Task 8 – Declutter 52 Things in 52 Weeks Challenge

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

The Organised Housewife Declutter 52 Things in 52 Weeks Challenge

A new Decluttering task will be published on the blog each Tuesday.  I will share a link to the task on facebook and in the Tuesday Daily Task newsletter (subscribe to newsletter here).

Follow along on instagram with hashtag #declutter52

View previous Decluttering Challenge Tasks here

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


Decluttering Header Task 8

Expired Foods

Last week on facebook I gave everybody the task to look through their spices and purge any that are out of date, it surprised quite a few with unexpected and very past due dates.  Sometimes we just don’t realise that items have been sitting in the pantry for so long.  There are quite a few food products that are still edible past this date, in this case use the date as a guide.  But when you see the date is past 2 years ago, it would be safe to say it’s time to be purged.

Todays task is to:

Look through the products in your fridge and pantry and purge the items that are too far out of date

What items have you found that are out of date?

I would like to see a photo of your purge pile on Instagram, use the hashtag #declutter52


Organised Fridge Inspiration

click through to see how I organise my fridge

{The Organised Housewife} Organising the Fridge and freezer 16

Organised Pantry Inspiration

I have shared a few posts over the years on my pantry, this is how it was originally organised.

And then I gave it a little makeover, see the video of the makeover here

I’m still not completely happy with it and will soon be giving it another rearrange 🙂

view all challenge tasks here

 Please join the Declutter Challenge, I truly hope that together we can make a difference in your home


You may also like


Lauren February 18, 2014 - 8:04 AM

A tip I found online: Store the jars in your fridge upside down to prevent mold forming 🙂

Katrina February 18, 2014 - 9:03 AM

That’s a clever tip Lauren. We also store all open soft drink bottles on their sides, they stay bubblier longer 🙂

DevotedHousewife.com February 18, 2014 - 8:06 AM

Wow am I jealous of your fridge and pantry! Definitely something to aspire towards. I recently did a spice rack purge and was very surprised to see items that were well past their due dates. They were mostly from recipes that called for an item I rarely use (i.e. cream of tartar) that got pushed to the back of the cabinet and never thought of again. Thank you for doing this, I love this Challenge and look forward to participating!

Katrina February 18, 2014 - 9:01 AM

Time passes too quickly sometimes and you just don’t realise how long spices have been sitting in the rack for. Glad you are enjoying the challenge!

KezUnprepared February 18, 2014 - 8:50 AM

I loved this task. I actually found almost a whole shelf’s worth of space to put my fun baking stuff on (instead of all cluttered and mixed up in an overflowing tupperware container on the floor of the pantry)! We’ve started taking meal planning seriously and this has really helped us to get through the stuff in the pantry and fridge without wasting so much!

Katrina February 18, 2014 - 9:04 AM

Love it when you can play around with additional shelving, great work Kez!!

Basketcase February 18, 2014 - 9:09 AM

I have flour thats NOT past its best before, but has gone nutty and brown in its container.
Any ideas how / why this is happening? What I can do to avoid it? I had to throw out and replace all my flour only a couple of months ago, and now only the regular flour is still any good (the self-raising, wholemeal and bread flour are all splitting). I already only buy the smallest available bag at any time.

Lyn Head February 18, 2014 - 9:23 AM

Does it have weevils??? I put my flour, rice etc in the freezer for 24 hours when I purchase it as it kills any weevil eggs that may be in the product.
also how are you storing it? Does the container have an airtight seal? Alternatively, you could just store them in the freezer to help them keep fresh.
Hope this helps???

Basketcase February 18, 2014 - 9:35 AM

I dont think its weevils, as we aren’t having issues with anything BUT the flour. The containers are air tight as far as I can tell, and I’ve not seen anything moving in them.
When I’ve replaced the flour, I’ve cleaned the pantry and the containers thoroughly too.
To be honest, its not something I’ve ever thought about. Its certainly not something thats been talked about.
Will go and do a weevil test though – I read one site suggesting putting some flour on the bench and watching it for movement.

If its NOT weevils, any other ideas? Could it be the specific plastic container I’m using?

Lyn Head February 18, 2014 - 9:47 AM

I use Tupperware Modular Mates, personally wouldn’t use anything else – but I do know if I have forgotten to put the flour in the freezer for 24 hours, I do get weevils in the Tupperware containers!
I’ve only ever had wholemeal flour ‘split’, but I knew it was getting old so just threw it out.
Do you keep the containers in a cool dark place?
I’m sorry that is all I can think of at the moment…hopefully someone else will have some further suggestions for you – good luck!

Basketcase February 18, 2014 - 10:01 AM

Thanks Lyn, you’ve still been great.
No signs of weevils in the flour thats been on the bench for 25 minutes, and actually, I think its only the self-raising thats the issue at the moment. The wholemeal is split (but smells ok, so is probably stale, and TBH, is possibly well over a year old since I opened it), and the bread flour must be newer than I thought.
The pantry gets no sunshine in it, no heat on it, so thats fine.

I think its just the self-raising flour. Maybe I need to only buy it when I need to use it. Or start making my own as needed.

Sarah Hudson February 21, 2014 - 2:13 PM

I’m not sure what you mean by splitting – but things like bread mix and self raising flour have the raising agents mixed in. It would make them more susceptible to moisture getting in. Any moisture would set off the raising agents. I only buy plain flour and just add baking powder or yeast depending on what I’m making. It’s cheaper and the flour keeps better – I just store it in a Systema Baking clip-lock container.

SmittenKitten February 18, 2014 - 9:14 AM

We’re moving on Monday so I’ve been decluttering left right and centre! The Pantry has been the biggest hurdle for me as I’ve been trying to cook using mostly items from my pantry or freezer as I hate throwing food out!

Many a time did I start to make a meal only to find the key ingredient was left over from our last move…two years ago! Oops!

Anything that doesn’t make it into a modular mate seems to be forgotten by me, I’m going to order some large rectangles when I get into my new house for all my cans and spices to keep them stacked nicely and so none get lost at the back of the panty.

Lyn Head February 18, 2014 - 9:25 AM

When my elderly parents last moved, I unpacked all the pantry items and found items with a used by date of 1988! Lets just say they were quite distressed when they saw what I was throwing out!

Miss Maudy February 18, 2014 - 2:30 PM

What I would like to know is how – despite going through my pantry twice a year (Easter and September holidays), I will without fail find at least two or three things that are a couple of years past their use by date. Every. Single. Time. I sometimes wonder if there’s a gap in the space time continuum that links my pantry to another in an alternate universe and half a jar of mixed spice pops through every now and then.

I’m in the midst of a kitchen renovation, so stuff has been culled and packed in boxes for the last couple of weeks – but I would lay money on finding something that’s two years out of date when I move stuff *back* into my new pantry.

Katrina February 21, 2014 - 2:08 PM

it’s always the way Miss Maudy, something is always hidden . How exciting a kitchen renovation!!

Sarah Hudson February 18, 2014 - 7:53 PM

Katrina, I have a Q for you. How do you store bread? We don’t eat that much of it and I hate it when half a loaf goes mouldy before we’ve even had a chance to toast it. Help!

The spice cupboard is still on my list. I’ve been buying my spices in the zip-lock packs. They stack nicely in the cupboard. I also buy more whole spices than pre-ground. They last longer and taste better.

I notice Aldi have spice racks for cupboards on sale soon!

Lucy B February 18, 2014 - 8:20 PM

Hi Sarah. I keep all my bread in the freezer. We get thru about three loaves a week with kids sandwiches and toasties etc. I put them all in the freezer when I buy them and just take out one loaf or half a loaf as and when needed. I’ll be in Aldi for the slice racks. .. Thanks for the tip.

Katrina February 21, 2014 - 2:05 PM

I freeze my bread usually and we only take out what we need for lunches that day. However when I do buy a fresh loaf I just keep it in the plastic bag, wrapped so no air can get in and store it in the pantry.

Sarah Hudson February 21, 2014 - 2:15 PM

Thanks. I have a *tiny* freezer, so there’s rarely room for a whole loaf of bread, but I think if I put it in when it’s half gone, then it will keep the rest of the week. I really only make sandwiches for my toddler’s lunch – hubby takes leftover dinner and I often just graze or eat the boy’s leftovers with some extra fruit.

Lucy B February 18, 2014 - 8:16 PM

Hi. Katrina what do you keep in the black boxes on the floor. I am so conscious of having food on the floor because of bugs. Even though i use an anti bug spray around the door entrance. I have a large walk in pantry in desperate need of a make over and would love to make better use of the floor space. Thanks

Katrina February 21, 2014 - 2:06 PM

This is usually extra bags of flour, nuts, rice, pasta, sugar etc. Kids lunch bags are also stored in one.

Eileen February 23, 2014 - 11:54 AM

Your fridge looks great but how do find things on the shelf with all the containers. I find that things in the back get lost with all the ones in front of them… Maybe I’m not planning enough to use up all the stuff in order…

Katrina February 24, 2014 - 1:09 PM

I removed one of my fridge shelves so it’s easier to not forget what’s in the containers at the back. I now keep all the vege items at the back, fruit the front and snacks to the side. I give my fridge a clean out each weekend, using up all the vegetables and fruit by making a juice! Clean the containers so they are ready for when I come home with fresh groceries

Krystel February 23, 2014 - 2:24 PM

if you put all your herbs and spices in Tupperware spice containers the use by date is void and they will last years, same goes for any other dry goods. Also keep your fruit n veg in Tupperware vent smarts and you will never throw anything away. Same goes for deli goods, yoghurt, cheese- keep these in Tupperware clear mates, I have never had to throw any food away. I am very anti waste.

Kerry October 26, 2014 - 7:36 AM

Hold on to all your old out of date spices and herbs such as star anise, vanilla, ginger, cloves etc. I store them all in a jar and throw out their original containers. put a couple of teaspoons into a small saucepan and bring to the boil on the stove. Put the lid on the saucespan and leave an edge slightly up. the aroma is heavenly, goes through the whole house. I add boiling water from the kettle during the day.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 27, 2014 - 2:41 PM

What a fantastic idea Kerry! I love it, thank you for sharing.:)


Leave a Comment