If you only have time to deep-clean one area of your house on a regular basis, make it your pantry. It’ll save you money by keeping you aware of what you have on hand, and help you to avoid a pantry moth infestation. I tackled my pantry this morning, and snapped some photos to show you my system for maintaining a clean, bug-free pantry.
Step 1: Remove everything from your pantry. Toss the expired foods, and wipe off sticky containers. Then, wipe up all of the crumbs and spills on your pantry shelves with all-purpose cleaner, vinegar or warm, soapy water.
Step 2: Vacuum the corners, walls and undersides of shelves. This extra effort will go a long way towards keeping moths out of your pantry.
Step 3: Inspect all grains for signs of moth activity – flour, rice, beans, oatmeal, whatever you’ve got. Toss anything with moths, webbing or larvae. If you have grains that are still in their store packaging, transfer them to air-tight containers. This will minimize the spread of moths, should you ever bring home something buggy from the store.
As a preventative measure, I actually store all of my flour and oatmeal in the freezer. It keeps them fresh longer, and ensures that I never have a problem with moths. If you don’t have the space to keep your grains in the freezer, stick them in the freezer for 24 hours when you first bring them home. This will kill any eggs that may be present (gross to think about, but important nonetheless).
Step 4: If you store your spice rack in your pantry, be sure to give it a good cleaning. Ditto for any storage bins or baskets.
Step 5: Return everything to your pantry, taking the time to group like items together, so they’ll be easy to find later. If you have multiples of an item, consider storing the extras in your stockpile until you need them.
Step 6: Make a list of ingredients that you need to buy. Plan meals around ingredients that you forgot you had. Then, check another task off of your to do list!