Task 4 – Declutter 52 Things in 52 Weeks Challenge – Expired Foods

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Welcome to week 4 of my 52 Things in 52 Weeks Declutter Challenge. If you haven’t signed up yet, join me today and remove all those things in your home you no longer need or use.

When you declutter something in your home that has been driving you crazy for a long time, it can be one of the most rewarding achievements. It may sound so simple and quite boring, but just imagine getting rid of all that paperwork that you have piled up on your overstuffed study desk, or getting all your laundry finally washed, sorted, ironed and put away from the pile that’s been sitting in the spare room for so long. Don’t underestimate the power of a good declutter! It can have such a positive effect on your health and well being of your mind, body and soul. Don't risk food that's past its used-by date! See my tips here for getting rid of expired food and organising your cupboards.

The ‘Declutter 52 things in 52 Weeks’ Challenge is completely FREE!!! Sign up to my daily emails so you don’t miss when the next task goes live. Alternatively, visit the blog each Wednesday to see the latest task. I will publish a new task on the blog every Wednesday.

Please share a photo of your space each week on Instagram using hashtag #declutter52 and tag @theorganisedhousewife

Decluttering Task #4

Expired Food

Not only can expired food waste so much space in your fridge and pantry, but it can also be very dangerous if the expired food is consumed. You don’t want a salmonella outbreak to deal with, and you definitely don’t want the food to be accidentally consumed by your children who don’t know any better! Don’t risk food that is past its used-by date, purge it all and only keep fresh food in your fridge and non-expired cans and other items in your pantry!! Now is the perfect time to get rid of expired food. Get it done before the kids go back to school.

Don't risk food that's past its used-by date! See my tips here for getting rid of expired food and organising your cupboards.


Note: My definition of purge – sell, donate, repurpose or throw away items as you see fit!!

  • Check all used-by dates on all your cans, packaged products all condiments in the fridge.
  • Purge anything that’s out of date.
  • If you have more than one package of something and you know that you won’t use both in time, purge the older product or give it to a friend who will cook with it.
  • Organise your fridge by putting similar things on the same shelf.
  • Make sure everything is in clear view of its expiration date.
  • Rearrange your fruit and vegetables in a way that you can use the oldest produce first so that it doesn’t go off. You can use plastic sealed containers to organise your fruit and vegetables too.
  • Use airtight storage containers to help keep things fresher in your pantry and fridge, and also help with the visibility of your food products.


An organised fridge not only makes things easier for you when it comes to preparing meals, but it’s also very important to avoid food contamination, which can make you very sick. It’s not too difficult to organise your fridge to suit your family’s needs.

  READ MORE: How to Organise the Fridge and Keep It Tidy

Don't risk food that's past its used-by date! See my tips here for getting rid of expired food and organising your cupboards.

  READ MORE: How to Organise the Food in the Fridge and Freezer


This is how my pantry is currently organised. I can honestly tell you that if you keep your pantry well organised, you won’t miss any out-of-date products and you will stop wasting money on food items that you never get around to cooking with because you forgot that Beef Broth carton that was hiding behind the flour and sugar.

  READ MORE: Organised Pantry Inspiration

Don't risk food that's past its used-by date! See my tips here for getting rid of expired food and organising your cupboards.

How many items have you been able to purge today?

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Alice January 23, 2019 - 6:21 AM

Looking forward to going through the pantry to do this! I just had a question – I’ve been putting some
of my baking ingredients and cereals in plastic containers, which works well for the reasons you mention, but when you remove things from their original packaging how do you then keep track of their expiration dates?

Angela January 23, 2019 - 6:35 AM

I usually cut the date section and sometimes the name label off the box/packet and sticky tape it to the outside of the plastic container. It’s then easy to just pull off and change when it’s refilled.

Beck January 23, 2019 - 6:37 AM

You can write it on the container or put some of the original packaging in with the food. I’ve done that before.

Cyndi January 23, 2019 - 6:40 AM

Can’t wait to get started on this challenge this weekend!

Gracy January 23, 2019 - 8:04 AM

I’m so glad I’ve joined the declarer challenge! Whilst I may not be following it exactly, I’m finding it very motivating! I’ve found I’m not that bad in some areas but still gotten great tips for them! I will share some photos on Instagram soon.

Katherine Sonntag January 23, 2019 - 8:34 AM

Ha ha ha I did this before Christmas as I was going on holiday. Felt so good to get some cupboard space back.

Daisy January 23, 2019 - 9:35 AM

Hi Kat – where can we buy the pull out containers that’s in your pantry and also do you have recommendations for fridge/freezer friendly storage boxes, thanks!

Gemma January 27, 2019 - 7:54 PM

The ones with the chips and cruskits etc in the middle second from bottom shelf are from Howard’s Storage World.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 12:57 PM

thanks Gemma 🙂

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 1:17 PM

I’ve been using decor matchups for fridge and freezer lately, theyve been excellent!

Carol January 23, 2019 - 9:40 AM

When I open these challenges each week I have a little chuckle! Reason for chuckle is I seem to be one step ahead of you…..cleaned out the expired stuff last weekend when I had nothing better todo. Have been one step ahead so far……probably because these are the easier tasks…..I am sure when the big ones comes along I will get inundated with them. Thanks for the challenges though as they are keeping me thinking about what needs doing.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 1:15 PM

LOL its like you’re reading my mind! 🙂

Carissa January 23, 2019 - 10:39 AM

I cleaned out my pantry a couple of months ago, and it is now an absolute mess, so yes, I need this week’s challenge! My question is, with all theses challenges, how do you KEEP them this way? I feel like all these challenges are great, but are going to be redundant in a couple of months!! With all of the normal housework and four other family members using these spaces (and not having quite as much space in my cupboards to fit all required items), it seems impossible to keep on top of.

Anita January 24, 2019 - 7:13 PM

I find that each time I do it it takes less time, and it stays straighter for longer…..don’t despair

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 1:16 PM

get the family involved in helping 🙂 get the kids help unpacking groceries so they know where everything goes, add relevant little tasks into their chores too, get your partner on board (happy wife=happy life!!) 🙂

Christine January 23, 2019 - 1:05 PM

I must have known this was coming as I did it in the last week of my holidays. It’s so good to have my and organised and clean pantry again.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 1:14 PM

ooh one step ahead of me 🙂 good to clear it out before getting the kids back to school or us to work so you know what you’ve got and need for lunches!

Edwina January 23, 2019 - 6:33 PM

We are renting and I don’t have a pantry in my house. We only have a small kitchen, so there isn’t any room to add even a small cupboard.
I have tried different ways to organise the cupboards with the food in it, as well all the other kitchen things. The way I have organised the food is working well, and my family can find their breakfast food and snacks. My ingredients for baking require a small step to reach, but I have one in the kitchen.

Lesley January 23, 2019 - 11:05 PM

Done it today – good job my husband was out……
I could do with a couple of baskets to put “like” things in – shopping tomorrow!
Thanks Kat

Anita January 24, 2019 - 7:12 PM

I’m ahead this week too. De cluttered the pantry just before Christmas, dcluttered the fridge/freezer on Tuesday when it had a little melt down! There were a couple of unrecognisable items at the bottom of the freezer drawer. Chuckle. We’re about to go on holidays and the fridge and freezer look ver minimalist!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 1:08 PM

lol perfect timing to clean everything out before a holiday! nice, fresh and ready to fill when you get back 🙂

Chris Ann January 26, 2019 - 3:18 PM

I like to put the Use By/Best Before dates in a prominent place on the packaging before I put it away, and put the things with the closest dates at the front etc. However, re “Best Before” dates, there is no need to toss them once that date is reached! Some things can last for months after – you just need to use a little commonsense. For example, bacteria can’t grow without moisture so dried goods are unlikely to spoil. Also, anything canned or preserved with sugar, vinegar etc. won’t spoil quickly either. Manufacturers are extremely conservative with the dates they put on goods. I guess because I grew up without access to expiry dates, I learned to trust my own senses of taste, smell etc. so I tend to rely on that rather than actual dates – I have never made myself or anyone else sick either. I find it impossible in a household of 2 mainly, to use up sauces etc. before their best before dates and I abhor unnecessary waste, so I keep using them until they are finished. I rarely need to throw them out.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 1:01 PM

I agree, some things can definitely be left passed their date and decided on by yourself, you can tell just looking at them 🙂

Katrina January 27, 2019 - 9:53 AM

How can I sign up for the declutter emails ?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 1:00 PM Reply
Stella January 27, 2019 - 6:52 PM

Just got rid of 4 garbage bags of expired food and still can’t believe the amount of food left over, the pantry shelves are still full. This challenge has definitely opened my eyes to our household’s wastage and we will be making some changes to ensure there is no more food waste in our future. I have already put items close to expiry at the front of the shelves and planned next weeks meals around using these. The pantry is also now more organised so we can see and use what we have. Thank you

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 12:59 PM

Well done Stella!! Thats great getting rid of 4 bags, it definitely is an eye opener! keep up the good work x

Christine P January 27, 2019 - 7:11 PM

Thanks so much for this task. I thought my pantry was in pretty good shape until I looked closely at all the expiry dates! Now I have even more space in my fridge and pantry.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 12:58 PM

Isn’t it funny the things we find!

Kylie January 27, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Just wondering what containers everyone uses? What do you find best for pantry and fridge? Thanks

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 31, 2019 - 12:58 PM

I find anything from IKEA containers to Howards Storage world ones are great!

Dr Sarah January 30, 2019 - 7:21 AM

I concentrated on a few key areas, and I’m so pleased with the changes I made. Post with photos here: https://justanotherflybaby.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/52-things-challenge-2019-task-4/

Teek January 31, 2019 - 1:25 PM

This is an awesome challenge. I started a bit late but i’m thoroughly enjoying it. It took a whole day to clean out the pantry. Its been 2 years since I last did this. The end result looks amazing and so much more organised. Thanks for the inspiration, Kat.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 1, 2019 - 9:25 AM

the pantry is certainly a big job! Same as the tupperware drawer. Well done for persevering and getting it done 🙂

Jessi February 21, 2019 - 6:50 PM

I do lots of preserving but the empty jars are cluttering up the top shelf of the pantry…how would you store them better?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 25, 2019 - 2:54 PM

you could buy large plastic containers to stack them in, and put them in the garage if you have room 🙂


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