organize kitchen pantry
Photo: David Tsay
Time Required: 30 minutes

Check the Dates
Immediately get rid of those long-expired pickles and cake mixes and the can of chicken soup you bought to cure a nasty cold in 2005.

Banish "Aspirational" Foods
The sun-dried-tomato tapenade you planned to serve at the dinner party you didn't get around to hosting? The hearty dry-bean soup mix whose instructions sound like a drag? "Let it go," says Walsh. "Anything you don't use regularly or have immediate plans to use is in danger of being wasted."

Group "Like" Foods
Assign each category—canned beans, pasta sauces, packaged snacks—its own section of shelf, and keep only what fits in the allotted space. Pack everything else into a box marked "donate."

Atone for Your Waste
In addition to dropping off edible nonperishables at a local food bank, "estimate the cost of your expired cans—and write a check for that amount," suggests Walsh. "That will help you commit to eating what you buy."

Get Rid of it for Good
Visit foodpantries.org to find a soup kitchen or food bank near you.

More Organizational Advice from Peter Walsh

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