Purge Day 1: Pantry Food

October 1, 2014

Day 1 Purge via A Bowl Full of Lemons

Welcome to day 1 of A Bowl Full of Lemons 31 day purge. Over the next month, I will be sharing ways that you can simplify your homes and lives. Your goal is to clear the clutter & fill your homes with order, during this month long journey.  Our mantra for the month is “Don’t organize clutter, purge it”.

Purging the Pantry via A Bowl Full of Lemons

Disclaimer: I did recycle the boxes in these bags. 😉

Purge Day 1: Pantry Food
Task:  We will begin our purge in the pantry.  This is a simple task but one that’s always forgotten. Purge all expired food.  As you do this, place all of the food on the kitchen table.  Go through each item, checking the dates.  Once you have purged your food, wipe out your pantry and “freshen it up”.
Organizing Tips:

  • Gather baskets, bins, mason jars & food containers.  Label with categories (different types of pasta, rice, grains, sugar, flour, pre-packaged snacks, etc).  Organize food filled containers on pantry shelves.
  • Gather the food that your family will not eat & place it all in a grocery bag.  Donate this food to a local food pantry or the school food drive for the holidays.
  • To see my organized pantry & grab a FREE pantry inventory sheet, visit HERE.


After the Pantry Purge:

Pantry Organization via  A Bowl Full of Lemons


If you are new to the purge, start at the beginning HERE. Share your purge pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #abfol31daypurge.


Happy Organizing! I’ll see you tomorrow for more purging.


47 comments on “Purge Day 1: Pantry Food

  1. Jodi says:

    No fair, I want to see the BEFORE the purge picture! Where were all those boxes hiding?

  2. Michelle says:

    Yayyyy!!! I can’t wait to go through my pantry. I already know of a few things that need to go!!!

  3. Jenny says:

    This is just amazing!!!

  4. Dana says:

    can’t wait to get started! Well, sort of….

  5. Laura Stoolmiller says:

    Lucky me, you picked one of my messiest places. It will motivate me to GET IT DONE!

    • Rachel says:

      I love your optimism. My first thought was, “really?! my messiest spot that STILL isn’t finished from the organizing challenge (twice over)!!”

  6. Heather says:

    I love a good purge! Can’t wait to follow along this month! I feel like I am constantly getting rid of stuff, and I don’t know where it all comes from.

  7. julie says:

    Glad to get started. It is so motivating to work as a group.

  8. Emily says:

    What brand are your containers that hold your dry goods? I see these types of containers at many different stores but I wondered if there is a specific brand that keeps items fresh longer or is more durable?

  9. Kathryn says:

    Looks beautiful, Toni! We are beginning our pantry purge today. I’d like to see a pic of where you keep your canned goods. Thanks!

  10. Kelsey says:

    Oh, Toni… You have the ability to make even trash bags look attractive. 😉

    I’m excited for this series! Thanks!

  11. Sara Amuso says:

    I purge the food pantry bi-monthly!!

  12. Allysgrandma says:

    Be sure to call your local soup kitchen. I did this a year or so ago and we had so many expired foods and they were happy to have them. Processed foods, like canned stuff or jarred stuff actually last longer than the expiration date. It may seem gross to us, but seriously call and ask.

    PS That pantry is so beautiful I could put it up for decoration!

  13. Amy says:

    Where do you get those containers on the second shelf of the pantry? They are perfect!

    • Rachel says:

      They are OXO brand and can frequently be found (for cheaper) at TJMaxx or Marshall’s but also big box stores carry them.

  14. Magnetra says:

    Yay!!! I have been waiting for another one to start. I always do better with this sort of thing when I am doing it along side others. So excited!

  15. Jackie says:

    There’s a high possibility of us moving in the next month, so purging sounds GREAT!

  16. L. says:

    Thanks for starting with an easy task! Can’t wait to get home to do this.

    Just followed your link to last year’s pantry purge and I must admit – I like the way you have done your pantry this year. The baskets were cute and functional but the canisters make take it to another level of form and functionality!

  17. Mary Ann says:

    What if you don’t have a pantry? Do the kitchen cabinets?

  18. Lisa says:

    Wow you must eat a lot of pasta! I like the idea of them being in those beautiful containers but how do you keep track of when they expire? Also where did you get those containers Toni. Found your site about a week ago and read through all the challenges and cool ideas for HOURS. Thought to myself I can do this it doesn’t expire even though it’s from 3 years ago. Now I came to the your site today excited to follow along with you on the new 31 day purge. Hope I can keep up!

  19. Laura says:

    By my count you have 16 different kinds of pasta in your pantry! LOL, I have 1/2 of one bag!

  20. Vanessa says:

    I’ve been working on my pantry and I am loving the improvement. I have been inspired by your work ladies. Your pantry looks beautiful! Thanks!

  21. Shine says:

    Don’t mean to be rude, but for an organised person that’s a lot of stuff being thrown away.
    But, I do enjoy your site.

    • Rachel says:

      I can understand why you would think that. If you take a look at Toni’s ‘after’ there are no boxes in her pantry. The boxes and ‘trash’ come mostly from the packaging of foods that are then stored in containers.

  22. Mary Huey says:

    As a sometimes food pantry volunteer in my local community, I’d like to point out that food pantries may discard your donation if it’s expired so always check before you pass those along — no point creating more clutter for them.

  23. Suzanne says:

    Quick question – I love the idea of using tupperware to store food. My problem is that it doesn’t all typically fit in the container – there’s normally some left over that I’m not sure what to do with (for instance I buy bulk cereal at Costco. All of the cereal that is in their bags is more than what will fit in my cereal container). What do you do with the “extras” until it’s needed? Thank you!

    • Rachel says:

      I had a few containers that were consistently smaller than what was needed to hold the contents of one box. I ended up having to give in and buy bigger containers.

  24. Katlin S. says:

    I’m doing this one today, on day 2. I missed this one somehow… But that’s ok! I don’t have magazines for day 2 🙂

  25. Jen says:

    Your pantry looks great! Our pantry consists of nine drawers hidden behind a giant cupboard door. It’s great because everything is hidden away, but not so great because it can be hard to find what you need. I created some simple labels for each drawer so that it’s easier to find things. Instead of buying a lot of expensive storage containers, I wash and reuse glass jars to store pasta, snack foods, etc and label them by slapping on a piece of tape and writing the expiration date with a sharpie. Loving this 31 day series!

  26. Melissa says:

    Perfect timing for this challenge, as my family is seeking to minimize our “stuff.” I am starting a day late, but will be caught up by tomorrow. 🙂

  27. Heather says:

    What? No before? There is just NO way YOU had all those boxes. Just no way. Beautiful pantry. Mines a good size by has to house not only pantry food, but also homeschooling stuff… I need a better system in that department…

  28. Lisa (mom of 5) says:

    I have seen the oxo containers at Shopko as well. Anyone that has these does the food stay fresh? In the store I was able to lift the cover off even though the button was down and locked so I worry that they might not be air tight. Does anyone elses come off as well but still keep the food fresh?

  29. Lisa (mom of 5) says:

    Forgot to ask how do you keep track on when the food in the oxo containers expire and do you wait for them to be empty before filling so the older food doesn’t get buried by the new?

  30. Katie says:

    A friend posted this on Facebook and it was just what I needed to get moving. I parted with a ton of stuff in the pantry. I also made a basket of items that we need a plan for before (if) they go back in the pantry – November expiration dates, three jars of roasted red peppers, etc. so they aren’t forgotten and end up being part of the next purge.

  31. Nancy C says:

    How about the wire baskets on the bottom shelf? I really like those too. Where were those purchased? Really like your ideas.

  32. Jamie says:

    Any tips for canned food storage? Thanks!

  33. Cindy B says:

    Hi, I saw Toni’s video on Instagram and was wondering where she bought the containers that hold her canned items?

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