week leftovers for dinner. One night is Pantry eating….there is plenty in the pantry, cupboards, and freezer for a few weeks. After that, I can continue to do so after I get 1 or 2 ingredients. That way, I only have to get meals for 5 days a week plus some snack items. 🙂 Cheaper & a lot easier instead of “What do I do? I’ll just go get Fast Food.”