By Grace Jennings-Edquist

It’s always a great joy to be asked to contribute to articles which are designed to help reduce waste. This is just our latest contribution to ABC Everyday

Spring clean your pantry — while saving money, space and the environment

You might have plans to reorganise your pantry — especially if you’re stuck in lockdown and have run out of things to do.

We asked decluttering fans from across Australia for their best tips to clean up pantries. And if you get intimidated by picture-perfect pantry organisation inspo on social media, fear not: we’ve focused on getting things in order while saving money, space and the environment.

Take everything out and start from scratch

Your first step when reorganising your pantry: take everything out, throw out the expired items, and rehome goods you won’t use.

Tanya Lewis, an eco-organisation expert and author of Ethically Declutter Your Home in 30 Days, recommends searching locally for community kitchens that prepare meals for people in need, which sometimes accept donations.

You can also ask local charities, community houses, and asylum seeker support centres what foods and goods they accept and when; says Ms Lewis, who is based on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

Or try domestic violence shelters, she says. It’s best to contact their head office first to find out where they collect donations, as shelter locations are often private.

Arrange ‘according to the easy access and daily usage’

Once you’ve pared down the contents of your pantry, categorise the remaining items and get thoughtful about what you’ll use most.

It’s best to put everyday items on the easy-to-reach middle shelves or near eye level, says Amanda Osborne, a pharmacy assistant from Perth who reorganised her pantry last year.

Amanda, 38, popped cereals, rice, spices and oils near eye-level, and saved the floor of her pantry for lesser-used items.

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